Our Commitment to Change

Over the past month, the tragic death of George Floyd and the powerful Black Lives Matter protests have forced us to reevaluate our commitment to anti-racism at Banjo HQ. We know that we are not fulfilling our purpose if our brand does not wholly embody equality of representation, equality of opportunity and inclusivity for all. We cannot continue to be passively non racist. We must, and we will, become an inclusive, diverse organisation.

We work across a number of sectors: technology, education and entertainment, in which racial representation and diversity are severely lacking. We recognise that we can and should be doing more to actively change this. 

To affirm our commitment to combating racism, we have outlined eight actions to effect change across our company, industry and community. Internally, we are compiling policies that will hold us accountable to these actions so that diversity is built into the fabric of our company. I will report on our progress internally in monthly Diversity, Equality and Inclusion meetings and publicly via our website, twice a year. 

We recognise that our actions are not a comprehensive list or a solution to systemic racism. This is a work in progress, and we promise that our endeavors will extend beyond these eight commitments. In the meantime, if you have any feedback, questions or challenges for us, please contact me directly at kate@banjorobinson.com

Kate Boyle, Founder & CEO


Actions to Improve Diversity, Equality and Inclusion at Banjo Robinson

The eight actions we have detailed below focus specifically on racial injustice and supporting Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities. However, it is important to note that we seek to broaden the scope of our Diversity, Equality and Inclusion policies for all under-represented and marginalised groups, as we continue to learn and grow from this internal review.

We know that we have a lot to learn, but we are going to keep revisiting this policy and finding ways to implement the changes we wish to see at Banjo Robinson and in the wider world.

COMPANY

1. Review and improve our recruitment methods

Review our recruitment policy and endeavour to diversify our staff team so that BAME individuals are represented at the heart of the business. From this review we will develop a plan of action that sets out what the business will do to change its recruitment practice in the context of its commitment to being anti-racist.

Actions:

2. Enhance learning & development opportunities at Banjo Robinson

To include yearly external company-wide DE&I training; initiate an internal Banjo Robinson Book Club to ensure all members of the team read and educate themselves on topics of diversity, equality and inclusion; commit to at least one team meeting per month specifically dedicated to discussing new learnings / findings to enrich our understanding of anti-racism.

Actions:

3. Diversification of Banjo’s international cat pals

To build up the International Cats’ characters and backstories through a wide range of diverse authors. We will seek to eliminate cultural appropriation and focus the Banjo narrative on celebrating diverse cultures and promote narratives of positive BAME empowerment.

Actions:

4. Review social media representation

To ensure that we are representative of BAME children across all of our social platforms and website. Furthermore, ensure that we work with a diverse group of influencers from BAME communities.

Action:



INDUSTRY

5. Review writer representation

To ensure that guest written letters and other products are commissioned by a diverse range of authors.

Action:

6. Use our social platforms to celebrate the literary work of diverse children’s authors

To promote the literary work of BAME children’s authors through our main social posts, stories and blogs.

Action:


COMMUNITY


7. Partner with children’s charities that support BAME communities


Actions:

8. Mentorship Scheme

With Kate, Banjo Robinson founder, to help, advise and guide young BAME entrepreneurs.

Action:




*Source:
Sutcliffe, W., 2020. Children’s Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook 2020. London: Bloomsbury.