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Spotlight on Race Equality Week 2024

Race Equality Week 2024 logo

5 February 2024

Primary Eyecare Services proudly announces its active participation in Race Equality Week 2024 which takes place from 5–11 February 2024.

This year the overarching theme is #ListenActChange and the objective is to raise awareness, dialogue and tangible improvement around race equality and multicultural equity.

A UK-wide initiative, Race Equality Week was launched by community interest company Race Equality Matters (REM) to turn words into meaningful action. It was set up in response to events of 2020, which have heightened the country’s collective consciousness of the racism, inequality and injustice experienced by ethnically diverse communities. Over 4,500 organisations engaged in Race Equality Week last year – including Primary Eyecare Services – and the campaign looks set to be even bigger and more impactful in 2024.

Making a difference

Building on the REW 2023 theme which sent a clear message that race equality is everyone’s business (#ItsEveryonesBusiness), the 2024 theme of #ListenActChange seeks to bring everyone together to focus on taking action to drive change.

The theme was selected by the Race Equality Matters community and it reflects ongoing findings and feedback:

• Some 64% said ethnically diverse employees are playing a key part in tackling race inequality in their organisation, and only 17% said allies were.

• Only 32% said their organisation focuses on action and not just words.

During the course of the week, we will be messaging employees daily, urging them to engage in candid conversations based on their own experiences. The campaign is running a different theme on each day, supported by a daily 5-Day Challenge information pack consisting of videos, quizzes and key statistics. These materials take just five minutes to read through and we are encouraging everyone in the organisation to download them. We will also be adding the Race Equality Week logo to our email signatures and Teams meetings backgrounds while the campaign is live.

On Day 5, we will once again be publicly pledging a Big Promise. As was the case with our REW 2023 campaign statement, we will be committing to certain, specific courses of action in the year to come.

This move also marks the submission of our application for Racial Equality Matters Trailblazer accreditation. This is an award scheme that will allow us to formally evidence our dedication to achieving race equality across the organisation. Additionally, we will be periodically evaluated to ensure we are not just maintaining, but progressing, our accreditation status in the form of demonstrable action and results. In time, we are hoping to advance from bronze through the silver, gold and platinum Trailblazer levels.

How you can help

To support this significant initiative, we are urging all our optometry practices to engage wholeheartedly by downloading the campaign participation pack available on our website. This pack comprises invaluable resources aimed at facilitating open and honest conversations surrounding race and diversity among both staff and patients. By encouraging these meaningful dialogues, we aim to create a space that not only values differences but actively celebrates them.

Every member of our team has a role to play in the fight for racial equality in the workplace – the sooner we act, the sooner that powerful, positive change can become a reality for all of us.

Why Race Equality Week Matters to Us

Race Equality Week holds immense significance for Primary Eyecare Services because – since our inception we have always recognised the importance of amplifying voices from diverse backgrounds and of empowering a culture characterised by listening, understanding, acceptance and celebration.

This is why we will be taking advantage of this important annual campaign to promote internal and external communication campaigns, themed activities, and ongoing dialogues. We will also be asking our workforce for feedback and reactions to the different daily themes of the campaign and if they will be now doing anything differently at as a result.

Our involvement extends beyond the official campaign week, with a range of initiatives for the rest of the year in the planning stages that are currently being co-ordinated by our Staff EDI (Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion) Working Group.

Join Us In Our Commitment

At Primary Eyecare Services, we firmly believe that embracing diverse perspectives fuels increased levels of innovations and success. By participating in this important initiative, our overarching goal is to spark meaningful conversations within our wider workforce, invite feedback for future activities and generally educate and inspire action during Race Equality Week. We are also hoping to inspire others to join in the collective effort to drive positive change in the pursuit of race equality.

Further Information

To find out more about Race Equality Week, click here