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Trauma informed approaches to workforce race listening sessions

Bakare Barley was commissioned to develop a programme of listening sessions in response to the Black Lives Matter movement in 2020. Following an Anti-racism statement and pledge from the CEO, the organisation became committed to the amplification of ethnically diverse voices within the workforce and Bakare Barley designed a series of listening sessions.

What we did

There was an exploration of what a ‘brave space’ environment consisted of, and the need for a platform for ethnically diverse staff to ensure conversations about racism were led by ethnically diverse staff.

This approach allowed for discussions about uncomfortable topics, tackled openly with others who share a lived experience of racial discrimination.

The sessions included explorations of:

  • Anti-racist solidarity and the need to educate others of the issues BAME staff and service users faced.

  • The impact of BLM and COVID19 on ethnically diverse staff during 2020

  • Whether race had been a factor in their experiences at work

  • What can be done to better to address racism in recruitment and selection, staff experiences and service user experiences.

  • The commitments that leadership should make to improving racial equality.

  • Terminology around race

  • The development of s staff forum to support staff

The outcome

A solutions framework was developed and shared with the organisation which covered key pillars for progress including accept, act, challenge, recruit and support, and associated actions.

The work led to the development of a five year EDI Strategy to outline the organisations approach and actions around challenging inequality and discrimination in the workforce.  

“It was space to be honest and open without fear of judgment. An opportunity to hear other experiences. Getting to meet other colleagues from BAME groups who I can contact and talk too” (Participant)

“Open and honest discussions and contributions in a relaxed environment” (Participant)


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