Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

East London Dance

We are committed to social justice, and to tackling injustice and inequality. Racial justice is a critical element in this, in the UK and across the world, and we are committed to addressing structural and systemic racism in the UK both as an organisation and through the work we support.

Why diversity, equity and inclusion

We believe that understanding and making progress towards diversity, equity, and inclusion will be critical for delivering our mission. To do this, we have worked with the whole team to explore and agree our shared organisational values, and developed an action plan – involving both Trustees and staff. To ensure we keep making progress, we regularly review our action plan, committing to further actions and sharing them alongside our actions so far.

We want our progress towards diversity, equity and inclusion to be measured by our actions, and are keen to encourage feedback, challenge, and new ideas from everyone we work alongside.

What we mean by diversity, equity, and inclusion


Welcoming and reflecting all our varied identities, most importantly protected characteristics, but also different experiences, perspectives, and thinking and communication styles. Supporting a diverse group of organisations and partners, which are representative of the issues we seek to address.


Strives for fair opportunities and outcomes for the people we work with, and endeavouring to understand and respond to their contexts, cultures, and characteristics. We recognise that a diversity of views leads to better decision making.


Respecting and celebrating differences and doing what we can to make everyone feel safe. Building a culture of belonging by actively inviting the contribution and participation of everyone we work with and striving to create balance in the face of power and differences.


As an organisation, we believe that a greater diversity of views, skills, and lived experience will help generate better ideas, and will lead to better decision making.

We commit to:

  • living up to our value of “equity” in our culture, systems and practices;
  • working in an inclusive way as a staff and Trustee team to ensure we make progress against our action plan; and
  • tracking, improving and sharing our progress.

Through our work, we have funded some significant organisations seeking to tackle injustice, including racial injustice, for many years. But we know that we need to do much more.

We commit to:

  • striving for fair opportunities and outcomes for the people we work with;
  • making an effort to understand and respond to people’s context, culture, and characteristics;
  • funding more organisations led by and for communities experiencing racial inequity*;
  • giving more long-term funding and support to organisations already in our portfolio that are working to advance racial justice;
  • working with partners to identify, fund, and nurture smaller organisations led by and for communities experiencing racial inequity that are working towards our impact goals; and
  • using our power as a funder to influence recruitment and governance practice to be more inclusive in sectors (e.g. environment) where the majority of organisations are not ethnically diverse.

*We are using the term 'communities experiencing racial inequity' to describe people that experience inequity as a result of their race or ethnic group (often termed 'BAME'). Learn more about our language and how we classify our data on organisations.

Tracking and sharing our progress

Our action plan is based on the recommendations of the 2019 Association of Charitable Foundation’s report Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: The Pillars of Stronger Foundation Practice. The report identifies nine ‘Pillars’ of good practice on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) and we are sharing our planned actions and progress against these pillars.

See an update of our actions so far.

Get in touch

We want to hear from you and welcome feedback on our plans and work on DEI. If you'd like to share your feedback or would like to ask us a question, do email us at communications@esmeefairbairn.org.uk.

Learn more


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