Bristol Law Centre is unequivocal in its support for the Black Lives Matter movement and we aim to continue to be actively anti-racist. Law Centres were born of a movement – the rationale being to use the law to serve local communities and the issues that they face; to progress equality and inclusion through providing access to justice.
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” – Dr. Martin Luther King.
Since the recent (and ongoing) protests we are taking the time to really listen to each other, reflecting on where we have come from, where we are and where we want to go.
We understand that racism can be both overt and passive, and acknowledge racism has many dimensions: institutional, ideological, structural, interpersonal, and internalized. We also acknowledge people of colour often experience intersectional discrimination.
While undertaking the work that we do, we have to navigate institutions that impact people of colour unfairly. People of colour are disproportionately affected in the areas of social welfare law in which we currently work (mental health, housing & homelessness, welfare benefits, public law, employment, discrimination and immigration & asylum).
We will start dialogues with all the communities we live and interact in, whether personally or professionally. We commit to challenging racism across all strata; this will require having sometimes uncomfortable discussions about race and reflecting on our lived experiences.
We will publish an action plan. There has been a loud chorus for real and sustainable advancement of racial equality, and we are in a position to be part of that. We must be part of building a network of solidarity.