"The politeness politics...brands those that speak up as trouble makers" campaign group says in response to Mayday Trust boss using N-word

Charity sector campaign group #CharitySoWhite has spoken out after it was revealed the former deputy chief executive of Mayday Trust used the N-word during a meeting about diversity.

Revealed by The Independent, Angharad Orchard was leading the session in April 2023 and used the slur while making a point about the acceptable use of language.

One of the presentation slides, seen by The Independent, said “instead of ‘queer’ - compare to the N-word, try LGBT+, LGBTQ+, in group term”, and Ms Orchard said the N-word in full and admitted to doing so, according to internal documents.

The incident prompted several colleagues to make formal complaints to the charity’s human resources department.

However she remained a safeguarding lead within the organisation for three months after, several staff members said.

"Even the most obviously hurtful and dehumanising of racist slurs are excused and defended

In response to the story, sector campaign group #CharitySoWhite posted a thread on X.

It said: "It is wild that in 2024 we are talking about why it is unacceptable for a leader in the charity sector to use the n word. Even the most obviously hurtful and dehumanising of racist slurs like this are excused and defended by charities.

"Time and time again, we see charity leaders go to extraordinary lengths to shift the goal-posts of “acceptable behaviour” and infantilise themselves to avoid anti-racist accountability.

"We know how hard it is for a POC to speak up when they’ve been victims of racist abuse at work. But often the politeness politics of charity sector brands those that speak up as trouble makers, and excuses perpetrators by claiming that they didn’t mean it or had good intentions.

"We won’t have true justice or accountability until charities fully acknowledge how deep racism cuts and recognise that the starting point should not be the impossible burden of proof demanded of those experiencing racism.

"Charities need to recommit to and actively root racism out of their organisations, because they have the power to make this change."

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