Nancy Kelley, Chief Executive, Stonewall (she/her) said, ‘Pride is essential to both surviving and thriving as LGBTQ+ people in a world where structures and institutions are stacked against us. Whether a protest or a celebration, we all deserve to be safe, respected and supported when taking part in Pride as a volunteer or participant.
‘We’re deeply disturbed by the testimonies of Rhammel Afflick and others involved in Pride in London about their experience of institutional racism. We stand in solidarity with Rhammel and everybody else who has shared their experiences of racism within Pride in London and the LGBT+ community more broadly.
‘Rhammel’s account mirrors many others we have heard from people of colour within Pride in London. The consistent pattern of testimonies suggests that the leadership culture within Pride in London has not changed in response to complaints and concerns raised.
‘It was on the back of such concerns that Stonewall decided not to march at Pride in London in 2018 and marched Together in Pride in partnership with UK Black Pride and many other community organisations in 2019. We hoped that Pride in London had truly listened to the concerns of diverse communities. Recent testimonies show that this has not happened.
‘We have lost confidence that Pride in London’s leadership has the genuine commitment to serve all our communities, and the openness to learn from past mistakes and work sincerely to be a more equitable, anti-racist organisation. The resignation of Pride in London’s entire Community Advisory Board because of a hostile environment and a culture of bullying only confirms our belief that the leadership at Pride in London must change.
‘At Stonewall, people of colour within our organisation have experienced institutional racism, and we continue to challenge the biases of a predominantly white leadership. It is imperative for white-led organisations working for social justice to reflect honestly on the racism within our own institutions and take meaningful, concerted and sustainable action to address it.
‘We support the calls from the Community Advisory Board for a new leadership to take the organisation forward and for an independent investigation by the Mayor’s office into the alarming accounts of marginalisation and bullying of volunteers, with publication of the outcome.’
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