Civil Service Race Forum
The Civil Service Race Forum (CSRF) is the Cross-Government umbrella network of BAME Staff Networks, their leaders and members, which works to advance race equality across the Civil Service, Partner Organisations, Non-departmental Public Bodies and Arms-Lengths Bodies .
In April 2020, Sharon Lo and Justin Placide were elected as CSRF’s new Co-Chairs, and Grace Moronfolu as Deputy Chair. Together, this new leadership team has transformed CSRF into a truly inclusive, active and representative network in a few short months.
CSRF’s previous lack of communication and meetings led to a disconnect with members, who were unsure of CSRF’s purpose and activities. Upon their election, Sharon, Justin and Grace established clear systems and processes to build CSRF’s accountability, credibility and expand its capacity to undertake a wide-ranging programme of work.
In particular, they:
Established mailing lists to ensure membership was GDPR compliant;
Facilitated extensive outreach, over tripling the number of active member networks from 12 to 44;
Established a fortnightly newsletter to ensure a regular feedback loop with members;
Convened network leaders to test initial thinking of CSRF priorities and governance;
Established an Executive Committee (ExCo) responsible for delivering priority work streams across policy, capacity building of BAME networks, support for BAME staff, external outreach to build the pipeline of BAME external applicants, and events;
Amended the Terms of Reference to increase frequency of Network Leader and ExCo meetings, and establish a dispute resolution process
Established clear mechanisms to mobilise volunteer support
Convened the other cross-government race networks to discuss strategic collaboration
These actions have transformed CSRF into a fully operational, inclusive and representative network. Increasing transparency and accountability has built trust with member networks, in turn enabling them to quickly agree policy positions to take strong action in response to George Floyd’s death and the BAME/Covid-19 PHE report.
CSRF collaborated with the former Race Champion Sir Richard Heaton as part of the Civil Service's Windrush Day commemorations. Richard Heaton took part in the powerful video - featuring the poem “You called… and we came” by Paul Arnott - produced by CSRF in collaboration with other Race Networks across the Civil Service.