Thanks to all those who joined my Instagram Live on Wednesday and those who contributed during and afterwards with ideas for practical action. I am keen to maintain the energy from then and to achieve long-term, lasting change for black people. I would like to summarise the key actions whilst also signposting to existing resources and movements.
1. Get black history on the curriculum on a permanent basis (not just gestures during black history month)
Aim: To counteract ignorance of black history by education
Short-term Action: Promote black history resources for parents and schools. Here are links to share on your social media accounts:
#Access to free learning resources: https://www.theblackcurriculum.com/ourcurriculum
#Free Yale course on African American History: https://oyc.yale.edu/african-american-studies/afam-162
Medium-term Action: Create activity/presentation pack for outreach in schools.
Long-term Action: Lobby government to add Black history and BAME community history into the curriculum by supporting petitions and engaging in further activism. Please sign the petition here: https://www.change.org/p/uk-parliament-include-black-british-history-in-the-national-education-curriculum?recruiter=false&recruited_by_id=f0ac8ec0-a4c3-11ea-aeb5-87ea5bc4714c&pt=AVBldGl0aW9uANU1WAEAAAAAXtY2BdVH09hhZTI2YjRjNg%3D%3D
Ensure that the curriculum captures and demonstrates the difficulties that BAME communities have faced in Britain over the last two centuries. It should be highlighted that institutions that have historically discriminated against BAME people still exist and that the legacy of open racism in the 19th and 20th Century is still relevant. Modern examples of racism should be included to dispel sentiments of complacency, or ideas that racism is a historical issue (for example next year would feature case studies on George Floyd and the Windrush generation).
2. Support representation of black people by mentoring
Aim: To create (and build on existing) mentoring schemes exclusively for the advancement of black people with the objective of increasing representation of black people in rooms where power and responsibility are held e.g. businesses, politics, media & news organisations, community groups, law enforcement, schools, hospitals, etc.
Short-term Action: To signpost black people to existing schemes for the advancement of black people and to reinvigorate them. Please see current opportunities at, Operation Black Vote: https://www.obv.org.uk/news-blogs/pathway-success-opportunity-not-miss
Medium-term Action: To reach out to black people to be mentees and mentors. To reach out to allies to be mentors by creating a network that crosses industries and the highest levels.
Long-term Action: Develop virtual structures to enable rapid and efficient access to schemes (i.e. network themed web sites and apps).
3. Create a culture of black people uniting and removing factions/tribalism
Aim: To maintain solidarity across the black spectrum in order to enable unity in this fight.
Short-term: To create a talking shop where black people can share their experience with the black community. People would be able to discuss and develop policy and change that would improve the situation for black people before lobbying for it.
4. Representation in the Media, Journalism and actively writing black stories
Aim: To gain positive and diverse representation of black people in Media and Journalism.
Short-term: To increase representation of black people in media and journalism by promoting black writers, journalist and presenting.
Medium-term: Deliver outreach to black community encouraging the careers in media, journalism and fostering talent for writing, directing to improve the quality of black stories in the public arena.
5. Challenge co-operation for actions for Black People
Short-term: Reach out to the unions to see how employers are being sensitive to the needs of their black employees in response to Black Lives Matter and the unequal impact of covid19 on black communities.
Short-term: Promote black owned businesses through social media, spending with those business, etc.
Short-term: Expose businesses that are not taking any action, not engaging with the message of Black Lives Matter and encourage the black community to stop supporting them financially.
Medium-term: Look for ways to provide statistics on the pay gap for black people in employment and how companies will address it.
Long-term: Look at businesses and ask to see how they are growing black talent and leadership.
Let’s be change makers! Please contact me to join my activist Whatsapp group where we will be organising and working to implement lasting change.
Please see below for the resources available:
- Fantastic blog by Dammy Sokale on Everyday Racism: https://itsmedammy.com/2015/09/26/the-everyday-racist/
2. 10 Steps to non-optical allyship: https://www.change.org/p/uk-parliament-include-black-british-history-in-the-national-education-curriculum?recruiter=false&recruited_by_id=f0ac8ec0-a4c3-11ea-aeb5-87ea5bc4714c&pt=AVBldGl0aW9uANU1WAEAAAAAXtY2BdVH09hhZTI2YjRjNg%3D%3D
3. Article detailing charities for donation in the UK and US: https://inews.co.uk/news/donate-black-lives-matter-charities-where-uk-george-floyd-death-bail-funds-2873850