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As the country navigates an economic recession, money management has become increasingly important for people hoping to maximise their finances during this time of economic uncertainty. The Black community is significantly affected by financial instability, and Black women, non-binary and Black LGTBQ+ people uniquely experience financial adversity owing to their doubly underrepresented identities. Because of this economic disparity, our My Moon Landing program recently carried out a financial literacy program to elevate the financial knowledge of underserved people within the Black community.
My Moon Landing’s Strength Through Finances Series is a 12-part weekly series offering Black women, non-binary and LGBTQ+ people training and support to power up their financial strength. With support from The National Lottery Community Fund and Smallwood Trust, we’ve teamed up with financial experts to prepare our community for the recession through sessions covering topics like budgeting, saving, debt consolidation, investing and more.
Our core aim with My Moon Landing is to support Black female, non-binary and LGBTQ+ people scale community-based support projects because financial empowerment is inextricably tied to advancing community initiatives. Through Do it Now Now’s Common Call initiative, we learned that 60% of funding for Black-led organisations comes from employment and savings. While we are working to redress this resource allocation, we understand how important personal finances are in providing a foundation for community organisations.
To date, our workshops have reached 1000 Black female, non-binary and LGBTQ+ individuals, with many attending multiple sessions on a variety of topics. Our most popular sessions highlighted how to make passive income as an investor, highlighting the desire for our community to develop their financial knowledge in this area. Almost a third (29%) of our Strength Through Finances participants say they want to start investing, while 1 in 5 say they want to bulk up on savings.
Our My Moon Landing community also expressed desires to achieve financial goals, both personal and entrepreneurial. A popular financial goal was to be debt-free by paying off credit cards and student loans. Others shared aims to invest in their businesses by investing in developing side hustles or business ideas. The realisation of personal and professional dreams through finances is an essential aspect of achieving a good quality of life.
We’re continuing our My Moon Landing financial literacy journey through 1 to 1 financial coaching sessions. These more intimate sessions will offer our community more tools and resources to address their finances.
We understand that our workshops can help our community make the financial steps to meet their goals. This isn’t just a nice-to-have. It’s vital, especially during this time of economic uncertainty. According to the ONS, 45% of the Black African population live in poverty, while 53% are on some form of financial assistance. Less than 1 in 5 people from Black Caribbean and Black African backgrounds have enough savings to cover one month of living expenses and Black households are most likely to have a weekly income lower than £400 a week.
For the most underserved people within the Black community, these inequalities are often exacerbated owing to intersectional discrimination based on gender and sexual orientation. Providing the My Moon Landing community with the know-how and expertise to manage their finances is a step forward that moves the needle forward for the Black community, person by person.
To access the Strength Through Finances webinars and toolkit, join here
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As an open innovation organisation, Do it Now Now is consistently seeking to create and draw from research across the UK to contextualise our understanding of the challenges of the people we support as we design programmes and initiatives to help reduce the barriers they face, whether structural or institutional.
Black people in Britain face insurmountable challenges improving their social standing in society. Despite attempts to navigate the systemic barriers, their contribution to society is perpetually undermined, which has a serious impact on financial security and quality of life in the Black community. Through our work, we equip the most marginalised groups within the Black community with the resources and knowledge to navigate the societal pressures they may face.
Discrimination in the workplace and during the hiring process restricts the career opportunities and growth of Black people, leading to underemployment, unemployment and disenfranchisement. This is one of the causes of financial hardship within the Black community and the recent unemployment figures suggest this stark trend will continue to disproportionately affect young Black people entering the workforce. We believe that supporting Black people in entrepreneurship and social enterprise gives them the autonomy to create wealth and facilitate job creation in their communities and beyond.
The Black community is a leader in volunteering and shows a desire to participate in local decision-making and many Black-led organisations provide an avenue for community members to exercise their civic participation. However without proper funding these community led organisations cannot afford to properly resource themselves or remunerate their staff. Effective core funding for place-based Black-led social enterprises and charities is an untapped opportunity to create and safeguard employment opportunities in economically deprived areas across the country.
Black people are disproportionately affected by the criminal justice system in Britain and this trend is emblematic of the systemic injustices experienced by Black people in the UK. We have sought to bring some attention to the framing of young Black people in conversations about rising rates of violence in terms of causation rather than correlation. Over the next year we are interested in working with organisations in the youth sector on a framework that places unlocking the untapped potential of Black young people at the centre of their key performance indicators.
The health inequities experienced by Black people are reflective of the broader social disparities we face, unfortunately leading to increased morbidity during the pandemic. As a result of the pandemic, despite a lack of disposable income, Black-led organisations have pivoted to online mechanisms to deliver services to their community at this unsettling time. During the pandemic many Black led organisations have been dealing with a significant increase in demand for their services while remaining understaffed and underfunded to carry out this crucial work.
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As an open innovation organisation, Do it Now Now is consistently seeking to create and draw from research across the UK to contextualise our understanding of the challenges of the people we support as we design programmes and initiatives to help reduce the barriers they face whether structural or institutional.
In this document we are laying out the statistics we have pulled from published research that is specific to the experiences of the Black community across the UK.
Black people account for 3% of the British population, just under 2 million people, yet we disproportionately experience social and economic inequality across multiple areas such as employment, education, criminal justice and more on a daily basis.
Our work across initiatives such as My Moon Landing, Black and Good, Voltage Revolution and Common Call has given us a deeply rooted perspective of the real effects of structurally and institutionally perpetuated inequalities that Black people are experiencing across the UK. Thankfully, these inequalities have spurred on the civic action of altruistic people with lived experience to create impact focused organisations that offer practical assistance and support to other Black people facing similar challenges in their own communities.
Our CEO, Bayo Adelaja, says: “over the past year I have been inspired time and again by the fantastic people that make up our community. Black people across the UK are grappling with challenges that are far beyond their individual control, wading through the institutional and structural challenges that come with being Black in Britain with passion and presence of mind to make a difference, through the organisations they lead, in the communities they live, in their families and friendship groups. I am better off for knowing our community members. We should all be so lucky as to come in contact with the resiliency exhibited each and every day by Black people living in local communities in the UK.”
What are the specific challenges Black people face and what does the research say about it? Our 2020/21 factsheet answers those questions, revealing data, trends and insights on the social, political and economic factors that limit Black people and Black-led organisations in the UK.