England and Wales Cricket Council (ECB)
In September, Pamela Brown was appointed the ECB’s first EDI director. To celebrate Black History Month, Pamela shares her thoughts, experiences and future ambitions for a game-wide commitment to make cricket an inclusive place for all.
“What got me to this point, working at the ECB, is lifelong learning from a range of roles, people I have met and a wide range of people. range of influences that have equipped me to help bring about positive change, to truly make cricket a game for all people.
“The ECB, like many other organizations, will be challenged in its commitment to be fair, diverse and inclusive. While we still have a long way to go, in my short time here I have encountered a deep commitment to making the necessary changes and a desire to challenge the status quo. It is this collective commitment and dynamism that will help shape the future narrative of the game.
“As Black History Month begins, with different meanings for different people within the black and biracial community, pride is expressed in different ways. For many, Black History Month is a way to reflect on the diverse histories of people of African and Caribbean descent, taking note of the achievements and contributions to the social, sporting, political, scientific, economic and cultural development of the country. UK.
“Its importance cannot be underestimated as history shapes our lives and influences our perspectives. However, Black History Month is not without its opponents. Some argue that it is impossible to teach black history in a month, and that it is symbolic – there should be a big push for integration into the mainstream education system. As such, it is encouraging to see Wales leading the way as the UK’s first nation to engage every child in learning the history and experiences of people of Black, Asian and ethnically diverse descent. We need to make sure that this is an ongoing process where we are faced with information and education that challenges our view of the world. At the ECB, we will continue this education both internally and externally and spotlight EDI in everything we do – not just in this celebratory month.
“A colleague once likened this need for education and change to a garden hose. Imagine watering the garden (if you’re lucky enough to have one) and the water doesn’t come out – you go hunting with purpose and intention. You find a big “crease”, you straighten it, but the water is still not clear. This is when you realize that there are a lot of kinks in the garden hose and until we recognize them and fix them all, the water will not be clear.
“One of my heroes – whom I was fortunate to meet as an undergraduate student – was James Baldwin. He was born in 1924 in Harlem and was an openly gay black author and activist. That said, he would likely disapprove of the description as he despised arbitrary labels. His political writing and activism earned him another label – that of radical. But for me, I just want to applaud the man whose jewels of wisdom remain with me and for the intellect that still challenges my thinking.
“A television interviewer once asked Baldwin to describe the challenges he faced early in his career as a ‘black and impoverished homosexual’, to which Baldwin laughed and responded in a satirical manner. : “I thought I would have hit the jackpot.”
“We are never one thing, we have a multitude of facets that all need to be embraced and celebrated. I look forward to working together to make cricket a game that is relevant and where people from all walks of life feel both welcome and a sense of belonging.
Over the next few months, the ECB will celebrate all members of our cricket community by sharing the positive work being done across all levels of the game. Throughout Black History Month, on ECB social media and From England Cricket (see below) we will be sharing stories of our Black and Biiracial Cricket family members and what they are ‘proud to be’ – we would love to hear yours.