Global Majority Affinity Group — the story so far

Bea Udeh Headshot

Bea Udeh
Head of Diversity
Arts Marketing Association


What is the Global Majority Affinity Group about?
Affinity Groups are similar to Employee Resource Groups in some organisations – spaces which have been curated for people with similar experiences to come together for healing and for strategic aims.  In this instance, we want to engage with melanated Global Majority* AMA members and provide a safe space for them to come together so that collectively, they can be supported. 

It’s true that they are being supported within the organisations in which they are employed in. Yet, we know that historically, melanated Global Majority people have not been seen in society as people who can contribute, who should contribute, and who must be given new normal spaces – as affirmed by the outpouring of intentions following the sudden and tragic deaths of George Floyd in the US and Belly Mujinga in the UK. As they navigate all of the things that we offer our members, we want to ensure we raise their visibility within our organisation. 

Every Affinity Group has a story 
Every affinity group has a story.  The story of what brings them together beyond the time taken out of their working day to be in communion with a group of people who they identify with or subscribe to by way of interest or lived experience.  The particular story of this new Affinity Group has yet to be told, so we want to share with our members the journey of the work that we are doing.   
 
There were 3 salon events that took place in Bristol, Leeds and online in early October 2023.  This was where AMA members who self-identified as being melanated Global Majority were able to partake in some holistic healing practice and situate their knowledge of the historical context of race in arts & culture.  There was also an introduction to the AMA – its people, services, resources and intentions.  There was also a mission to find out what the AMA could be doing to support them as members, so that they can build up their membership muscles and be a stronger team member back in their organisations. 

Emerging themes from the Salons
The images below show some of the themes that began to emerge as we shared what we want to do with each other, and what we could do for each other.  These are some of the truths that exist for our melanated Global Majority members.  These are not things to feel defensive or guilty about. Rather, they are indicators of where we are in the arts, heritage and cultural sector as a microcosm of society, and as a baseline for AMA’s ongoing journey with our members.

A transcript of both Whiteboard images on this page is available in this document.


‘These are some of the truths that exist for our melanated Global Majority members.’


A transcript of both Whiteboard images on this page is available in this document.


Next steps? 
The next steps for the AMA will be to analyse these comments, these needs and observations to enable us to interrogate and support our business objectives.  Internally, we will continue the work to be a socially inclusive organisation and an antiracist organisation through learning, building and making the reasonable adjustments necessary to understand how we can better serve our melanated Global Majority members. 
 
We need your help and support 
Externally, we need your help and support.  Me and the AMA team cannot do this on our own.  We know that the best way to achieve this is collaboratively.  We are asking you to do some work.  But we are not asking you to do this work by yourself. We would like you to make space in your diary to read articles that we produce like this one, on our AMA Affinity Group journey, once your team member has returned from attending their first Affinity Group meeting. 

That is the nature of the work** that we would like you to do because we know that there are competing priorities and challenges in all of our organisations.  We know that there are people who would like to support their organisation’s Global Majority team members and you might already be doing the work daily or weekly with your Global minority team members to communicate and action this.  The AMA will also continue to provide some spaces and learning at our activities and online to do this work. 

Broadly speaking, at the AMA this work of: 

  1. advocating for us 
  1. carrying the burden of educating us  

… is not to be undertaken by the melanated Global Majority Affinity Group.   
 
Our work comes from Cath Hume, our CEO and is led by myself (Bea) as Head of Diversity with support from the AMA Board and the team.  The terms of reference for the Affinity Group are available on our website and we envisage that based on the Whiteboard responses we can support the group members in the quarterly one-hour meetings with things like: 

  • building confidence to contribute at board and senior levels 
  • addressing burnout with wellbeing strategies 
  • understanding and acknowledging the context of race in their sector organisation 

Share the invitation with your team


To share this Affinity Group invite with your Global Majority team member(s), please send them the following QR code:

QR code for the Melanated Global Majority Affinity Group Session on 14 February 2024.

Or direct them to the following link:

If your organisation has an AMA team membership but the team member you’d like to invite isn’t part of it. Your membership’s main contact can add them by logging into the website, or get in touch at: membership@a-m-a.co.uk and Molly & Lewis will be happy to help.


Glossary


*Global Majority is a collective term that refers to people who are Black, Asian, Brown, dual-heritage, indigenous to the global south, and or have been racialized as ‘ethnic minorities’. Globally, these groups currently represent approximately 80% of the world’s population. 
(Source: Rosemary Campbell-Stephens MBE, Leeds Beckett University)

**The ‘Work’ is historically defined from a melanated Global Majority perspective as the individual actions that are embedded and embodied to transcend/overcome oppressive behaviours. 

 

Similar Posts