We are changing our name to Scottish BPOC Writers Network. Full details are in the letter below.
New or updated documents
- Mission and Values Statement (a short overview of our Constitution)
- Safer Spaces Policy
- Access Statement
- About SBWN
- Contact us
Updating our website and contacts
Over the next three months, we will be updating our website, email address and social media to reflect our name change, aiming for our new programming to start by April 2022.
Our website will migrate and forward to the new domain name, retaining all prior content, including blog posts.
All emails to our current email address will be forwarded to our new address from March 2022.
Newsletter subscribers will remain on the mailing list.
There is still a lot happening behind the scenes, including with various partners. In the meantime, keep an eye out for our second Writers of Colour Audio Anthology, second Metaphors for a Black Future Zine, and a couple of events!
Letter to our communities
Dear Members, Partners and Allies,
We, the Operational Core Team who run SBWN, have unanimously agreed to change our name from Scottish BAME Writers Network to Scottish BPOC Writers Network.
BPOC stands for ‘Black people, People of Colour’ and is a self-identifying term. BPOC better reflects our members’ communities and upholds one of our core values of self-identification.
While we use the term BPOC, we acknowledge the limitations of this terminology. At the core of our network is the aim to address and overcome systemic barriers that our members face directly or indirectly based on their ethnic or national identities, race or perceived racial identities, or the colour of their skin as per the Equality Act of 2010. This includes people who identify as Black, brown, people of colour, Global Majority, mixed-race, multiple heritage and/or are from the Global South, and/or are East and South-East Asian, West Asian, Asian, Middle Eastern, African, African-Caribbean, Caribbean, Latinx, Pacific Islander, Indigenous, or First Nations, and diasporas.
Our collective communities’ historic and current continued suffering from systemic racism, discrimination, marginalisation, generational trauma and violence, is our shared experience of living in a white supremacist and colonialist society as racialised peoples. However, we are not a homogenous group and we are not only our traumas. Some of us may (sometimes) choose to write and speak about our traumas, some of us will write and speak about a myriad of other, completely valid, themes and topics.
We include the above, non-exhaustive list of identities to reflect our intersectional and inclusive approach to equality, equity, diversity, safer spaces, and inclusion.
Our partners, volunteers and allies may identify as Black, a Person of Colour, or white, or another racial or ethnic identity and we welcome partnering with organisations that are working on anti-racist actions and with people who can abide by our Safer Spaces policy.
Since 2018, we have operated as a collective of artists. Changing our name has been a discussion we have returned to regularly since then. In 2020 we published our Mission and Values statement and Safer Spaces Policy on our website. In 2021 we continued the process of formalising our organisation and have now written and adopted a Constitution which underpins our work and values – a shorter overview of our Constitution is available on our updated Mission and Values page.
We are proud of what we have achieved so far, especially encouraging systemic change while delivering a dynamic programme of events and a range of partnerships, which have had a positive effect on the literary sector in Scotland.
Most of all, we are extremely proud of our SBWN community, especially our local members – established and emerging BPOC writers from an array of ancestral heritages who call Scotland home. Whether they are relatively new to Scotland, born and raised here, or have multi-generational Scottish roots, each member has a unique and necessary voice.
We are excited to formalise as an organisation and continue advocating on behalf of our members, as well as working on professional development programmes, events and opportunities for writers in Scotland who are racialised.
SBWN Operational Core Team
- Scottish Government Race Equality Action Plan 2017-2021 Report: ‘The Scottish Government uses the definition of race present in the Equality Act 2010, that it is colour, ethnicity, nationality and citizenship. We use “Minority Ethnic” to include all racial and ethnic groups protected under the Act, and we use the terminology minority ethnic (ME) instead of “BME” or “BAME”, as ME is inclusive of both visible and non-visible (i.e. white) ME groups.’
- #BAMEOver campaign, Inclusive Arts. In 2020 IncArts lobbied the UK government to remove BAME from statements and media statistics. In March 2021, the UK government announced that it would no longer be using the term.
- Writing about ethnicity, Race Disparity Unit, UK government.
- Should BAME be ditched as a term for black, Asian and minority ethnic people? 17th May 2018, BBC.
- Please, don’t call me BAME or BME! Government Civil Service blog, 8th July 2019.
- A guide to race and ethnicity terminology and language, The Law Society, 7th October 2020.
- Is it time to ditch the term ‘black, Asian and minority ethnic’ (BAME)? Guardian panel, 22nd May 2015