Size of Wales acknowledges that racism borne from White Supremacy is a deeply rooted, pervasive, and prevalent issue in the global solidarity sector and the UK as a whole. In recognition of this — and the fact that our Wales-based team and board are almost all White — Size of Wales has begun its antiracism journey in earnest.
Across the UK and beyond, people have finally woken up to the reality that we need to proactively dismantle the many ways racism and other forms of oppression exist and are upheld to this day. Size of Wales is committed to playing a meaningful role in creating this change.
In 2022, we appointed consultants – Leila Usmani of BeDiverse and Fadhili Maghiya of Watch Africa Cymru – to support this work, focusing on reviewing and assessing Size of Wales’ internal operations (policies and practices) and Wales-based outreach in relation to antiracism, providing training sessions for our team and trustees. The consultants will share recommendations to improve the ways we work, reflecting best practices and learning in the sector. This will help us understand our shortcomings and areas for change. We will then set in motion an actionable plan to become an antiracist organisation and finalise an Anti-Racism Policy.
With regards to Size of Wales’ overseas partnership work, we have built decolonised practices, climate justice and a rights-based conservation approach into our 5-year Forest Strategy (2020-2025). This has informed the types of partnerships and communities we work with moving forwards. We are also committed to amplifying the voices and demands of Indigenous and local communities at an international level, who are on the forefront of the climate, nature, and deforestation crises.
Our next set of priorities is to develop more equitable ways of partnership working, directing more funding directly to on-the-ground organisations, and to shift the way we grant to our partners away from the current common practice which sustains a dynamic of unequal power. Another way of creating equitable partnerships is working with community-led projects. We acknowledge that we do not have a full understanding or expertise of what is happening on the ground and therefore rely on the knowledge, lived experience and expertise of those communities.
We recognise that there is much to be done and are committed to this work, embracing challenging and uncomfortable conversations, considering new ways of working that will dismantle current oppressive systems, and embedding antiracist and anti-oppressive practices in everything we do, both in Wales and overseas.
If you want any further information, please contact our Antiracism and Decolonisation Champion, Anna Harris.
We wish to thank the many racially diverse organisations, writers, activists and thought leaders who have informed and inspired us to date. We recognise that this is a lifelong commitment. We will implement our learning into our work and continue to share this journey with you, updating our website with our actions and commitments.