This week our Social Impact Briefing covers the latest Pride marches, the uncertainty surrounding British recycling and the Stop Hate for Profit campaign.
| Pride marches call for an end to racism
Last weekend, thousands marched across the world in honour of #BlackLivesMatter and Pride 2020. In London, activists led a Black Trans Lives Matter protest to draw attention to the disproportionate rates that Black transgender women are murdered and incarcerated.
Activist Ren Mars says that the protests were also intended to stress that this is not just an issue that solely affects the United States, but is prevalent across the UK too.
“We shouldn’t delude ourselves into thinking this doesn’t happen in the UK – we know for a fact that it does. For instance Naomi Hersi is the most recent that I have heard of that was a major news story because she was killed near Heathrow airport.” — Ren Mars
Black Trans women face multiple disadvantages and their struggle has historically been sidelined both in the women’s movement and in the LGBTQI+ movement. Therefore, this shift to a focus on Black Trans lives demonstrates a commitment to an intersectional approach to both movements.
In Taiwan, an LGBT Pride parade “for the world” was hosted. In light of the restrictions that the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has placed on Pride organisers, this was one of the few pride parades that were not marked by social distancing or mask-wearing measures. The island normally holds its pride parades in October, but brought the festivities forward to pay homage to the 50th anniversary of the first pride marches in the US.
Here is a helpful and detailed list of ways to support transgender people across the UK.
| Is all our recycling going to waste?
Last week a BBC investigation found that instead of being recycled, some British plastic waste is being dumped or burned on the roads of Turkey, who is depositing 30kg of plastic for every km of coastline every day. At a time when we’re all being encouraged to drink from single-use cups outside pubs and buy single-use face masks, this matters.
Turkey takes more of the UK’s plastic waste than any other country – 160,000 tonnes to be precise, which makes up over half of all the plastic bought by Turkey each year.
In response to the investigation, a spokesperson from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said:
“We have pledged to ban the export of polluting plastic waste to non-OECD countries and to introduce tougher controls on waste exports, including mandatory electronic waste tracking which will make it harder for criminals to obtain and export waste illegally.”
Unfortunately, this policy only applied to 38% of exports in the first nine months of 2019 and doesn’t cover Turkey, which is an OECD member. The UK is dumping their plastic problem on a nation struggling themselves. This has to end.
| Advertisers begin Facebook boycott
Facebook is under mounting pressure to readdress the way it defines and manages violent speech, hateful speech, and misinformation. An advertising boycott organised by the Stop Hate For Profit campaign has so far gained the support of 184 US companies including Starbucks, Unilever and Patagonia. The campaign, which is also made up of civil rights groups such as the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), is now looking to raise global pressure on Facebook, with calls for European companies to join the boycott.
Annually, Facebook generates $70 billion in advertising sales, with around a quarter of this coming from large corporations. In addition to this revenue, worsening public perceptions of Facebook’s handling of the issue led to an 8.3% decline in the company’s stock price last Friday. Later that day, Facebook announced a ban on adverts encouraging racial division and a new labelling process for when a post violates the site policies but remains due to a public interest value.
“We’re expanding our ads policy to prohibit claims that people from a specific race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, caste, sexual orientation, gender identity or immigration status are a threat to the physical safety, health or survival of others.” Mark Zuckerberg on announcing the new measures.
However, these measures fell short of the demands outlined by the boycott campaign:
“If they think they are done based on Friday, they are sorely mistaken. We don’t need a one-off policy here and there. We need comprehensive policy.” Jessica Gonzalez, CEO, Free Press.
| Spotlight on…
The Great Adaptation
Last month, we launched the #GreatAdaptation, a series of fireside discussions with social impact leaders, NGOs, institutions, and humanitarian organisations on some of the most pressing issues facing the sector and how we can build resilience for the future.
This week, we’re exploring the impact of Covid-19 on women’s healthcare in the UK in our next fireside discussion “What does the pandemic mean for women’s healthcare in the UK?” Our panellists include Dr Vanessa Apea, a Consultant in Sexual Health and HIV Medicine at Barts Health NHS Trust, Manjit K. Gill, CEO and founder of Binti International and Dame Lesley Regan is a Clinical Professor at Imperial in the Department of Metabolism, Digestion and Reproduction.
Join us at 4pm, this Thursday, 2 July 2020. Register your interest and submit questions to our speakers here.
75th Anniversary of the signing of the UN Charter
26th of June is known as ‘UN Charter Day’ and this year marked the 75th anniversary since the UN Charter was first signed. The UN Charter is essentially the constitution of the United Nations, setting out the rights and obligations of Member States as well as its main purposes. To mark the anniversary, the UN is holding the biggest-ever global conversation. Known as UN75, the UN is calling on youth and groups not already engaged with the organisation to help contribute to its mission. More information on how to get involved here.