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
  • Assimilation/integration
  • Black History Month 2021
  • 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.


...and the model minority/good immigrant myth.


  1. You Clap for Me Now: the coronavirus poem on racism and immigration in Britain: https://youtu.be/gXGIt_Y57tc  
  2. Our obsession with 'good immigrants' breeds intolerance | Nikesh Shukla: https://youtu.be/tVnFszCrGEw  
  3. Assimilation Is Colonization | Nga Vương-Sandoval https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vw42AN0CbnY  


  1. Emma Raducanu victory sparks debate over multiculturalism in the UK
  2. We have to avoid 'integration' becoming another form of racism | Afua Hirsch
  3. The Bias of ‘Professionalism’ Standards (SSIR)
  4. Racism and the UK’s immigration system – Maya Goodfellow  
  5. The Casey Review: a review into opportunity and integration, was released in 2016 and was criticised for how much it focused on Muslims. Opinion pieces about it: first and second
  6. Promoting ‘fundamental British values’ in schools: a critical race perspective
  7. Being a good, quiet and assimilated 'model minority' is making me angry | Masako Fukui
  8. ‘Southgate’s team represents real England’: Three Lions unite country


  1. The Good Immigrant - Nikesh Shukla: http://www.nikesh-shukla.com/the-good-immigrant  
  2. Brit(ish): On Race, Identity and Belonging - Afua Hirsch: https://www.penguin.co.uk/books/111/1112508/brit-ish-/9781784705039.html

Black History Month 2021

1. Book - Black Teacher by Beryl Gilroy 

Beryl Answick (later Gilroy) moved to London 1951 to study psychology and later found it difficult to enter the teaching profession, being one of few teachers from the Caribbean in England in the 1950s. She found her first teaching job in Bethnal Green and later was appointed head of a primary school, becoming the first black women head in the country (there’s a mural planned for West Hampstead Primary School in future). This account, originally released in 1976, charts racial tension, changing education policy, widespread suspicion and her brilliant approach to teaching.

2. Music - 2 Sim by Duval Timothy

A track titled ‘2 Sim’, the title track from an EP by pianist Duval Timothy, released in 2018. The video’s directed by Duval Timothy and recorded in Sierra Leone. Alongside the instrumentation, voices reflect on migration and identity. One narrator talks about moving from Sierra Leone to the UK and starting primary school “I thought it was sand and blue sky...I got the shock of my life...cold as hell”. Another narrator talks about an intergenerational divide with his Nigerian parents, living in London and growing to understand his parents' experience. Sport is referenced as a shared culture and way to connect.

3. Birdwatching and community group - Flock Together 

Flock Together is a “monthly birdwatching support club combating under-representation of people of colour in nature”, created by Nadeem Perera and Ollie Olanipekun. As well as an interest in birds, the group aims to facilitate a healing process for people of ethnic minority backgrounds. It is a response to the fact that 98.1% of Black people in England and Wales live in urban areas and a belief “we are all of this thing called nature”.

4. Art - Black Experience, solo exhibition by Sunil Gupta (2021, Hales Gallery) 

Photographs originally commissioned in 1986 for Reflections of the Black Experience at Brixton Art Gallery. Gupta was born in India in 1953 and moved to London in 1977, and his work is dedicated to themes of race, migration and political commentary. The exhibition description in the link below describes the Black Arts Movement, Gupta’s involvement with the Greater London Council and the Association of Black Photographers (set up in 1988).



  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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