Meeting 17 – 27/1/22

Agenda:

  • Welcome and updates
  • Discussion and sign off of Revised Agenda for Action
  • Review of Action Plan
  • Presentation of individual development plan by Mark 
  • Discussion and reflections on inspiration Mark’s plan
  • Plans for next meeting

Notes:

  1. Updates:

Paul updated on the work of his Board shadowing programme. 100% of participants are women of colour and their participation has helped fertilise the broader Board discussion of their DEI work. It is to be evaluated and with options including the continuation of the existing shadowing programme and/or development of a more formalised ‘Shadow Board’. They have appointed the Social Justice Collective to consult on EDI/Racial Justice activities and support the Trust to develop an EDI Action Plan.

They have established a place-based fund which will look to address the roots of gender inequality. A significant number of applicants are from BAME-led organisations.

Mark’s updated on his engagement with infrastructure bodies. Three elements –

  • We want to make sure the engagement is informed by and uplifts orgs led by people of colour, so we are reaching out to Ten Years’ Time, Ubele Initiative, CharitySoWhite etc to understand what their priorities would be and to identify how we can best support these.
  • We identified five areas of potential JFI contribution: modelling, initiating, promoting, advocacy, support
  • We will bring together notes from these discussions with orgs led by people of colour, and then agree how to best take to ACF. We will also maintain direct connection with ACF, because there is a sense of positive engagement from ACF on racial justice.

Mark shared the output of the Adebowale Commission on Social Investment which reports enduring racial bias in social investment.

Stewart reported that there have been governance changes at their AGM, including the end of term of office of his chair. New trustees are in the pipeline and will further buttress their Board’s diversity.

They have launched a new fund in Brent and hope to receive applications from groups led by people of colour.

2. JFI’s Agenda for Action

Celia shared the latest Agenda for Action, updated to reflect recent developments in the sector.

A short discussion took place on the terminology, the document references, key substance of the text, and the adjusted purpose.

An additional article was added and one removed to ensure relevance. The text was slightly adjusted to reflect the group’s view.

The group agreed the adjusted text and that it would be shared on the website.

3. JFI Action Plan

There was a discussion on usage of the updated Action Plan with members of our Boards. Changes to the action plan were captured in the live shared document.

It was agreed to revisit the plan as a standing item, and to publish the plan on the website, to hold ourselves accountable for its delivery. It will be published before our next meeting and we will revisit it bimonthly. James and Clare agreed to ‘hold the pen’ on the document.

4. Individual Action Plan – Mark

Mark has participated in diversity coaching sessions as part of his personal development. It has been very helpful in Mark challenging his personal norms, developing a reflex to stop and reflect before acting or speaking, and taking time and patience to understand the dynamics of power and psychological safety.

UnLtd is working to advance in EDI and anti-racism and his action plan reflects this agenda. The plan outlines Mark’s desire to enable greater ease of challenge from his team of colleagues, and greater visibility of Mark’s commitment both at work and in the sector.

The Diversity Forum has issued a refreshed Manifesto 2.0 and 10 point action plan for social investors seeking to be equitable, diverse and inclusive. Mark has aligned UnLtd’s EDIB (Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging) plans to this framework and has shared with the Forum so it can use to encourage sector peers and make it easier for them to adopt.

Mark’s work as part of JFI is an important component of his plan.

The act of writing the plan has been very helpful in codifying Mark’s thinking and will help him hold himself accountable for his progress.

He is considering publishing his plan to provide even greater challenge and accountability – and elements of discomfort and vulnerability.

A discussion took place with questions and comments.

Two breakout groups were held to share individual thoughts, considerations and inspiration from Mark’s plan to enrich the development of all members of the group.

Paul asked whether future session on shifting power with Boards and on what good allyship looks like could be held.

Nick and Sally agreed to share their individual plans at the next meeting.

5. Next meeting:

The next  meeting will take place on March 3, subject to Joe’s availability.  

Joe kindly offered to chair the next meeting; Stewart kindly offered to take notes.

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