The Pride in London 2019 Parade passes through Piccadilly Circus. (Photo credit should read Matthew … [+]
Five directors of Pride in London have resigned, including both Co-Chairs Michael Salter-Church and Alison Camps, with immediate effect.
In a statement, the UK capital’s pride group recognised the media coverage and growing scandal about what former staffers and volunteers have called institutional racism within the organisation.
Today they bowed to calls of a change in leadership from across the community. And in an statement announcing the move they say they are taking on board the feedback that was “critical of their need to create a more inclusive environment:”
“We in the LGBT+ community know very well that as we travel the long road to equality, equity and a fair society, there come pivotal moments,” says the statement.
“Sometimes these moments can be caused by a new generation bringing fresh perspectives and thinking, seeing inadequacies in what has come before and seeking change. This is what has always sustained our movement and given it vitality and strength.
“We have recently faced such a moment. In response to recent critical media coverage and feedback received from former volunteers and the LGBT+ community on the urgent need for Pride in London to create a more inclusive environment, which centres black volunteers, people of colour and other marginalised community groups, the London LGBT Community Pride CIC (“Pride in London”) board is announcing immediate and significant changes to its structure and leadership, to make necessary way for new voices and greater diversity.”
LONDON, ENGLAND – JULY 06: Deputy Mayor, Housing and Residential Development James Murray, Michael … [+]
The announcement follows a series of high profile resignations, including senior staffers and the entire community advisory board — which begun with former Director of Communications Rhammel Afflick’s striking statement last week.
Afflick said he had lost all confidence in “the leadership’s ability to successfully address the adversities faced by our multi-faceted communities,” writing on Medium.
While the community advisory board who followed soon after, said they were quitting over what they said was a “hostile environment,” reports the Guardian.
And the resignations today follow even more senior LGBTQ community leaders calling out the organisation for years of institutional racism.
“We’re deeply disturbed by the testimonies of Rhammel Afflick and others involved in Pride in London about their experience of institutional racism,” Stonewall CEO Kelley said in a statement today.
“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.”
Meanwhile, one of the UK’s highest-profile LGBTQ campaigners Peter Tatchell, has called for an inquiry into the matter, report The Independent.
As Pride in London receives funding from the Greater London Authority, Mr Tatchell has suggested a small committee of its Assembly members could review Pride’s operations.
The pride organisation are hoping this draws a line under the matter, but if a review does go ahead, this could be the start of a long process in regaining the trust of the LGBTQ community.
Indeed, the statement has already been called “woeful” by Afflick on social media, calling for an apology not just to him but “to all of the volunteers.”
I’m a journalist, digital content producer, audience development consultant and a ‘Radio 30 Under 30’ 2019 winner. I host the British Podcast Awards recognized social