However, as March progressed and the COVID-19 crisis worsened, understandably, many of our friends and partner organisations cancelled events.
The cancellation of many of these events will leave holes in communities, cost people their jobs and increase inequality. Our hearts go out to our friends at Continuum Camp, Dorset Equality Group, Trust for London, European Young Leaders and many more, as they have all been forced to cancel events. We know this may seem insignificant during these times, but each of those events are crucial in laying the foundations for building an equal society. The aftermath of the pandemic will affect those who have the least most. We are seeing more evidence of this everyday.
We’ve also co-signed a letter calling on the UK Government’s £250m research funding for a COVID-19 vaccine to be made fully accessible and ‘patent-free’.
COVID-19: an inequality issue
COVID-19 will affect all of us, in every country. Those whom it will most affect are those already at the sharp end of vast inequalities in our societies. Part of our mission is to bear witness to the effects of inequality and to ensure that a range of voices are heard, so we would like to hear from you.
This will strengthen the increasing call for a fairer society and we want to make sure that your concerns and experiences are included in our conversations and consultation responses. We, along with Kate Pickett, our co-founder and Chair, are part of the Government’s Knowledge Exchange Group. We want to know what your concerns, issues and priorities are during this pandemic:
Alongside the deepening of impacts of COVID-19 on every sector of the economy, up until recently, the charity sector had been forgotten. Working alongside hundreds of other charities through ACEVO and other membership bodies, we joined the #EveryDayCounts campaign, calling on the Government to provide emergency funding that will keep charities alive and enable them to continue to serve their communities.
We are pleased that the government has responded to the call and has committed to £750 million for frontline charities.
While this is a good first step, this will not be enough to prevent many charities from closing, many of whom, throughout the years of cuts, have been providing essential support.
Our next move is to pressure the Government to ensure that this funding is distributed more equitably. We have joined #CharitySoWhite calling on grant decision-makers to put these considerations at the heart of mechanisms developed to distribute funding.
You can take action from home to support the charity sector in a number of ways:
Please continue to support the charity sector (not just us) where you can. The Government package will not apply to the majority of charities and will not be enough to save every charity from going under.
Thank you to our funders
The Equality Trust is funded, in part, by you, our wonderful supporters. Many of you make monthly, annual and one-off donations. We would not be able to exert the pressure and influence we do, from local papers and councils, to national media and politicians and all the way to the United Nations!
We are also funded by several amazing charitable funders who, as the impact of COVID-19 became clear, immediately confirmed their continued financial support for our work. To those organisations we say a HUGE thank you for maintaining your commitment to funding our projects:
The Equal Pay Act turns 50 next month!
Our #EqualPay50 campaign was represented at both the TUC Women’s conference (with a stall and a fringe meeting) and at the Women of the World Festival in March, where we spoke to women from a range of backgrounds and sectors about their experiences of unequal pay and promoted our lifetime loss calculator.
Despite the current situation, we are stepping up our campaign for gender pay equality over the coming weeks, in the lead up to the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Equal Pay Act on 29th May.
We launched our 50/50 campaign, which will highlight the stories of 50 women to reflect the 50 years since the passage of the legislation in 1970. It’s not too late to share your story as part of this project, if you’d like to be involved please contact us here.
We are also planning a large scale online conference for the 29th May, featuring a range of exciting speakers who will share their insights on how we can get organised to win equal pay during this challenging period. Please register your attendance here and let us know if you’d be interested in contributing to the conference as a facilitator or speaker. Further details and a full agenda will be released shortly.
In the meantime, look out for our forthcoming report into the failings in the Government's gender pay gap reporting rules.
Exclusive: Tortoise Media
Tortoise is a brand new and very different kind of news organisation. It operates an open newsroom that listens to the world around it and is a slow news publisher that doesn’t compete on breaking news, but on helping people understand. It is a membership organisation and membership gives you access to journalism in a daily app but it also gives you a seat at the table, a place in their newsroom, via ThinkIns. These are open conversations that take place to help Tortoise journalists and members understand the drivers behind the news better. You see the fruits of these conversations in the journalism they produce.
ThinkIns last an hour and involve a conversation between members, experts and ordinary people. They hold them in their London newsroom and across the country every week and Wanda Wyporska took part in a ThinkIn at their offices last month. You can watch that Thinkin online here.
To make sure that the people who take part in their ThinkIns are from a diverse range of backgrounds and have had different experiences, Tortoise has a unique membership model by which it self-funds memberships (normally costing £100 a year) to share with organisations that will diversify their membership. They have given us 200 memberships for you to sign up and take part. Go to tortoisemedia.com/activate/network and use the code EQUALITYTRUST to sign up. You can read their latest piece: Unheard voices of COVID-19. Get in contact to suggest what the next big ThinkIn should be.
Living through COVID-19: the stories
Our Carlisle Equality Group, through their partnership with the University of Cumbria, has begun researching the impact of COVID-19 with an aim to impact recovery policies. They are particularly looking for stories of lived experiences.
Sign up to keep in touch with The Equality Trust — including a monthly round-up of inequality news, campaign emails and information about how you can support us, including occasional fundraising emails. We would appreciate you telling us where you are in the UK so we can tailor information about local group activity to your area.