HTA staff mark the anniversary of George Floyd’s murder
We asked staff to take part in 9 minutes and 29 seconds of silent reflection in the office and virtually. We also encouraged colleagues to write a thought/action and hold it up for a photo with a ‘Because of George..’ message. We thought it was important to use this day of reflection to send out positive messages on how we’ve been inspired to action change or a look to the future on eliminating racism.
Here is a short personal note from HTA Partner, John Nsiah
Unbelievably it’s a year already since the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis Police and so much has happened since then, it is important to take a minute, to pause and reflect on the impact the event has had.
I’m in Ghana at the moment and happened to visit Achimota school, my alma mater and (in my view) probably the best co-educational boarding school in the world. Aside from bringing back some fantastic memories of my student days, I was reminded of the School Motto which is expressed by the school crest which you will find emblazoned everywhere in the school.
The motto ‘Ut Omnes Unum Sint’ which means “That all may be one” was at the heart of the education we received as students here. It encompasses the Founders’ expressed philosophy and deep belief that all through our lives in the school and beyond we were to recognise that black and white, man and woman, everyone, should integrate and combine synergistically for the good of all.
The Crest’s stylised piano key design symbolises that whilst you could play a tune of sorts with the black keys and similarly with the white keys only, you need both black and white keys for perfect harmony.
A few reflections:
1. The school was founded back in 1924 and to think that even back then, the Founders (including the then Governor of the British Colonial Gold Coast as Ghana was known) thought it necessary to instil a principle of integration. Incredibly, nearly a hundred years on and we are still talking about race and pleading for equity and harmony.
2. My mates and I were naïve in believing that all the world believed and shared in our school motto. We had no inkling there was a world out there where you would be considered a lesser human being because of the colour of your skin.
3. Coming back to Ghana and seeing how the people here live, and the regard they have for other races, has convinced me of my long held view that the problem we have is not a Black-made problem and therefore not one for us to solve or to come up with solutions for.
4. The above is the reason why the support and allyship of white people is of utmost importance if we are to deal with this age-old cancer.
5. BLACC@HTA is very grateful for the support of all of HTA’s staff and hope the 9 minutes and 29 seconds we have set aside will enable us to all to pause and reflect on how we each can impact on the above in our own little way.