Launching Alfa for Racial Equity

Alfa for racial equity - a zoom screen showing eight Alfa employees - Said Abdullahi, Deanne Clarke, Doyinsola Ishola, Mireille Yapo, Amar Rana-Deshmukh, Tobi Strillozzi, Basheer Shonuga, Dean Kirby

Said Abdullahi, Deanne Clarke, Doyinsola Ishola, Mireille Yapo, Amar Rana-Deshmukh, Tobi Strillozzi, Basheer Shonuga and Dean Kirby

The tragic events which sparked recent global protests against racial inequality triggered the need for an Alfa community that would foster a truly diverse workforce, collaborating with allies to instigate positive change.

The Alfa for Racial Equity community aims to provide a space for racial minority colleagues to:

  • Support each other and discuss community-specific topics
  • Develop and advocate for other colleagues for the purpose of career progression
  • Discuss how best to support Alfa to ensure we attract the best candidates from racial minority communities, and continue to measure progress
  • Discuss how best to engage with racial minority communities and schools (such as through events, volunteering and fundraising activities)

With these aims in mind, the community has been facilitating progressive discussions with the wider Alfa community on various issues, from cultural appropriation, to the recent topic of COVID-19 disproportionately affecting minorities.

The month of October saw the first 'official' celebration of Black History Month at Alfa, with a mixture of activities to engage our wider Alfa community. Some of these included:

  • A series of talks from an external speaker on:
  • (i) Black History – Europe and Slavery, covering Europe’s involvement in the Slave Trade, its abolishment, and the social and political circumstances that resulted from centuries of enslavement.
  • (ii) Black History – Commonwealth, Windrush, and Multicultural Britain, covering the challenges faced and contributions made by economic migrants and their families, who sought to integrate into British society.
  • An article entitled ‘The things about stories’, covering the achievements of a select group of people over the years, and highlighting the need to share stories about black people which don't usually make the news - the stories celebrating black excellence in all forms.

The celebration was wrapped up with a quiz night based on themes from African delicacies to current affairs.

Previous events have looked at:

  • Building More Inclusive Workplaces, a talk covering the importance of surrounding ourselves with culturally diverse people, to create more open-minded spaces, and provide diverse perspectives to drive business value.
  • Being Black and Raising Social Capital, a talk covering how to bridge social capital, and recognizing its importance in embracing diversity of thought and inclusivity.
  • Recognition and celebration of the diversity of Alfa colleagues with blog posts celebrating:
  • South Asian Heritage Month – helping people to better understand the diversity of present-day Britain, and transforming how people connect with South Asian cultures.
  • Indigenous Peoples' Day - a holiday that celebrates the culture and history of Native American people.
  • Various independent days – e.g. Cote d’Ivoire and Nigeria