What we saw in 2020 globally has been like nothing I've ever seen before. In the UK we've seen enlightened soft power stood next to Black renascence, and our non Black allies in their thousands standing with us and marching. However, no matter how impactful a moment or protest feels, the success of any march or demonstration is defined by the call to action and what comes next.
The power of the protests meant that many perspectives have genuinely been challenged and in some cases changed. And although many leaders felt the need to say and do something at the time, my concern is that we had many siloed and reactive guestures and not as many centralised and truly reflective responses within the UK.
It's 1 thing to get a bunch of leaders who feel guilty to make a statement in a bid to look like they care, or put together a race action plan and even include Black people/staff in more conversations across the board, it's another thing to get those same individuals to sign their company up for real systemic change navigated by a Black led organisation and commitment for the long run, focused on the Black community in the UK without the distraction of 'BAME' titles or any other lived experience taking over. I challenge leaders of the UK's leading organisations to join us on this mission to help collectively usher in systemic change, so that 5 years from now, we are not in the same place asking for the same things.
If as one community, we can come together with one united voice toward ending social inequality and systemic racism against the Black community, nothing we set our minds to achieve will be impossible for us to do.
Founder, Black British Network
"For the longest time in the UK (on a mainstream level) our stories have been controlled and curated by people who do not look like us, people who are disconnected from our reality and people who can't relate to being Black. As such we are only celebrated as a community in October 'Black history month'. On top of this, because of the lack of control we have around who tells our stories, there are very specific notions and ideas that are amplified about the Black community that are not true in some cases and do not represent a wholistic and honest picture of what it means to be Black in the UK."