Beaten down. Rising up.
Written by Elisabeth Field
In late June, we were rocked by news of something that happened to one of our team. Something so violent I found myself shaking after I read his texts.
Our MD, Phil Borge-Slavnich, spent a harrowing week at his husband’s hospital bedside, as he was treated for a series of brutal injuries suffered as a result of a violent hate crime. I’ll leave Phil to tell that story. It’s personal and deeply upsetting.
But the news did something to us at Eulogy. We’re a tight bunch. We know each other well. We also know our partners, our friends, our children, and I’ve met a few parents over my time too. Phil has been with Eulogy for more than 17 years and is one of our many boomerangs. He is a friendly face to all. He smooths rough edges. Warms cold rooms. He’s the smile in our agency. To know that his life and that of the man he loves has been so horribly upended tore a painful wound through us all.
Why am I sharing all this?
To be honest, we’re all sick to death of it. Like many, we’ve come through a hard 18 months, moved our business to a position of great strength, and we’re loving the work we’re doing with our clients. These are exciting times.
But something feels off.
Diversity has been a buzzword for a while now, and last year’s BLM protests justifiably put the microscope on all employers. We’ve worked hard to refocus our understanding and energy on all forms of diversity, and what it could come to mean at Eulogy. I’m proud of what we’re doing. We are striving – every day – to make Eulogy a home where everyone, no matter their background, their experience, their nationality, orientation, or identity feels safe. I’ve written about this effort here. We’re not perfect, by any stretch, but we’re trying to be better than we were yesterday.
Being the media junkies we are, we’re never far from the world’s horrors. Prejudice and hostility permeate all aspects of our society. And it affects us all. Racism. Homophobia. Misogyny. We watch the news. We listen to your stories. We shake our heads at it. Then we get back to our lives.
Well, we’ve had enough of shrugging shoulders and shaking heads. Inertia has to stop. Inaction has to stop. Hate has to stop.
That’s why we’ve teamed up with Stop Hate UK, a charity focused on driving out hate crime, helping victims of hate crimes, and generally raising awareness of a vast range of hate crimes experienced in the UK.
Joining forces with a charity partner isn’t enough. This isn’t about badging our website or ticking a CSR box. We’ve committed to helping them raise £15,000 to fund a much-needed hate crime helpline, offering the people of our local area support as they suffer, recover from, or witness hate crimes.
But we’re not going to solve anything on our own. We work everywhere these days, but Clerkenwell/Islington is our home, our community. So, I’m asking our fellow agencies in our neighbourhood to get involved too. Any of you. All of you. We need all the help we can get if we want to create lasting change.
The easiest and quickest way to help is to donate here. Eulogy will work with Stop Hate UK on a range of initiatives throughout the next year, so if you want to talk about what else you can do, drop me a DM. Email me. Phone me.
There’s much we can do beyond fundraising. Education is the only way to create the change we need and communication is the vital building block in changing hearts and minds.
No community or country will ever be without hate. But we can at least minimise its prevalence, prominence, and power. Together.