As COVID-19 plunges the world into its most serious economic crisis for a century, a surge in demand for justice is inevitable. The impact on justice systems will be enormous. Already battered by the pandemic and by the strains of designing and regulating lockdowns, they should expect millions more people to need help with evictions and job losses, with debt and bankruptcy, and with disputes within families, with neighbours, and with businesses and those who are supposed to provide them with public services. Today, I join an amazing group of 42 thought leaders from the justice sector in publishing Justice for All and the Economic Crisis.
Founder of the Collective Psychology Project
Senior Fellow, NYU Center on International Cooperation
Leading in difficult times is unbelievably hard, but we will all be better at it if we share what we’re learning and invite others to challenge our thinking and contribute their own. In that spirit, here are the four things that I think are emerging as lessons about effective activism in a time of coronavirus.
The murder of George Floyd and the resurfacing of the Black Lives Matter movement has led to heightened discussions on race in the international development sector. Aid practitioners in the North have not only condemned the systemic racism that they (suddenly) now see to be endemic in the sector, but have also vowed to ‘change’ or even ‘end’ aid altogether. COVID-19 has further spurred analysis of how the sector may now change – or not – post pandemic. But decisions about how aid should be ‘done’ in developing countries should be taken by those at the receiving end.
This article is part of our Freedom and Justice Week series – as Global Dashboard provides a platform for a diversity of voices to explore how we respond to the wave of protests that followed the murder of George Floyd. Read all the articles in the series here....
Last month, we launch the #LongCrisisScenarios in partnership with the Local Trust. The four scenarios describe COVID-19 futures where the response is polarised or where collective action predominates, and where decision-making is centralised or distributed. For the...
Following our Local Week on Global Dashboard, we have collated all the articles into one easy to read flipbook
As COVID-19 plunges the world into its most serious economic crisis for a century, a surge in demand for justice is inevitable. Businesses face bankruptcy – and whole industries may be insolvent. Similar pain is being felt in the public and non-profit sectors....
Created in partnership with: COVID-19 marks a turning point in the 21st century. Levels of uncertainty are off the chart, making predictions impossible. But if we can create plausible stories about different futures, we create a...
Back in 2010, a report entitled Confronting the Long Crisis of Globalization, which we co-wrote with Bruce Jones, was published by the Brookings Institution. Today, we release a new report exploring the link between the Long Crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic. Read the...
Last month, we released a call to action by members of the Justice Leadership Group – a call for justice leaders to step up, work collaboratively, and put people-centred justice at the heart of their response to the COVID-19 crisis. Now, we’re pleased to announce that...
Racism is rooted in a combination of prejudice and power, and action to combat racism must address both. The development sector is plagued by problems on both dimensions, but the Black Lives Matter moment offers an opportunity to change course. So far, however, development organisations have focused more on prejudice rather than confronting inequalities of power. To do more, we should adapt models from elsewhere to our own challenge. So here’s my four-point blueprint for Black Lives Matter in the development sector.
The COVID-19 crisis is another timely reminder of the need for building resilience into our social, economic, and financial systems – locally, nationally, and globally. It has exposed the vulnerability of our societies, of our health systems, but also the susceptibility of supply chains and the gig economy. Financial systems have held up relatively well, thanks to stricter capital requirements introduced after the 2008 crisis and decisive intervention by central banks, but are now also starting to show cracks. Increasing resilience needs to be one of the main guiding principles to ensure we are better prepared to withstand future pandemics.
This piece is a call for intimacy and to centre all of our work in a “politics of trust, empathy, love and care.” We know those emotions to be real, human, and to matter. Accepting that charges us with this: reconceiving how we address inequity and inequality (which remain the core mission of the problematic global institutions that we both still….love) through trust, and care, and love. How can we weave these ideas into everything that international institutions do? How do we get all the staff, workers, and seemingly inanimate ‘programmes’ to let our messy, warm humanity be the focus of our work, rather than the technocratically convenient, and theoretically bloodless numerical success of ‘ending poverty’?
Read our collection of articles from Freedom and Justice Week in an easy to browse flipbook.
Over the course of Freedom and Justice Week, our authors have provided glimpses into how racism has penetrated their communities, their workplaces, their schools, and their countries. What these articles demonstrate is that, while country contexts may vary, humanity has a problem with racism and bigotry that knows no borders and that is pervasive, toxic, and dehumanising. For people asking “what can I do?” our authors did not disappoint. Across the board, they call for action – from institutions and individuals, and all points in between. This series offers a place to start and a challenge to be honest, ambitious, and practical.
The United States is confronted by the culmination of its long history of police brutality and exploitation of Black people. And the stark reality of privilege in this country was also made clear as Black people faced higher infection and mortality rates of COVID-19. It is clear that no matter what crisis Americans face, Black people will suffer trauma at a disproportionate rate. It is now time for privileged individuals to acknowledge the liberties and capital they have is tainted by the trauma of individuals they have never met.
Over the last few weeks, The Western Spring unmasked how little Black lives matter. In the US, while Black people make up only 13% of the US population, they are three times more likely to be killed by police and make up over a quarter of deaths by COVID-19. As young leaders, we recognise that in order to succeed in our work while living in a country that continues to reinforce systematic racism and white supremacy, we must continue to challenge the institutions upholding racial and ethnic inequalities.
We’re living in a painful time in America’s story. It sucks. That being said, we also have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to finish the chapter. To write history. To shape the future in a momentous way. To build a world where my now three-year-old son can walk the streets safely and confidently with your son. We can get there.
This moment is a fitting one to consolidate a body of work by activists, academics, and other civil society organisations into an international instrument capturing our shared commitment to finally eradicating police brutality everywhere. But are resolutions and debates are an adequate and constructive response to the global outcry? The time and resources of the African Union would be better spent consolidating work into a binding standard against which all states should be monitored and evaluated.
While Bermuda does not have the same racialised violence that has sparked widespread protest in the United States, even our idyllic island is not immune to the poison prejudice of racism. We have our own brand of racism – it just looks and feels different. It always has. But now is the moment to right the wrongs and the tides are changing.
Two NHS leaders from different generations, and different points of the institutional hierarchy, reflect on the impact of the Black Lives Matter resurgence within the NHS and offer three reflections for public service leaders.
As women of colour, we have seen racism manifest itself in our personal and professional lives. As products of international schools, we have also benefited from the tremendous privilege of being educated in world-class institutions and being exposed to many cultures, religions, and ethnicities from an early age. While there are many examples of the good work and progress that have been made by international schools to address racism, there are many others that continue to shelter an environment of racial inequity. The protests around the world provide a moment of reckoning and a teachable moment and we ask that the systems that govern international schools do better.