SJB Urge Clarien To ‘Rethink Their Approach’

May 19, 2021 | 22 Comments

While noting they “commend Clarien Bank for its voiced support to invest in educational endeavours for Black Bermudians,” Social Justice Bermuda said they “fundamentally disagree with Clarien’s approach of funding private school bursaries as the way to do this” and called on Clarien to “seriously rethink their approach.”

In response, the Clarien Foundation said it was “not our intent to offend” and they “will be working with various stakeholders and engage in constructive discussion to enhance our community giving programme” and also “engaged the Human Rights Commission to provide guidance and education as we continue to evolve our giving and education initiatives.”

This follows after Clarien announced they “pledged an annual investment of $25,000 in local private schools for allocation to Black Bermudian students or students of underrepresented communities.”

Social Justice Bermuda

A spokesperson said, “Social Justice Bermuda commends Clarien Bank for its voiced support to invest in educational endeavours for Black Bermudians. However, we fundamentally disagree with Clarien’s approach of funding private school bursaries as the way to do this.

“The idea that the best way to promote educational endeavours, improve representation and access to opportunity is by funding a select few Black Bermudians to attend traditionally white private schools is rooted in the same racist ideologies that lead to Aboriginal and Native children being removed from their homes and communities in Australia, Canada and the United States to be educated at Anglo schools.

“The vast majority of Black Bermudian students attend public school. If Clarien wants to support Black Bermudian educational endeavours in Bermuda, its $100,000 [$25,000 per year for the next 4 years] would be more effective if invested directly into the public education system, where it could impact far more Black Bermudians, or by addressing root causes of racial inequality in Bermuda generally.

“Instead of schools receiving $5,000 that will only address a fraction of school fees for a single child, that same $5,000 or any portion of that annual $25,000 commitment could be invested in projects that could impact hundreds of Black Bermudian children in the public school system.

“All this does is help the private schools with their image problem – a legacy of centuries of entrenched racial power. It is not lost on us that all the private schools in question are traditionally white schools, while the primarily Black private schools are conspicuously excluded from this financial support.

“This isn’t about Black education empowerment – it is mere tokenism that does nothing to address the inequality on our island and in our education system.

“Furthering the educational endeavours of Black Bermudians is certainly a worthy cause. However, this isn’t that. We call on Clarien to seriously rethink their approach to addressing this matter and to commit to actually addressing racial inequality in Bermuda rather than subsidizing private schools and engaging in tokenism which excludes the majority of Bermuda’s Black student population.”

Clarien

In response, a Clarien Foundation spokesperson said, “Clarien’s Education Fund was designed to meet a need where individuals, specifically black and underrepresented segments of the population, were attending private schools, but could not financially afford to continue their studies at these establishments. It was not our intent to offend, and certainly not to discriminate as has been suggested by some.

“We were remiss in not including Bermuda Institute into the programme and have committed to do so. We accept that this is a sensitive issue and we will be working with various stakeholders and engage in constructive discussion to enhance our community giving programme.”

“Clarien has also engaged the Human Rights Commission to provide guidance and education as we continue to evolve our giving and education initiatives in support of all demographic sectors of our community.

“The Clarien Foundation gives annually to a broad range of charitable organizations which has a direct impact on the lives of many Bermudians and residents ranging from family services, education, youth development and health.”

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Comments (22)

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  1. Joe Bloggs says:

    “The idea that the best way to promote educational endeavours, improve representation and access to opportunity is by funding a select few Black Bermudians to attend traditionally white private schools is rooted in the same racist ideologies that lead to Aboriginal and Native children being removed from their homes and communities in Australia, Canada and the United States to be educated at Anglo schools.”

    I am not sure that calling whoever runs the Clarien Foundation a racist (“rooted in the same racist ideologies”) is the best way to benefit Bermudian children.

  2. truthhertz says:

    “The idea that the best way to promote educational endeavours, improve representation and access to opportunity is by funding a select few Black Bermudians to attend traditionally white private schools is rooted in the same racist ideologies that lead to Aboriginal and Native children being removed from their homes and communities in Australia, Canada and the United States to be educated at Anglo schools.”

    This has got to be the stupidest analogy from SJB yet. Because everyone knows contributing to a child’s school fund is the same as being forcefully taken from one’s home.

    And what does SJB do for the community other than dope little press releases like that? What schools have you funded? Have you set up bursary/scholarship funds? Assuming not.

    Damned if you and damned if you don’t.

    • .am says:

      “What schools have you funded? Have you set up bursary/scholarship funds?”

      I suspect their (monetary) philanthropic contributions (both as an organization and on an individual level) amount to nil.

  3. Weak reply says:

    Not only does Clarien have to redo their program but have to redo their reply.
    Unacceptable!

  4. JB says:

    Businesses headed by white CEO’s giving money to black children in order to further their education is just a secret ploy to further the agenda of white supremacy!

    Everyone knows that – duhhhh.

    • Joe Bloggs says:

      In other words, any white person who seeks to empower or assist a black or brown person is a racist.

  5. sandgrownan says:

    While Clarien’s messaging and delivery could have been better, the reality is that the Public School System has issues and providing an opportunity is a good thing.

    Those of use that send our kids to private schools, pay twice. We fund out own kids, and then again via our taxes we fund the public school system that is perennially failed by the Dept. of Education and politicians.

    SJB need to pack up their faux outrage, stick it where the sun doesn’t shine and go complain about the real root of the problem. Otherwise it’s just pointless hot air.

    • taxoayer says:

      and the kids whose parents sacrifice to pay for private school are then deemed ineligible for any type of funding for any extracurricular activities that may or may not use taxpayers funds like endeavor or spirit of bermuda on the sole premise that they attend private school. No consideration is given for how much the family has scrimped and cut or even be in debt for the private education

  6. Withdraw and let them suffer says:

    If I was in charge I would simply withdraw the offer and give anonymously going forward! Nothing is good enough for these people!!!

    • Think says:

      Anonymous charity is the most altruistic form of charity. Those who receive the charity will benefit without the politics. Those who give the charity will benefit without the scrutiny.

      • taxpayer says:

        anonymous would have been their best bet. other companies have done just that..made donations to private schools to assist with covering tuitions for students whose parents have been impacted by the pandemic. Many private schools had to scrap their their fundraising activities last year that supported their bursary programs

  7. Well done Clarien says:

    I agree with Clarien Bank, funding for those who have the academic ability and lack funds is the best way to go. Not just black students but anyone who is in need. Yes the level of education in the public schools needs improvement but it’s a sad day when someone has the ability and talents and they go to waste because of their financial situation. So again I say well done Clarien Bank, don’t worry about the nay sayers especially this cloak and stupidity group SJB we don’t even know who they are or if they are Bermudian!!! As far as I can see SJB is an extremist group that need to be shutdown! As the late Martin Luther King Jr said I have a dream when we can all join hands together!!!

  8. Bermewjan says:

    And here I was thinking when I initially read the article, that Clarien had chosen to stoop so low as to promote a racist scholarship favoring the country’s majority in order, I suspect, to pander to the government for favours. When I read that the majority’s victim brigade came out complaining about being shown such obsequious favoritism…. now that just made me smile. Serves you right Clarien for promoting racism, no matter the type.

  9. wahoo says:

    Tell you what if you don’t want the opportunity don’t apply for it. This is SJB looking to control how and where people donate their money. What is with the analogy of the Aboriginals? We don’t have Aboriginals here! It seems that all the satellite groups want to compare Bermuda to what happens elsewhere if/when it suits their agenda. All Clarien needs to do is take the word black out of the offer and make it “all Bermudians in need”….there you go. No way should Clarien hand the money over to the public system – it would disappear into thin air and certainly no kid would benefit from it.

    • Joe Bloggs says:

      Remember, Wahoo, according to the PLP paid trolls, we had 400 years of slavery in Bermuda.

      That means slavery was not abolished in Bermuda until 2009, 11 years after the PLP came to power.

      That is the context the PLP have tried to create for Bermuda.

  10. Question says:

    What asinine bs.

    Perhaps more could be done to assist working class and underprivileged white kids. And don’t tell me there aren’t any.

  11. lizard says:

    Government gave grants/donation to clubs the other day. Didn’t hear you guys suggesting that they were racists because they gave only to black clubs.

    • wahoo says:

      Funny thing politics….do you think SJB could be a political tool?

  12. saud says:

    Oh what a surprise…Bermuda talks about race, again, and again, and again, and again.

    LOL

    Losers

  13. saud says:

    The majority, and your government, are hypocrites.
    What other first world country begs it’s oppressors for the ‘right’ to discriminate against some people?

    LOL

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