The news agenda over the last couple of weeks has been led by the anger and revulsion felt over the death of George Floyd in the US and the ensuing discussion and protests over the ongoing issue of racism not just in America but around the world. Racism is a blight on our society and we condemn it and the inequalities it causes, and we should all be looking to ensure we don’t further it, consciously or unconsciously. We know that the events of the last fortnight have caused great hurt to many of our members and we want to acknowledge that and let them know that we stand with them.
The Board have been discussing and reflecting on what has been said and done over the last few days and wanted to restate our commitment to ensuring the PSA is an organisation that celebrates diversity and inclusion in all its forms. We want to make sure everyone is welcome in the PSA and at PSA events, everyone is listened to (as an individual member, as well as from the stage) and that everyone is celebrated for who they are.
Our diversity makes us stronger as an organisation and we can all learn from each other about our different life experiences – and by doing so understand the different backgrounds and life experiences present in our audiences and reflect those in our content. Many of our members talk about their lives and backgrounds from the stage whereas for others it is incidental to what they speak about and the way they run their business – but is still an important part of who they are as an individual and should be celebrated as such.
While the PSA is a diverse organisation, our membership and their voices do not – yet – represent the diversity of our society here in the UK and we have work to do to rectify that. Our Finance Director, Shaz Nawaz, has been heading a working group over the last few months, looking at all forms of diversity and inclusion within the PSA. The group is made up of representatives from a cross section of our diverse community – and those who do not identify as belonging to any of those communities but who have an interest or experience in the issues under discussion. The group are currently looking at a range of issues from our recruitment of members to the language and imagery we use and the speakers who appear on our stages and screens.
We feel diversity is an important part of who we are an organisation. We want to assure you we will do everything we can, with your support, to ensure our organisation represents and reflects our diverse community.
The group will be making recommendations to the Board and at that point we will come back to the membership with positive and affirmative actions we can all take as individuals and as an organisation to ensure that diversity, inclusion and celebrating difference is at the heart of what we all do.
Stay safe, stay well and if you’re struggling, please do reach out to your PSA family – we really are stronger together.
Steve Bustin, National President
Shaz Nawaz, Finance Director and Board lead on Diversity and Inclusion
On behalf of the PSA Board