The Great Get Together, inspired by Jo Cox and an initiative of The Jo Cox Foundation, is a vehicle for people to take action in their communities and bring people together across divides. We know all too well the devastation that racism can cause. It has no place in our society, and our work is rooted in the belief that strong, compassionate, and well-connected communities can only exist where there is equality and inclusivity.
The Great Get Together stands strongly against racism and violence in all forms. At this time, we stand in solidarity with Black people in our communities across the UK and around the world. This is not because other forms of racism are any less serious, but because each form of racism has its own history and dynamic. We recognise that in order to create the harmonious and connected communities that Jo Cox aspired for, marginalised voices must be heard and the root causes of inequality acknowledged. The compassion and courage that many have displayed over the past few weeks give us all the encouragement that collectively we can create the change we want to see.
In recent months, we have been so proud of our organisers’ response to Covid-19, tackling loneliness and social isolation with so many inspiring and creative ideas. We are equally proud to see that many of you are now using your Great Get Together events to support Black Lives Matter, whether through virtual protest, an online workshop, or starting discussions with your neighbours.
We’d like to take the time to highlight and show our support for some of those Great Get Togethers you can take part of over the weekend:
June 19th at 11am: Interfaith Scotland will be hosting an online dialogue which focuses on tackling racism and standing in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. Click here to sign up.
On June 21st at 4pm: The Ella Baker School of Organising is hosting a community organisers workshop which will focus on anti-black racism from past to present day. The session is interactive and will have space for reflection. Sign up here if you’d like to take part.
The Great Get Together recognises that we can do more to embed an anti-racist approach within all areas of our work, with the positive and empowering spirit that characterises Jo’s legacy. We will be sharing more on what we, as an organisation, are doing to play our part in tackling the causes of inequality and how we are committed to dismantling them in the long term. Watch this space. In the wake of George Floyd’s murder, we on the Great Get Together team have looked closely at ourselves. We’ve seen the impact of the Black Lives Matter movement globally; we’ve listened; we’ve had tough conversations; we’ve amplified black voices; we’ve signed petitions; we’ve protested. One week out from the Great Get Together we write this because we know you, too, will be experiencing the movement in varying degrees.
Recognising always that we are not experts and we have much to learn, we want to amplify the voices of people with lived experience and who are working so hard right now to share valuable resources. For those of you who, like us, want to learn, please take a look at this list of resources we have found powerful and eye-opening these past few weeks.
In order to celebrate and create connected communities, we must show solidarity with oppressed groups in society and tackle injustice. We are defined by Jo Cox’s values and her belief that we have more in common than that which divides us, and that every identity belongs.
Catherine Anderson, CEO, and The Great Get Together Campaigns Team