Organisational

Anti-Racism Action Plan 2020-21

COMPANY DRINKS ANTI-RACISM ACTION PLAN
Last Review Date 22 December 2022
Date of publication on our website: 04 December 2020

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Everything that is being written and articulated at this stage will be reviewed on a yearly basis.
We acknowledge that we are currently a white person led organisation, who has declared being active anti-racist, and we are updating and adapting our statements, policies and processes as we are moving forward whilst learning.

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PHASE 01: Internal Phase of Organisational Transformations is scheduled August 2020 until March 2023. We are working on a number of pledges and actions in parallel. These are:

Produce a CLEAR SET OF VALUES

To articulate our values as an organisation as clearly anti-racist and anti-oppression, by acknowledging that racism exists and is being perpetuated by not addressing white privilege and therefore willingly and unconsciously acting upon it.

A complete set of values has been written and is available to read on our About page. These will be reviewed in Spring 2023 and then on an annual basis.

Produce a CODE OF CONDUCT

To introduce a check-in procedure for all future events, with a clear anti-racist code of conduct whenever we work or meet as a group and in public, to reiterate these values as everyday practice.
A code of conduct has been created and is available to read in our information brochure here.
This will be reviewed Spring 2023 and then on an annual basis.

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Produce a MISSION STATEMENT

To produce a new mission statement for Company Drinks, based on point one and two.
A mission statement has been written and is available to read on our About page.
This will be reviewed in Spring 2023 and then on an annual basis.

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ROLES and RELATIONSHIPS

To find appropriate terms to describe and organise our working relationships the way we want them to be: collaborations and co-productions. This includes restraining from binary and hierarchical language (e.g. providing-benefitting, producing-consuming) using language that affirms the many roles held by everyone (e.g. each one teach one).

Company Drinks will produce clear Job Descriptions for each existing paid part-time member and for all new roles are being written. We will suggest job titles, but leave it to the individual to suggest a more fitting one.

Update December 2022: All new roles created since December 2020 have received a clear job description.
Job roles have been created for existing members of staff and job descriptions will be created in January 2023.

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MONTHLY STAKEHOLDER MEETINGS

To introduce monthly Stakeholder Meeting (paid) for all key users, to update, plan and adjust  ongoing and upcoming activities, programmes, and our organisational transformation.

A stakeholder group has been established and has been meeting every six weeks since February 2022 and consists of representatives from groups who use the pavilion on a regular basis. The group is known as Keyholders Group and you can find out more here.

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ORGANISATIONAL CLARITY

To reorganise decision-making and power-sharing by expanding and sharing paid-time, through reorganising budgets towards participatory budgeting, and to shift the Company Drinks Team from being a delivery-team to a larger cooperative structure for paid co-working.

A directory of the organisation in the form of a diagram and mapping out of Company Drinks will describe the structure and lines of decision making.

Participatory budgeting is being piloted with Keyholder Group (Lankelly Chase Fund), and was used with Good Food Collective. New funding applications reflect the participatory spending plans, with spending decisions allocated with interest and community groups. In January 2023 we will discuss next steps for shifting the Company Drinks Team from being a delivery-team towards a larger cooperative structure for paid co-working.

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COMPANY DRINKS HANDBOOK

Company Drinks will also produce an introductory document for all new team and board members, to describe our organisational structure, the different programme strands, the different communities involved, and a record of tensions and recorded complaints caused by racist behaviour. This will include all new documents mentioned in this action plan, and the annual budget.

A brochure explaining the history, governance, team, and strands of programming has been created and is available to view here. This was first produced in May 2020 and updated in January 2022. This will be reviewed on an annual basis.

Our Inclusion Manager is now responsible for the recording and proper storing of tensions and complaints caused by racist behaviour.

The 2022/2023 annual budget will be included in the handbook from July 2022 (the beginning of our financial year).

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TRAINING

We will allocate financial resources for more anti-racist training for members of the paid team and regular users and contributors, including specialist training such as communication, conflict resolution, decision sharing, etc. We encourage all white members of the team to donate wages earned during anti-racist training to the Resourcing Racial Justice initiative.

Members of our team have identified and attended specialist training including deep democracy, project management and cooperation. We continue to work to include all our users and contributors in our learning. In January 2023, we will identify further training needs.

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POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

To re-issue our Inclusion Policy, and our Safeguarding Policy, acknowledging the need for precise anti-racist language and clear procedures, which includes an external person and advisor to be approachable. We also aim to produce amendments for specific programmes and groups with special safeguarding requirements.

* Revised Safeguarding Policy issued December 2022
* Revised Equal Opportunities Policy to be issued January 2023
* Amendments for Safeguarding Children and Adults within a Community Setting to be issued Autumn 2023

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INVITING A CULTURAL ACCESS SPECIALIST

To make funds available to pay a specialist for a Cultural Access Strategy for our pavilion and garden, which is currently being refurbished and will reopen in April 2021. This role suggests a close collaboration with the current project manager, and involves the production of a consultation and design strategy that incorporates the multiple perspectives of the many user groups who use the site.

Artist and designer, Sahra Hersi, was commissioned in March 2020 prior to the reopening of the pavilion and garden.
We are in conversation with our keyholders and users to devise the next phase.

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REVIEW OF THE BOARD

Once the team re-organisation and the monthly Community Advisory Meetings are under way, we will review the set-up and function of the Company Drinks Board.

Non-active members of the board have stepped down. To better carry out its legal responsibility to Company Drinks, the board will look to recruit individuals who can advise on fundraising, finance, law, and policies. Recruitment for new board members will commence February 2023.

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REOPEN THE SITE

To re-open the Pavilion and Garden as a shared community space with clear communication, signs and signals that communicate our anti-oppression principles (April 2021).

Following the pandemic and building works to increase access to the building and garden, the Pavilion was reopened in September 2020. New improved access includes:

  • Accessible toilet and changing facilities
  • Fully ramped access to the pavilion
  • Heating for year-round access
  • Colour scheme to improve H&S
  • Accessible raised plant bed
  • Signage in garden (commission by Susanna Wallis)
  • Labelling of rooms and areas

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PHASE 02: External Phase

From March 2020 onwards:

Once we have reset Company Drinks along the lines of clear anti-racist values and policies, we will become active in our role as a local partner in activities, partnerships and networked approaches towards tackling racism in the borough. The work will include:

* Educational Anti-Racism and Anti-Oppression Work
* Advocacy work in LBBD and across regional, national and international activities
* CD is part of Partnership building and programming
* Co-commissioning projects and programmes

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Update December 2022: Our anti-racism work is currently still being conducted internally, and a comprehensive Anti Racism Toolkit is being produced to provide clear guidelines and language to address everyday racism and institutional racism on following levels:

Regular programmes and social/educational events
Fundraising and Partnerships
Commissioning

The toolkit will be completed in October 2022 and piloted within the team and close collaborators to test and adapt rules and language. The Tool Kit will be presented to the board in November 2022 for feedback and suggestions.

Alongside this work we are discussing the next steps for our anti-racism action plan and will be publishing new points by April 2023.

We would like to thank everyone who is supporting this process in so many different ways.

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ARCHIVE

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COMPANY DRINKS BLACK LIVES MATTER STATEMENT
Issued on our newsletter and website on
8 June 2020

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We’re taking a break from normal activities to reflect and to acknowledge that we at Company Drinks believe, without question, that Black Lives Matter. We stand in solidarity with those protesting the murder of George Floyd.

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When George Floyd’s murder happened in the USA on May 25th, and we saw the Black Lives Matter Movement gain unprecedented global motion, we wanted to consider where we must adjust and act as an organisation.

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We often talk about the “ecosystems” that connect us all. And so this current moment in history is making us look at the role we all play in things being the way that they are, and the role that we at Company Drinks can play in ensuring we work to tackle and dismantle racism and inequality, whether it’s in our organisational structure, our habits or our poor understanding as a predominantly white core project team.

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Company Drinks is a community space, a business run for communal benefit and not for profit, a space to grow and harvest and enjoy nature together, a place to revisit our histories and what they mean to us today. We do what we can to share our organisational resources and funding to support our communities, to create something together, and to learn from the people who are doing amazing things to make the world a better place. But we know that we live in an unequal society, especially in terms of race, gender and economy, and we have a responsibility to our community to do a much better job of addressing this.

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In the coming months we will be allocating a portion of our time and funding to internal training, re-addressing policies and implementing procedures, to ensure that we, as a community organisation, are doing what we can to change the way we operate, and to better support the Black Lives Matter Movement [and others like it in future]. We also wish to re-evaluate our future public programme as a potential platform for education; for listening to and learning from the experiences of black people.

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We will also be talking to our community, listening to our extended network, and ensuring that those who take part in the Company Drinks public programme understand that supporting the Black Lives Matter movement is crucial to supporting our activities, values and collective goals.

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If we see or notice racism, prejudice or inequality, we will speak up, and act up.

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We write in unity and friendship with everyone who we have met and worked with, who are making changes to make the world a better place, however big or small. We particularly want to send our support, love and solidarity to everyone who is protesting and to everyone who experiences and suffers from discrimination on the basis of the colour of their skin.

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We wish to encourage our volunteers, supporters and members to follow us in listening and learning from others so that we can move forward (see links below). In that, we ask you to be clear and frank with us. We want our activities to be a safe space for people to bring things up and for everyone to be heard, especially if we don’t live up to what we say we aim for.

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If there is anything we’ve said that you’d like to talk about or raise with the team, we would very much like to hear from you.

Take care, stay safe, and we can’t wait for the day we can meet up again.

Signed by the

Company Drinks Team and
Company Drinks CIC Board of Directors

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Projects we support: BLM edition

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Whether it’s sharing a meal round a table together, or sitting on a coach to Kent; we often talk about issues much bigger than us; climate change and food inequality, access to land and resources, barriers to individual and collective wellbeing … We’d like to share some inspiring resources with you which we hope will bring the BLM movement closer to home in our future discussions around food, drinks and nature:

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  • Please read The Landworkers Alliance statement in support of the Black Lives Matter movement and it’s key role in bringing to the forefront issues around food justice and access to green spaces.
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  • The best way that we, as a food/drinks company can show that Black Lives Matter is to support black food and drinks businesses. We have much to learn about how we can do better as an organisation, but in the meantime, we wanted to share resources such as Afrorocks’ 43 Black Owned UK Businesses and this Delish piece on Black Owned UK Food Businesses. We also recommend following collectives such as UK Vegans of Colour for brilliant content.
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  • Land in Our Names (LION) seeks to uproot & disrupt systemic issues of land as they pertain to black people in Britain. They address land justice as a centre point for issues around food insecurity, health inequalities, environmental injustice & widespread disconnect from nature. Their blog currently features a brilliant piece featuring friend of the project and previous Digesting Politics guest Deirdre Woods, on how the The Landworkers Alliance are currently addressing inequalities in power and in making our food and farming systems more equitable.
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  • Wretched of The Earth is a grassroots collective for Indigenous, black, brown and diaspora groups and individuals demanding climate justice and acting in solidarity with our communities, both here in the UK and in the Global South. Their facebook page is a really good source of information about protests, funds and online content to watch, listen and learn.
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  • We were first introduced to May Project Gardens by the late, great Esiah Levy. They work with urban communities, addressing poverty, disempowerment and access to green resources and influence. They work with marginalised and BAME groups, providing practical, affordable and collective solutions for people to live sustainably, thriving for an alternative system and lifestyle based on nature, community, biodiversity and creativity. They are mostly volunteer led, but you can follow their great work or donate to support them here.
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Other very useful links:

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One of the things we as an organisation will be doing together to address our organisational biases or prejudices, will be to assess our own structure and processes against resources such as the Aorta Collective’s ‘Dismantling anti-black bias in democratic workplaces’ toolkit. We encourage you to bring up doing similar in your own workplace.

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Families, check out The Conscious Kid‘s instagram page for regular, family-friendly, helpful resources and information, including ‘how to talk to children about racism‘.

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You can find a list of Black Lives Matter resources, including a list of black owned businesses here.

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If you want to join the movement but aren’t able to protest, and wish to see a list of petitions you can sign or protest funds you can donate to, click here.

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