#FightAgainstRacism – International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
"The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is observed annually on 21 March. This is the day the police in Sharpeville, South Africa, opened fire and killed 69 people at a peaceful demonstration against apartheid "pass laws" in 1960." – United Nations
For the past six decades, countries across the world have marked this day in various ways. In recent years, we have seen the increase in awareness days centred around racial inclusion and action.
The 2021 theme is “Youth standing up against racism”.
With the murder of George Floyd in 2020 and the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) groups, we've seen a rise of young people engaging in movements such as #BlackLivesMatter as well as the use of social media to mobilise participation.
Young people called on their peers, organisations and the government to speak out, and to stand up for the equal rights of all.
Such action has played a major role in some of the changes we have seen in the past year.
We've seen major city firms release their pay-gap and stay gap data, in-house legal teams demanding more racial inclusion from their panel firms, initiatives such as the 10,000 black interns being birthed and more.
In a joint statement, our office holders and CEO stated: “We will continue to promote diversity and inclusion in the legal profession, combat any instances of racism or prejudice in the sector and stand against injustice.”
That is why we think it is important to mark days such as 21 March to raise awareness, educate the profession and promote inclusion.
So how can we do our part to #FightRacism?
As an ally
One of the best ways is to educate yourself on race-related issues and use tools such as our inclusion ally guide for tips on how to be an ally.
As an organisation
Reflecting on the issues you have within is a great starting point.
Our race inclusion toolkit offers effective guidance on how your organisation can be more inclusive.
As a BAME individual
It's important to be unapologetically you. It's OK to call out micro-aggressions and bias in the workplace.
Whether it's someone mispronouncing your name or being overlooked for a promotion by a non-diverse panel, you have the right to call it out.