Equality, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI) at CAFC

Members of the CAST board were joined by Charlton’s fan advisor, Lucy Bishop, at an online meeting earlier this week hosted by Dr Michael Seeraj, Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at both Charlton Athletic Community Trust and CAFC.

Michael provided an introduction to this important area. He began by sharing some shocking examples of attacks and assaults on people simply for being who they are – a female couple, a traditionally-dressed Muslim and an elderly woman. He went on to explain each EDI concept in turn, highlighting the importance of fairness in ensuring equality, outlining the characteristics protected in law and providing other concrete illustrations of the impact of discrimination. The hour and a half-long introductory session flew by, with Michael explaining that further modules are available covering the areas of unconscious bias and language in more detail. CAST plan to engage with these soon – perhaps at an in-person session once we return to The Valley.

Charlton Athletic, from the heart of the football club to the diaspora of Addick fans, has taken the lead over many years in fighting discrimination. The anti-racism “Kick It Out” movement has its origins at our club, while CAFC, Charlton Invicta and Proud Valiants have all recently been recognised at the Football v Homophobia awards. But the club also acknowledges that there is much more to be done.

With the explicit backing of Thomas Sandgaard, Charlton Athletic is undertaking a wide-reaching consultation on EDI which will cover the playing and non-playing staff at the club and extend to the fanbase and the community. CAST will be actively involved in the research and are ready to support the future implementation of the strategy.

If you would like to know more or have any comments, please email secretary@castrust.org.


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