Race-equity learning group

Following the Black Lives Matter protests in 2020, we committed to start holding regular learning groups (mostly monthly) for our team to discuss race equity issues, increase our collective understanding and better inform our work.

Each staff member takes it in turns to research an issue, send some materials in advance to the rest of the team and then host a session for the group to discuss.

Questions asked include what was learnt, what wasn't understood and how any learnings could be applied to SOS-UK.

Facilitators try to use a variety of resources (e.g. articles, videos, audio clips) to cater to different learning styles.

The topics covered so far are below (use the search function in your browser to jump to the section you want).

  • Activism
  • Colourism
  • Decolonising education
  • Defunding the police
  • Environmentalism
  • Food and farming
  • Overpopulation
  • Philanthropy
  • Reparations for slavery

The resources shared in this section have only been used to prompt discussion and do not necessarily reflect the views of SOS-UK.


This covers activism and voluntary organisations within the UK, and does not cover the risks associated with protesting in other countries or the importance of climate justice.

Within the resource list here, the key resources are in bold and there are summary sections and key facts included.



  1. Colorism vs. Racism: What’s the Difference? - https://colorismhealing.com/colorism-and-racism/   
  1. Colourism – how shade bias perpetuates prejudice against people with dark skin - https://theconversation.com/colourism-how-shade-bias-perpetuates-prejudice-against-people-with-dark-skin-97149   
  1. Black Lives Matter Gets Indians Talking About Skin Lightening And Colorism - https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2020/07/09/860912124/black-lives-matter-gets-indians-talking-about-skin-lightening-and-colorism?t=1602145701220  
  1. The nastiness of the colourism debate - https://www.spiked-online.com/2019/03/18/the-nastiness-of-the-colourism-debate/  


  1. British film No Shade tackles colourism and dating (2mins) - https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/world-africa-44482102  
  1. Colourism through the eyes of a teen (2mins, half-way down the article) - https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-47468011   

Decolonising education


  1. https://pebblemag.com/magazine/doing/why-now-is-the-time-to-decolonise-and-decarbonise-our-education-system 

  2. https://www.vice.com/en/article/kbzn9w/carbon-colonialism-the-new-scramble-for-africa

  3. https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/opendemocracyuk/to-fix-climate-crisis-we-must-acknowledge-our-imperial-past/

  4. https://had-int.org/blog/decolonising-climate-justice/

  5. https://www.hepi.ac.uk/2020/07/23/new-report-calls-for-decolonisation-of-universities-in-order-address-the-silent-crisis-in-universities/ 


  1. Asad Rehman: The relationship between Imperialism, Racism and the Environmental crisis: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Cz4d7s6yUwc 

  2. Relevant tweets by Asad Rehman: https://twitter.com/chilledasad100/status/1337761437771558916?s=09


Defunding the police


  1. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/jun/05/defunding-the-police-us-what-does-it-mean

  2. https://novaramedia.com/2020/06/13/would-defund-the-police-work-in-the-uk/


  1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ebWFnGWOaA



  1. Environmentalism’s racist history: https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/environmentalisms-racist-history

  2. A movement led by and for middle-class white people: https://www.independent.co.uk/environment/earth-day-2020-climate-change-trump-environment-activists-a9477326.html

  3. Intersectional Environmentalism: https://www.vogue.com/article/why-every-environmentalist-should-be-anti-racist)
    (video version, especially from 2:30 mins in) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Di-JmGwjoOs

  4. On XR and race: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/oct/04/extinction-rebellion-race-climate-crisis-inequality

  5. On XR and race (2): https://gal-dem.com/extinction-rebellion-risk-trampling-climate-justice-movement/

Food and farming

Stats to consider:

  • Industrial agriculture contributes to 23% of total greenhouse gas emissions. Methane from animal agriculture has an effect on global warming 28 times higher than Carbon Dioxide.
  • Agriculture causes issues of desertification, deforestation and soil degradation: 75% of the Amazon deforestation is associated with livestock production; 60% of deforestation of the Indonesian rainforest is traced back to palm oil production.
  • In developing countries, the agriculture sectors (crops and livestock, fisheries and aquaculture and forestry) absorb 26% of the total damage and losses from climate-related disasters. These impacts aggravate food insecurity and intensify migration around the world.
  • It is estimated that Black and ethnic minorities in the UK are 1.5 times at risk of food insecurity as White-British.
  • Historically, biopiracy* has been linked to colonialism, with formerly colonised countries having many of their resources forcibly removed. Pepper, sugar, coffee, or quinine did, and still do, have significant impact on the world economies. All of them have a colonial past

*Biopiracy is the unethical or unlawful appropriation or commercial exploitation of biological materials (such as medicinal plant extracts) that are native to a particular country or territory without providing fair financial compensation to the people or government of that country or territory.


  1. YouTube Video: Soul Fire Farm (~11 mins) - How This Activist Farmer Fights Racism Through Food | TODAY Original
  2. Podcast (~17 mins from 2.20 min – 19.30 min): 52: Oxford Real Farming Conference, social justice & land, new forms of land ownership by Farmerama Radio
  3. Article (~5 minutes): Shining a Light on Racial Inequality and Food Insecurity — Bankuet ®
  4. YouTube Video (~5 mins): Vandana Shiva – No Patents on Seeds!
  5. Article (~5 mins): Dark Emu's infinite potential: 'Our kids have grown up in a fog about the history of the land'

For further reading and research, see page 2 and onwards of the full guide here.


Stats to consider:

  • World's richest 1% cause double CO2 emissions of poorest 50% (Oxfam, 2020)
  • The world’s 2,153 billionaires have more wealth than the 4.6 billion people who make up 60 percent of the planet’s population (Oxfam, 2020)
  • The 22 richest men in the world have more wealth than all the women in Africa (Oxfam 2020)
  • 70% of all flights by UK residents are taken by just 15% of the population (Possible, 2019)


  1. Podcast (30 minutes) https://open.spotify.com/episode/1rDfkhM863jMg7Bo7klZX4

  2. Twitter thread https://twitter.com/GeorgeMonbiot/status/1258365319233638401

  3. YouTube video on Myth origins (2 minutes) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZVOU5bfHrM

  4. Article 1: Short intro to this topic - How racist myths built the population growth bogey man  https://www.globaljustice.org.uk/blog/2019/mar/9/how-racist-myths-built-population-growth-bogey-man

  5. Article 2: 5 myths about Population Control in India busted https://feminisminindia.com/2020/09/07/5-myths-about-population-control-india-busted/

  6. Article 3: Population panic lets rich people off the hook for the climate crisis they are fuelling  https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/aug/26/panic-overpopulation-climate-crisis-consumption-environment

  7. Article 4: (long read): https://www.lrb.co.uk/the-paper/v42/n05/meehan-crist/is-it-ok-to-have-a-child


  1. ARTICLE (long): ‘How Philanthropy benefits the super-rich’: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2020/sep/08/how-philanthropy-benefits-the-super-rich (long read)

  2. ARTICLE (short): The Racial Funding Gap Can’t Continue in the Pandemic: https://www.philanthropy.com/article/Philanthropy-s-Racial/248862

  3. YOUTUBE CONVERSATION: Philanthropy and White Supremacy: A Conversation with Pamela Shifman & Vanessa Daniel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C2x6r5AulgI&feature=youtu.be (start 3mins45secs in).

  4. PODCAST: Rose Longhurst on participatory grant-making and the future of philanthropy: https://anchor.fm/derek-bardowell/episodes/Rose-Longhurst-on-participatory-grant-making-and-the-future-of-philanthropy-eaqn4m

  5. PODCAST: Fozia Irfan on Decolonising Philanthropy: https://anchor.fm/derek-bardowell/episodes/Fozia-Irfan-on-Decolonising-Philanthropy-e9488n

Reparations for slavery


  1. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/jul/09/british-slavery-reparations-economy-compensation

  2. https://www.taxjustice.net/2020/06/09/slavery-compensation-uk-questions/


  1. https://www.msnbc.com/ali-velshi/watch/nikole-hannah-jones-reparations-to-black-americans-repay-centuries-of-economic-exploitation-87935045885


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