Why we’re no longer BAME in development…

Hey there,

Curious to see how many black and brown practitioners were working in the UK International development sector and how we could collaborate to make our sector more inclusive, we started the ‘BAME in Development’ Linkedin network in 2019. We were excited to see so many accomplished black and brown practitioners join our network, identified as BAME and who valued the space we were providing. As we grew, during the pandemic which revealed entrenched inequalities in our society and through the summer protests, it was also great to see allies join, to support and learn. The BAMEiD network became a safe space, preparing our members to be brave in their own organisations. So why the rebrand?

Through hosting our events, creating the Linkedin platform and our own learning around the anti-racism movement, we’ve been torn on one specific issue — the term BAME itself.

It’s long since been time to move past the term ‘BAME’ for many reasons. Here are a few that resonated with us, and our members:

  • Language is important. It can be loaded with power and privilege. It informs how we treat others and how we perceive ourselves.
  • The term pits non-white people into one category. By placing Black, Asian and other ethnic minority people together, creates a reductionist ‘us’ and ‘them’ rhetoric.
  • Racism is experienced differently by ethnic groups.It ignores the prejudice that can exist within and between groups i.e. religious prejudice or colourism.
  • It’s an homogenous term which can be used lazily, not only erasing both the unique struggles and histories but also the cultural richness of our identities.
  • BAME is particularly problematic in International development in its framing of race. We operate in a context where people of colour are in fact the global majority.

So allow us to re-introduce ourselves, we are REDI; your Racial Equity Diversity and Inclusion Collective. We are ready to support people of colour working in International Development, ready to rally our allies to action, and ready to work with organisations who are willing to address systemic issues within.

Collectively, let’s move beyond performative conversations; shift focus to changing and challenging the status quo. Let’s learn how to really make room for racial complexity and diversity within our sector, alongside other inclusivity efforts — a goal that we believe we all can get behind.

We want you to see yourself as represented and welcome within our community. That’s why we’re committed to championing sector-wide change for anti-racism with our new name REDI Collective.

Thanks for growing with us.



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