Complex UK, Lynx and SocialFIXT have partnered with some of the most powerful Black personalities in UK culture on a brand new show exploring racial microaggressions: The Race Card.
Whereas our series welcomes unfiltered discussions on the Black experience in Britain, more typically, The Race Card is a statement used against people of Black heritage when they look to address microaggressive and racial experiences.
For the most part, microaggressions – defined in the dictionary as "indirect, subtle, or unintentional discrimination against members of a marginalized group" — are borne from ignorance. In a society that tends to see millions of Black people as somehow being all the same — the same interests, the same personality, the same experience, with many of these being negative — microaggressions easily flourish. But these everyday acts of stereotyping, even if unintentional, have real consequences. They can take a mental and emotional toll, and frequently lead to people of Black heritage being locked out of opportunities in schools, the workplace, and other parts of society.
The issue with tackling microaggressions is that they are not always immediately obvious – sometimes they are so subtle they can be easily missed. The subtlety of many microaggressions makes them hard to explain and thus report which means they continue to go unchecked.
But it doesn't have to be this way. As microaggressions are often rooted in stereotyping — the belief that persons of Black heritage are all the same — we will only begin to see positive change when Blackness is understood in its full diversity and its vast range of experiences. Then we can start to build a world where skin colour, names, hair and heritage (etc) are not the sole things used to judge a person in school, work or society.
Without education, awareness, and the individual desire to make a better society, microaggressions will continue to be a societal issue unfairly affecting people of Black heritage in the UK.
The Race Card consists of three episodes, exploring racial microaggressions in 'School'; in 'Work'; and in 'Society'. There are a growing number of organisations working for positive change in these spaces. Below are some examples of such organisations, whose work we commend and believe in.
There are a number of ways to support them — from volunteering your time to giving donations (hey, even just a social follow makes a difference). To learn more, check out their websites.
Juvenis helps young people who are having difficulties at school, at home or in the community to turn around their lives and (re)engage with employment, education or training through bespoke support and training. www.juvenis.org.uk
The Black Curriculum is a social enterprise founded in 2019 by young people to address the lack of Black British history in the UK Curriculum. They look to facilitate change by delivering arts-focused Black history programmes, providing teacher training, and campaigning through mobilising young people. www.theblackcurriculum.com
Mentivity provides inspiration for young people, schools and parents through 1:1 mentoring and group conversation-based learning. Their aim is supporting young people, students and staff in schools, families and the wider community to enhance social cohesion, improve educational outcomes and raise aspirations across the board. www.mentivity.com
SocialFIXT is an online job-board and community connecting Black talent with opportunities in the marketing and creative industries, as well as partnering with companies to help improve their diversity and inclusion efforts at every level of the organisation. SocialFIXT acted as lead consultant to Complex and Lynx on The Race Card, and will be partnering with Lynx on the brand's diversity and inclusion work going forward. www.socialfixt.org
Creative Access is a social enterprise working with under-represented candidates across the whole creative industry. Creative Access is largely funded by employer partners who are committed to improving diversity and inclusion within their organisations, wholeheartedly. All profits go back into growing, training and supporting their community members. www.creativeaccess.org.uk
Inc Arts UK is a not-for-profit company, whose mission is to diversify the workforce of the creative and cultural sector. Their focus is on the 'teams behind the scenes': those who work in roles off-stage, supporting the creative talent, in the fields of music, dance, theatre, visual arts and heritage (museums and archives). www.incarts.uk
Stop Hate UK works alongside local strategic partnerships to tackle hate crime and discrimination, encourage reporting and support the individuals and communities it affects. Their helplines enable people to access independent support and information, 24 hours a day, every day of the year. www.stophateuk.org
Black Ticket Project is an award-winning bridge organisation fostering cultural access points for young Black people. www.patreon.com/blackticketproject
Kick It Out is English football's equality and inclusion organisation. Working throughout the football, educational and community sectors Kick It Out's aim is to challenge discrimination, encourage inclusive practices and campaign for positive change, for everyone who plays, watches or works in football. www.kickitout.org