Winston Churchill Charity Removes His First Name Over His Views On Race
A charity initially set up to continue Winston Churchill’s legacy has now removed his first name from its website.
The charity has also removed photographs, a list of achievements and a tribute to the former prime minister from its site, due to the leader’s views and policies on race and ethnicity.
The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust will now be known as The Churchill Fellowship, due to acknowledging his ‘unacceptable’ views on race.
The charity acts as a ‘national memorial created as his living legacy in 1975’, however it notes that due to recent media coverage, it wants to ‘set the record straight’.
The chairman of the charity is Jeremy Soames, Churchill’s grandson, and the website details how the organisation was set up due to being ‘proud of [Churchill’s] contribution to saving the world from Nazism’.
However, the initial purpose of the charity was ‘approved by Sir Winston and remains the same as it was in 1965’, despite its recent name change. The charity notes that there is ‘controversy’ it has now addressed regarding the leader’s views on race.
The charity seeks to give every UK citizen ‘regardless of their background, qualifications or age’ the chance to ‘study practical topics abroad and share what they have learned with their community of profession in the UK’.
It goes on to state that, at present, there are 3,800 active Fellows and since 1965 the charity has awarded a total of over 5,800 Fellowships.
It explained that its decision to change the name of the charity was not due to ‘disowning Sir Winston’, but instead due to the ease and simplicity of people understanding what the organisation stood for. ‘The new name captures a sense of the Fellows’ remarkable dedication and public service,’ the website said.
The changing of the charity’s name took two years to decide, according to The Churchill Fellowship website. It noted that the ‘key element’ was to keep the figure’s last name, so they did not ‘avoid the importance’ attached to the name.
The charity acknowledged the controversy surrounding Churchill’s views on race by linking a statement from June 2020, titled ‘Racism is Unacceptable’.
The Churchill Fellowship states:
Today there is controversy about aspects of Sir Winston’s life. Many of his views on race are widely seen as unacceptable today, a view that we share. At the same time, he is internationally admired for his wartime leadership in saving Britain and the world from Nazism. We acknowledge the many issues and complexities involved on all sides, but do not accept racism of any kind.
As a forward-looking charity aiming to improve lives throughout the UK, what we take from Sir Winston’s example are values for the future: global learning, public service and, above all, a belief in the potential of all individuals.
The post goes on to detail how 15% of its Fellows in the past five years have come from ethnic minority backgrounds. The charity also highlighted that in 2020, projects run by Fellows from ethnic minority backgrounds received 29% of funding for coronavirus.
The Churchill Fellowship admitted there is ‘more’ for the charity to do, ‘in order to live out’ its values. However, it promised it is making sure its ‘activities, structures and processes are fully inclusive and reflect society today’.
The charity concluded that despite Churchill’s ‘unacceptable’ views on race, in its opinion his views do not take away from his ‘enormous contribution to the world as we know it today’. ‘Nor from the life-changing work that Churchill Fellows are doing every day across the country, in every area of national life,’ it said.
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The Churchill Fellowship
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