• Thursday, July 18, 2024

Business

Trust changes board to serve diverse communities

The Tudor Trust, with a £288 million endowment, has been led by a family-dominated board for decades

The Tudor trust, which allocates approximately £20m annually through charitable grants, wants to prioritise © Cate Gillon/Getty Images social justice and anti-racism efforts

By: Eastern Eye

ONE of the largest charitable trusts in Britain has dismissed its entire board as part of an effort to enhance diversity and prioritise “social justice and anti-racism” in its mission, the Telegraph reported.

The Tudor Trust, with a £288 million endowment, has been led by a family-dominated board for decades. It was established in 1955 with the support of Sir Godfrey Mitchell, the founder of George Wimpey construction company.

Interim chair Raji Hunjan has led what she described as a “wholesale change” to transition towards a more diverse and representative governance structure after an internal “anti-racist review” initiated by the trust in order to better understand the historical context of racism.

The trust, which allocates approximately £20m annually through charitable grants, aims to complete the restructuring by August 2024. According to the report, Hunjan was appointed in June to oversee the transition. She envisions a board that mirrors the demographics and lived experiences of the communities the trust serves.

New trustees and a permanent chair will be appointed to replace the existing familyled board as part of the restructure.

To facilitate this, the trust has enlisted the services of Cadence Partners, a diversity and inclusion consultancy known for its expertise in inclusive recruitment.

Its clientele includes the Trussell Trust and the RSPCA and the organisation emphasises building talent pipelines for various minority groups.

External experts, including the co-founder of the Power & Integrity project, have been consulted in the search for the new board. The trust’s commitment to racial justice was underscored in its November 2020 ‘Racial Justice Statement,’ responding to the disproportionate impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on minority communities and the Black Lives Matter protests.

As part of its funding initiatives, the Tudor Trust supports various charitable organisations, including a self-help charity in Glasgow led by and for racialised women and a community interest company in Leeds employing a gendered approach to establishing and supporting user-led support groups.

The restructuring process has not been without challenges.

Christopher Graves, who served as executive director for 38 years, has left and grant applications have been the temporarily suspended to focus on internal racial justice initiatives. In March 2022, Shilpa Shah stepped down as a trustee to become an independent facilitator in the “reimagining” process of the firm. Working with the head of finance, Aabida Mohmed, she leads the Tudor Trust’s “Racial Justice Organising Group,” focusing on improving the well-being of colleagues who have experienced racialisation.

A spokesperson for the Tudor Trust emphasised the evolution involves a review of giving priorities to better reflect the needs of those seeking its grants.

“As part of that planned evolution, the trustees resolved to refresh the board with the objective of making it more representative of the demographics and lived experiences of the communities we serve. We’re immensely grateful to all our trustees who helped us reach this stage in our journey and wish all those who decided to take this opportunity to pass on the baton all the best for the future,” the spokespers ”  was quoted as saying.

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