SMK’s statement of solidarity and equity, diversity and inclusion

Power sharing

SMK is here for people trying to make lasting social change.  

We work with and celebrate change-makers from across civil society, from those campaigning from their front rooms to those in the offices of global organisations.

We connect the campaign community to grow solidarity, share ideas, and find common cause. 

Many of the change-makers we work with are trying to shift interconnected systems of inequality such as racism, sexism, classism and ablism that exist in our society. Some of them have direct, first-hand experience of the systems they’re trying to shift.

At SMK, we recognise that these systems are replicated in the organisations, like ours, that are working to change them. The social sector does not always reflect the communities it exists to serve or offer equitable opportunities within it. Certain kinds of knowledge, typically those gained through professional or academic experience, are valued over others. This must change, and we at SMK are committed to being part of that change.

About our Solidarity and EDI Strategy

Achieving our commitments to Solidarity and EDI are urgent and central to SMK’s vision and mission.

Systems of power and inequity are complex – structural, cultural, personal and intersectional – so our strategy is wide-ranging.

It includes a commitment to growing our own awareness and skills, and shaping our organisation’s culture, practice and governance. And it encompasses the work we do to support those who are working to change these systems in society. It includes our approach to developing partnerships, reaching communities, and our own campaigning and advocacy.

Our commitment to solidarity

This comes from our belief that, when people make change together, it makes for better decisions, stronger communities and more powerful social change.  

We believe opportunities for solidarity exist both within groups with shared experience, and between those with different identities, experiences and aspirations. But solidarity between different groups is hollow if it does not pay attention to power. 

Understanding our own power, and using it more consciously, is key to creating a more diverse, equitable and inclusive organisation, and more diverse, equitable and inclusive partnerships and campaigns for social change.  

Our approach to Solidarity and EDI

Our strategic approach includes how we think about our commitment to solidarity and EDI itself, as well as our people, culture and internal processes, the support we offer change-makers, and the way we use our own voice, position and convening power.

Each area includes clear priorities, objectives, and actionable steps to help us stay on track and accountable.

Our commitment

Our commitment to solidarity and EDI requires strong leadership but is everyone’s responsibility at SMK. We are pro-active about learning from others, interrogating our own assumptions, and being held to account. We expect this statement, and our Solidarity and EDI Strategy, to evolve as we do.  

Our people and culture

We work to create clear, accessible pathways to working at and with SMK. We take steps to ensure our culture and working practices support the wellbeing and professional development of all staff equitably and engender a sense of belonging and challenge. We regularly ask our staff, Board and partners how we’re doing, and adapt our approach.  

Our support for change-makers

We take action to grow our reach so we can help the widest possible communities of change-makers. We ask for feedback, and update and adapt both the content and processes of our support, so it is accessible and relevant for diverse groups.    

Our voice and convening

We build our networks, strengthen our position, and use our influence to advocate for deeper solidarity in change-making. We listen to change-makers and gather as many perspectives as possible, to understand changes to the campaigning space. And we collaborate with diverse people and organisations to strengthen our own campaigning efforts.  

Principles of Solidarity and EDI  

Definitions of terms such as diversity, equity, inclusion and solidarity are contested. These are the principles underlying our approach:  

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Diversity includes various elements of human difference and experience including, but not limited to, gender, race and ethnicity, faith, sexual orientation, disability and class. These, and the different forms of discrimination based on them, combine and intersect in complex and cumulative ways.  

SMK strives to recognise, take account of, and value people’s different identities, backgrounds, knowledge and experience within our organisation and in our wider work for social change. 

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Equity is the promotion of justice and fairness, recognising that people do not all start from the same place. Tackling inequity requires an understanding of the underlying or root causes of disparities within our society, in terms of both opportunity and outcomes.  

SMK takes an equity-based approach to ensure our culture, processes and distribution of resources promote fairness and justice, and use our position to challenge inequity in the institutions, systems and social norms of our sector and society.  

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Inclusion is the degree to which diverse individuals can participate fully and equitably in all aspects of activity. Inclusion requires a commitment to meeting the needs of different people and to creating environments where everyone feels valued, respected and able to realise their potential.  

SMK is committed to creating an inclusive organisation and to promoting and championing more inclusive approaches to social change. This means putting the putting the needs and aspirations of communities most disadvantaged by inequity at the centre of our planning.   

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Solidarity is a commitment to standing together and showing support for each other in the face of inequity, discrimination and exclusion, and working together to tackle it. Solidarity can exist between different groups with different identities, backgrounds and experience. But it requires paying attention to the imbalances of power that exist between these groups and acting with intention to transform them. 

SMK is committed to interrogating our own power and the assumptions we make based on our position, building connection and solidarity across diverse change-maker communities and creating deeper solidarity in our campaigns and social change strategies. 

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