We want to do more to eliminate racism and drive greater equality, diversity and inclusion in heritage
Chief Executive, Ros Kerslake, said the powerful protests happening across the world, including the UK, calling for a re-examination and a redress of racial inequality has led her to reflect on The Fund’s efforts and accelerate change.
"As the largest funder of the UK's heritage, are we doing enough to open up heritage to a wider range of people?"Chief Executive, Ros Kerslake
“As the largest funder of the UK's heritage, are we doing enough to open up heritage to a wider range of people?
"Inclusion has been a focus for the organisation for many years and in 2019 we adopted a mandatory inclusion outcome for our grants and an updated Workforce Equality Statement. These are steps in the right direction, but I believe that we need to do much more.”
Launching a taskforce
As part of the review, we will be consulting widely – both internally and externally – and will listen and act on what we learn.
Maria Adebowale-Schwarte will chair a taskforce to oversee the review. Maria has been a trustee at The Fund since 2018. She brings 25 years of experience working across the heritage, environment and grant-making sectors, with a focus on inclusive place and urban renewal strategy.
Maria said: “Like Ros, I have been deeply affected by the events unfolding around the world following the death of George Floyd. It has given a lot of individuals and organisations pause for thought about whether they are part of the problem and more importantly, whether they want to be part of the solution.”
"I welcome The Fund’s decision to take decisive action to drive a greater integration of equality, diversity and inclusion, both within the organisation and as a funder.”Maria Adebowale-Schwarte
“I welcome The Fund’s decision to implement this review and take decisive action to drive a greater integration of equality, diversity and inclusion, both within the organisation and as a funder.”
The taskforce will report to the Board of Trustees.
Creating a more equitable society
Ros said: “Heritage with inclusion at its heart is incredibly powerful in bringing people together and creating a more equitable society for all.”
“I am proud of the difference we’ve already been able to make – from investing £4m to establish the Black Cultural Archives, preserving stories from the Windrush generation and people's experiences of the decriminalisation of homosexuality in Northern Ireland, to funding heritage projects that help people overcome isolation and improve their mental health – but I am determined that we will do more.
“This review is a commitment to building an environment that is free from racism and inequality.”