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Announcing our new factsheet: employment trends, income and civic participation of the UK’s Black population
Our recent research highlighted the social and economic factors that drove the creation of Black-led organisations in Britain. The social, political and economic forces that shape the experiences of these community organisations provides a body of insights that cannot be ignored, and we are excited to unveil a factsheet summing up our key findings.
Our factsheet contains data on employment trends, income, education and how civic participation uniquely impacts the Black community. These statistics help to illustrate the experiences familiar to Black-led organisations and their beneficiaries.
It is no simple feat to deliver impactful services while facing the same inequalities you are fighting against. It is our hope and aim to support these vital community groups as they work hard to remove these inequalities.
We hope these findings give you a better understanding of the complex backdrop of Black-led organisations and the communities they support. With deeper understanding of what is faced by the Black community, we can bring tangible change for some of the most underrepresented impact organisations in the UK.
If you would like to receive a copy of the factsheet, please sign up for our newsletter.
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We are excited to announce that we are working with Nesta to provide Black people impacted by COVID-19 with access to jobs and financial support. The two other organisations working on this project to reach particular demographic communities are The Big Issue Group and Youth Federation.
Through the Rapid Recovery Challenge, supported by MaPS, JPMorgan and DWP, Nesta has been funding and supporting 14 innovative tools developed to best meet the needs of people most impacted by the pandemic. Our own research has shone a light on the dire impact COVID-19 has had on Black-led social impact organisations and we are excited to be part of this initiative alongside some of the UK’s leading agencies for social good. Access to tools and services designed with the end-user in mind is critical to supporting those hit hardest by COVID-19, especially while they try to find jobs and manage their personal finances.
Over the next few months we will be working with 75 Black led organisations across the UK to run a coordinated social media campaign, 1:2:1 coaching, webinars and personalised resource matching. Our goal is to support 100,000 Black people who are in low paid work, currently unemployed or financially insecure to access the innovative tech based tools funded through Nesta’s Rapid Recovery Challenge.
Bayo Adelaja, CEO, said: “We are living in unprecedented times. The COVID crisis has pushed Black led charities and social enterprises that would typically engage with and support the underserved people in their local areas close to breaking point. The burden on local services continues to rise and the traditional infrastructure is unfortunately antiquated and unable to rise to the challenge the pandemic has set before us all. We are proud to be part of a solution, spurred on by Nesta’s Rapid Recovery Challenge, that can address the difficulty underserved young people, low-paid and insecure workers are facing across the country, at scale.”
If you’re an organisation who works with Black people who have had their jobs or finances impacted by the pandemic, please get in touch with us to be part of the coalition we are building to support Black people across the UK
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The social landscape of the UK is constantly evolving, as our upcoming 2021 Census will soon show. Many Black-led impact groups within the UK exist to address the social and economic needs of their communities; and in the run-up to our factsheet about Black-led organisations, we explore the social and civic matters that make them a necessity.
Whether it’s youth empowerment, immigrant community gatherings, or professional groups, the organisations we’ve engaged with all serve a specific focus and purpose that would otherwise be missing from the lives of their end-users. Through our conversations with these organisations, we’ve learned how a small social enterprise can evolve into a local pillar of support for people within the community.
The trust and recognition earned from an organisation’s existence are sometimes enough to give its community a seat at the local governance level. As a result, groups can participate in meetings that influence policymaking at a local level. For the UK’s Black population, it’s an opportunity to serve the community and make their voice heard in the corridors of power.
The recent Community Life Survey, which ‘tracks developments in areas that are important to encouraging social action and empowering communities’, showed that 45% of Black respondents said they felt like they could affect decision-making in their communities. This includes in areas such as wellbeing, volunteering and civic engagement. However, only 1 in 10 Black people get involved with local decision-making which means Black people are underrepresented at the local governance level. The inclusion of Black-led impact organisations in governance gives people an avenue to share their perspectives and build a record of influence within a local community.
One way Black-led organisations grow is through volunteer positions. According to government statistics almost 1 in 4 Black people (24%) volunteer, meaning there’s an appetite for people to engage in public service. Black-led social enterprises and charities are in the unique position of having access to beneficiaries who can also double as volunteers if they so wish. As a result, there’s growing scope for Black-led to build a community that involves end-users and volunteers who also have lived experience related to a particular organisation’s services.
We describe these trends and more in our upcoming fact sheet about Black-led organisations. If you’d like to receive a copy when it launches, please sign up for our newsletter.
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Over the past few days the British media has been rocked by a conversation held predominantly by two Black women in the United States of America. The discussion highlighted systemic and institutional racism in a specific context that can be transposed to a more general experience of Black women in the workplace and concerns about the representation of Black women in the Uk’s major media outlets.
As an organisation that seeks to support willing clients in a better understanding of the experiences of Black people and other racialised individuals within organisations, here are our thoughts on the language that is being used to describe the actions taken by Harry and Meghan. Words like “bombshell”, “attack”, “grenade” are being frequently utilised to capture the impact of the revelations the momentous interview shared. However the connotations of this wording, is harmful to the wider conversation about race in the UK. A racialised individual (person of colour) speaking up about the negative experiences they’ve had within an institution is not an attack on the institution, it is in fact an invitation to work together to make positive changes that make it a safe space for all.
Other wording that is being frequently used to describe this action is, “selfish”. Meghan and Harry have been accused of being self-serving in their actions at the expense of the stability of the monarchy and the health of its most senior individuals. While we cannot comment on the specific nature of Royalty and the varying needs and pressures of the stakeholders within it, we can advocate for the normalisation of speaking up about race matters, particularly when it is difficult to do so, as a selfless act, one that requires courage and a sense of optimism about the positive impact sharing revelations about your lived experience will make.
We teach racialised individuals within workplaces to think not only about themselves, but also about the next person that a racially motivated injustice could happen to. We teach racialised adults to make a habit of standing up for themselves, because throughout our younger lives in school, university and in our own families we are frequently taught to keep our heads down, minimise our own suffering and to contextualise our pain in light of the impact the label of “racist” could have on the prospects of the aggressor, whether an individual or an institution. These things have to change. Racialised people should not have to consider the fall-out when claiming and providing evidence of racism in their workplace. Racialised people should be believed and supported to contribute to discussions and actions that will lead to positive changes for their future and the future of every racialised person that enters that space after them.
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The influence of societal and economic forces shape how Black-led impact organisations deliver their services within their communities; often adversely impacting their capacity to truly help those they are trying to serve. If we want to support Black-led charities and social enterprises, we need to understand how they work. We need to learn how different societal factors affect their work. In anticipation of our upcoming factsheet on Black-led organisations, we discuss how employment and personal earnings impact Black organisations.
Through Common Call, we surveyed 500 organisations and found that Black-led organisations are primarily funded with personal savings and income from employment. 60% of the organisations we surveyed said these were their sources of organisational income.
The racial wage gap also contributes to the inability of Black-led organisations to fund their services. The average hourly pay for Black people is lower than the national average in the UK. Black people in the UK typically earn less compared to White British workers, and Black households are more likely to be on persistently lower incomes excluding household costs. According to the government’s annual English Housing Survey, Black households are the most likely out of all ethnic groups to have a weekly income less than £400 per week.
Only 4 in 10 Black-led organisations receive any grant income to fund their work, and the average annual income for an organisation totals £32,700. When you consider this information with the economic and employment-related figures, it highlights the additional strain Black impact organisations face.
These issues are further exacerbated when Black organisations want to scale to meet growing demand. Over half of Black-led organisations self-identify as needing more training to strengthen financial modelling (53%) and improve social impact measurement (51%). One-third need support with increasing income that’s not grant-based (35%). These organisations understand precisely how they can better serve their community – they just need the funds to make those visions a reality.
Our aim is to help Black-led organisations redress the inequality and lack of resources, tools and skills they face in the UK, and to do that, we need to understand the range of challenges they face on a deeper level. These impact organisations do not live in a vacuum. They’re addressing societal issues while facing inequities too. To help Black-led organisations thrive, we need to support their growth and build a civil society that caters to the specific needs of underrepresented communities in the UK.
If you would like to receive the fact sheet when it is released, sign up to our newsletter.
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This weekend was an opportunity for many of us to enjoy the first flushes of the springtime weather, but for one of our trainers, Timi MJ (aka Mr Moneyjar), a simple bicycle ride escalated into an unwarranted stop and search situation.
In a powerful Instagram post which I urge you to read, Timi detailed his experience of being stopped by London policemen. They singled him out in a busy park, violated his legal rights, and rummaged through his wallet.
Timi’s story is upsetting, and unfortunately, it’s a common one. Young Black males in London are 19 times more likely to be stopped and searched. Overall, Black people are nine times more likely to be stopped and searched compared to White people in the UK.
A persistent issue in policing is the disproportionate use of force on Black people, and sadly stories like Timi’s are all too familiar. Despite calls for less bias in policing and movements like Black Lives Matter becoming headline news, we are still left with the problem of discriminatory policing.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan recently unveiled a £6m fund towards the development of the Violence Reduction Unit, which aims to tackle the root causes of violent crime. His political opponent, Shaun Bailey, is promising more police on the streets to tackle violent crimes if he’s elected as the capital’s mayor. The government is also seemingly in favour of more policing.
As our policymakers openly express more support for police, they need to consider how these laws could impact the Black community. It is unjust for the Black community to bear a greater burden of increased police presence, especially in London, where most of the country’s Black population lives. It also sets a dangerous precedent for the policing of Black people in the capital and beyond.
In these attempts to resolve the complex crime issues, Black people are increasingly put at risk of injustice and harm. Timi’s experience is one example of how innocent Black people are targeted by the Metropolitan police. Increased policing without racial sensitivity will only create a situation where nobody wins.
The potential danger from increased policing, without the check of widespread racial sensitivity practices across London's police force, is more insidious than the Home Office’s past attempts to relate to the Black community through chicken boxes. If we don’t seek an alternative model, this intensified policing will lead to even more dangerous situations for Black people who interact with the London police. We must look beyond worsening existing patterns and practices, towards a criminal justice system that is worthy of the values it purports to uphold.
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We’ve received £360K from Comic Relief to support Black impact organisations across the UK | Announcement
We are pleased to share that Do it Now Now is one of 10 social impact organisations awarded a share of a new £2.8million Comic Relief fund, created to support the critical services delivered by hundreds of smaller community groups across the UK.
Comic Relief, in collaboration with Barclays, The Clothworkers’ Foundation and the National Emergencies Trust pooled resources to set up The Global Majority Fund, dedicated to supporting the essential work being carried out by organisations led by, and in support of, people of colour within communities disproportionately affected by the pandemic.
The Global Majority Fund aims to help address these inequalities by targeting services for the most at risk communities and the latest chunk of funding brings the total to over £6million. We have been awarded £360,000 to fund Black-led organisations providing services to people that have been adversely affected by COVID - and statistically, our communities have borne the brunt of the pandemic’s impact in more ways than one.
Black-led organisations are facing a funding deficit that significantly affects the long term sustainability and impact of their work within the underserved communities they focus on. COVID forced us to reckon with the consequence of organisations dwindling away due to a lack of accessible finance - the impact has been a horror show. Through this Comic Relief funding, we are able to continue supporting Black-led organisations working in communities across the country.
As an intermediary partner, our fund enables us to give grants so that the numerous social impact organisations serving their communities can continue to develop and thrive. We will shortly be opening our funding call and full details of how applicants can apply to get a share of the fund.
View the official press release from Comic Relief.