Accounts and Accountabilities.
Black Lives Matter. We say that with our whole chest.
Puzzle is made up of a small group of predominantly white people, in a predominantly white industry.
As individuals, many of us are active in the fight against oppression and for various, intersecting areas of human rights (recognising too the various privileges many of us have.) All of us are committed to working for a world free from all types of discrimination, including on the basis of race, gender identification, sexuality, disability and age.
As a business – we’d like to do more. We’ve had and encouraged a lot of discussions internally – especially recently. Previously we’ve fundraised, taken campaign actions, done NHS, charity and grassroots work pro-bono, encouraged people to vote and discuss voting/political issues, supported our team members attending protests and with their mental health. We encourage and guide the brands we work with to do and be better. Things aren’t always easy and we’re by no means perfect. There’s more we can do.
Prior to COVID-19, one of the areas I was working on was our recruitment process; to ensure we’re attracting talent beyond the bubble. Unfortunately, we’re not in a position to be recruiting at the moment, but I will take this time to find out how we improve what we do. I want to make sure that, when we are in a better position, we don’t get caught up with the quickest route to ‘role-filled’, but take the time to do it right (and reach more potential talent). This includes appropriately paying anyone or any organisation for their support or resources.
Another thing the Senior team were working on was a non-grad scheme (yes, we’ll call it something better!) We don’t include the need for a degree in our job-listings; because you don’t need one. But we want to go further than that, and give people a way into the industry without needing the Bank of Mum & Dad – or their contacts. Our internships, work placements and training schemes were being designed to help economically disadvantaged groups of people, those not served by traditional routes into the Creative industries, to get involved. This included a commitment to pay the Living Wage and it will include a commitment to have diversity and accessibility at its core. Again, there’s a slight COVID-19 shaped pause on it at the moment, while we navigate our current team through a slipstream with an ever-changing current – but we wanted to share our plans. For one, we hope others are planning or will plan the same! (And do get in touch to chat if your organisation is interested in doing the same or you think you can/want to help.) Two, we know an idea written down forms a goal, an objective. And we love hitting objectives.
In the meantime, we continue to be and to support those calling and acting for change. Here are a few UK-based groups, campaigns and organisations who do work that deserve visibility and all of our collective support:
- Charity So White are a POC-led campaign group tackling racism in the charity sector. They’re doing amazing work to lift and make heard experiences that POC workers in the sector have, to challenge the internal structure and external output of charities, and to train, teach and lead. Check. Them. Out.
- United Families & Friends Campaign is a group of people affected by the deaths of those in police and psychiatric custody or following contact. They’re simply calling for justice, transparency and accountability. They’re calling for basic human rights to be afforded. Their full-demands can be seen on their website – please do read their words.
- Black Minds Matter work to make mental health relevant and accessible to all black people in the UK. They have a fund to cover costs of services (such as therapy) and support people in understanding and finding the right service for them. 🖤
- Bloody Good Period exist to provide a sustainable flow (their pun) of products for people who menstruate, but who can’t afford to buy products. It started as a whip-round on Facebook; they’re now partnered with more than 40 asylum seeker drop-in centres across the country. They’re also helping people to talk about periods, because why is it still a taboo?! And what a bloody good job they’ve done!