How the CSP is working to oppose racism

In light of important issues highlighted by the Black Lives Matter movement and the disproportionate impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities, the CSP is stepping up its work to tackle discrimination.


It is not good enough that we are not racist. We have to be anti-racist.

Karen Middleton, CSP chief executive

What it means to be 'anti-racist'

In 2020, the world changed. We saw the Covid-19 pandemic followed by the Black Lives Matter movement which took hold across the globe. In 2020, our chief executive Karen Middleton wrote a blog outlining why the CSP and the physiotherapy profession must come together to tackle inequity and discrimination.

Since then, the CSP has been working hard to support and protect members at work and in education.

The political climate around Covid-19 and Black Lives Matter emphasised the need to show solidarity with Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) members and colleagues against the evils of racism. Since then we have gone on to write an equity, diversity and belonging strategy. The strategy was produced in collaboration with CSP diversity networks, members, staff and stakeholders with direct experience of, or insights into, the discrimination and disadvantage faced by members and their patients.

Representatives from the CSP's diversity networks at a joint diversity day

How to get involved

The CSP's BAME network is the largest of our three diversity networks, with over 1,000 members. Find out more about the network by reading an interview with CSP steward Heena Mahmood as well as another interview with CSP BAME network member and physiotherapy educator Melrose Stewart.

Every October, Frontline is now dedicated to Black History Month. You can read the 2021 edition via the Frontline archives.

Sign in to your account and you can order a new eye-catching range of free equity, diversity and inclusion posters to display in your workplace.  

In addition, we are affiliated with organisations that fight racism and fascism. Click on the links below to discover how you can get involved.

Show Racism the Red Card

This charity provides educational workshops, training sessions, multimedia packages, and a whole host of other resources, all with the purpose of tackling racism in society. Every year, we encourage members and reps to get involved in Wear Red Day and collect funds for their activities.

CSP Council members show racism the red card. Photos: Simon Hadley

Hope not hate

The campaign was founded to provide a positive antidote to the politics of hate. Over the next few months, it will step up its activities to fight racism.


The CSP is working hard in a variety of influencing channels to tackle race discrimination at work for CSP members.

Here are just some examples in the NHS:

  • NHSE/I advisory group on Black, Asian and minority ethnic NHS staff and Covid 
    This has been set up to work across the NHS on ensuring
    Black, Asian and minority ethnic staff have access to risk assessments for Covid and to understand the barriers for these staff in relation to Covid vaccination and work together to find solutions to those.
  • Staff side race equality toolkit
    The joint health unions have set up a sub-group to produce resources for local staff sides to use on race equality – it will include a race equality staff side checklist/how to use WRES data locally/and how to develop links and work in partnership with workplace
    Black, Asian and minority ethnic networks.
  • NHS Equality Diversity Inclusion Group
    Unions and employers have been working to review EDI wording on the flexible working and career progression sections of Agenda for Change. It has also been working on messaging being delivered to NHS staff on why it is important to get the vaccine, with a particular need for respect and understanding as to why some members may be hesitant and what can be done to address this.


We seek to influence government policies and join in anti-racism campaigns via our affiliation to the TUC. For example, through the annual Black Workers’ Conference – which CSP members attend, including presenting motions and engaging in debates. We also feed into the newly formed Anti-Racism Taskforce and participate in events that celebrate the role of Black, Asian and minority ethnic workers in the NHS.

Tackling discrimination 

We are also supporting members’ ability to identify and tackle discrimination in a variety of ways:

  • Specialised equality stewards
    In 2021, the CSP launched its first ever pilot of workplace equality reps. Members from across the UK took on the role and worked to promote issues relating to equity, diversity and belonging in their workplaces. 
  • CSP reps training 
    CSP reps are now receiving regular training on issues relating to equity, diversity and belonging, including national anti-racism training and regional recognising discrimination in the workplace training. 
  • Diversity networks
    CSP director Claire Sullivan briefed diversity network members in March 2021 on equality law, workplace rights and union support. If you are a diversity network member and would like to access this, please get in touch with Gill Feldman.
  • Resources
    We updated and disseminated new information on workplace rights with respect to racism discrimination in the workplace.  
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