In Memory of George Floyd: Three Years On
In this blog to mark George Floyd’s Anniversary on 25th May, ALLFIE’s Disabled Black Lives Matter (DBLM) group highlights its ongoing dedication to challenging racial and intersectional inequality of Black Disabled people, and promoting social justice for ALL Disabled people within the education system.
ALLFIE’s Disabled Black Lives Matter (DBLM) Group maintains its dedication to challenging racial and intersectional inequality of Black Disabled people, in solidarity with Black Lives Matter movement, to promote the social justice of ALL Disabled people within the education system.
This has been a difficult period, with numerous challenges encountered recently. For instance:
- Our article highlights the ongoing efforts of ALLFIE to challenge the inhumane treatment of Disabled individuals in what are regarded as ‘care homes’, as reported in the Guardian. The campaign is a response to the appalling instances of abuse suffered by young people in privately-operated care facilities. Disturbing reports have revealed that Black women and girls placed in Doncaster homes have had their hair forcefully shaved shortly after arrival, often disregarding the wishes of their parents.
- At highlighted in Voice Online, Department for Education (DfE) reported that Black Caribbean pupils in Britain have the second highest percentage (5.4%) of pupils with an Education, Health, and Care Plan. Many Black parents of Disabled children further stated that despite having these legal plans, they still face challenges in obtaining the necessary support for their children.
- As seen in our response, the SEND Review acknowledges the system’s failure in supporting Disabled children, but it lacks a focus on rights and justice for all Disabled people. It reinforces social injustice and inequality, especially in education, and promotes oppressive discriminatory practices.
Where are we now?
Following the brutal, barbaric, murder and execution of George Floyd, ALLFIE launched a campaign in June 2020 in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, founded by 11 core members. This campaign focuses on challenging the intersectional inequalities, between race, disability and other oppressions, experienced by Black/Global Majority Disabled individuals.
Since 2020, DBLM has been unwavering in their efforts to drive an intersectional framework into ALLFIE’s work, which recognises intersectional injustices. A notable project involved interviewing renowned artist and film director Sir Steve McQueen, centred around his Small Axe BBC Drama TV series. This collection consists of five short dramas that authentically portray the lives and oppression experienced by Black British individuals from the 1960s – 1980s, with a specific emphasis on an episode that explores the theme of education. DBLM were also in conversation with Professor Patrick Vernon on his lived experience of his journey of becoming an activist as someone labelled as ‘educationally subnormal’ because of his speech impairment. DBLM has also had the privilege of expanding its international networks over the past two years. They were extended an invitation by VNDI.Brasil, a campaign group based in Brazil that advocates for the rights of Black Disabled individuals, during their visit to the UK. Additionally, ALLFIE has also been conducting a research project, funded by the Runnymede Trust, to help us to better understand the intersectional experiences of Disabled Black/Global Majority children in mainstream schools.
ALLFIE’s DBLM acknowledges the necessity of this continued fight to end ALL forms of injustices and inequalities. The murder of George Floyd has continued to bring forward the systemic injustices that are deeply embedded in all fabrics of society. It is imperative that we, as a collective, continue to confront and question these injustices in every aspect of our approach and practices.