Published: 25 May 2021


It has been one year since the tragic murder of George Floyd, which sparked Black Lives Matter protests and added momentum to the fight for racial equality around the world.

Karima, Chair of our R.E.A.C.H Alliance, reflects on this and the impact it has had for her and the work being done with R.E.A.CH:

"It was a year ago today that world begun to see America in a different light. A video went viral of a police officer, someone we should trust and go to in a need of help, placing their knee on George Floyd for 9 mins and 29 seconds. At the age of 46, he was murdered by what the world saw as a systematic racist attack by someone of authority.

Millions across the globe stood by his family in asking for answers, as to how this was allowed to happen and for justice to be made. People, who were frightened of coming out due to lockdown laws or fears of catching COVID, stepped out for their voices to be heard when shouting Black Lives Matter.

Community Southwark looked within the community and started a Black and minority ethnic forum for voluntary organisations to be heard and supported, and to make an active difference in the community. Miracles were not expected over night, but the progress is there.

With a small team working behind the scenes to address the diverse community, and the support that is needed with members from all kinds of organisation supporting and expressing their views - it's been tiring, hard work but such an amazing experience being chair and working with so many wonderful people.

It breaks my heart to know this has come from the murder of a son, brother, a father and a member of the community across the North Atlantic Ocean for the world to look at their systems and ask for change. Our prays are with the Floyd family in hope they've had time to heal.

Today we sadly turn our attention to Sasha Johnson, a vocal member of the Black Lives Matter movement. Someone who lead others into their voices being heard. Someone who lead the marches in the summer of 2020. Someone who we can partly accredit our journey too. She is critically ill after being shot in Peckham. Our prays and thoughts are with her family and friends. 

Southwark R.E.A.C.H Alliance will continue to work hard for our community in ensuring that those that are from the Black and minority ethnic communities or work within the community voices will be heard. 

We have got 3 working groups that are focusing on Health Equality, Criminal Justice and Youth and unemployment.  We have looked closely at the Sewell report and how that impacts us in Southwark.  We continue to work with different branches of Southwark Council to ensure that everyone is on the same page of understanding equality.

We aim to work with many more and to ensure that we are achieving change for the best by staying consistent, thanks to all the hard work of our members.  We will continue to support each other in the best way we can.  We are not going to change the world over night, but we can make the changes that impact us.

 

‘Yesterday I was clever so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise so I am changing myself’ - Rumi


More info and events:

- For more information about the R.E.A.C.H Alliance, and to join, please click here.

- 17 June 2021 - We are not going back to normal!, 10.30am - 1pm

Join in this "say it as it is" conversation with other Black and minority Ethnic (BME) led community organisations which will look at solutions for this long standing problem of local decisions being made on developing polices and services that affect our BME communities without properly seeking informed insight from these communities .

The event will address:

  • creating equal exchange of views between BME communities & The Council
  • improving relationships and trust with the council
  • solutions to better community engagement for BME communities

Conversations will be led by community representatives from the BME Community and responses presented by them to council officers

Book your place