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The historical lack of diversity in the climate change activism space creates a self-perpetuating inaccessibility that dissuades Black community leaders from entering a conversation that is shaping the health and wealth of the Black community the UK or abroad. The lack of Black voices at global climate change summit, COP26, tells a chilling story of exclusion, oversight and erasure. In an effort to aid intersectional thinking on this subject, Do it Now Now invited researcher Cryton Chikoko to examine the impact of climate change on Black communities in this post.
In the UK, the climate crisis overwhelmingly affects the Black people who predominately live in urban areas and are most in need of climate responsible regeneration and support. Despite being the least responsible for climate change; least likely to own a car, least likely to engage in air travel etc. Black communities are simultaneously more susceptible to the damage wrought by climate change and hit hardest by current measures to combat it. Those are some of the findings of the Inequality in a Future Wales report, led by Future Generations Commissioner for Wales, which examined the impact on equality of future trends such as climate change. The study has highlighted new challenges for Black people in the UK as world leaders gather at COP26 to discuss plans to address climate change.
The recent report points out that laudable measures to combat climate change such as the electrification of cars, greener methods of transport, and improved housing are not affordable to most underserved people. It warns that climate change mitigation could benefit underserved communities if done well, but could also increase inequalities if the impacts on different groups in society are not expressly factored into the decision-making process.
Immediate action that puts people most harmed by the climate and natural disasters at the centre of policy-making is crucial to stop inequalities from worsening. The report was published together with stories by people from across Wales affected by devastating flooding. Indo Zwingina saw the results of the climate crisis in her home city of Abuja in Nigeria. She is now experiencing the impact in her new home of Treforest in south Wales told the researchers: ‘Politicians need to listen to people to tackle climate change – we can only make the changes we need if they engage people and understand their lives and the reality for them, they can’t force ideas on people, it needs to be about what communities need and can do.’
The report also highlights that older people, people with health conditions, and people from Black and South Asian communities are predisposed for COVID-19, and these groups were more likely to come from areas with the highest levels of economic deprivation and the highest levels of pollution.
Another recent report by the Environment Agency said deprived communities face higher flood risk exposure. Low-income households are less likely to be able to afford insurance against flood damage, or the necessary infrastructure changes to their property, which would make them more resilient. It added that recent analysis of social vulnerability to flooding highlighted the disproportionate disadvantage experienced by people of colour, particularly Black people.
CEO of Do it Now Now, Bayo Adelaja said: ‘There is a desperate need for more Black people to enter the space, build culturally relevant interventions, and challenge some of these practises which bring so much destruction to Black communities. We are often underrepresented in climate discussions but highly affected by decisions made.’
Climate change is a defining challenge of our times. We are not surprised that climate change unequally affects Black people. We have already seen how climate change is having a disproportionate impact on communities of colour in the global South as well as here in the UK. As COP26 draws to an end, the UK government must urgently re-examine climate mitigation policies, addressing the disadvantages to those who are most vulnerable. Climate change is an equality issue. Failing to address its impact through this lens, risks further entrenching economic, social, and medical divisions.
About the author:
Cryton Chikoko is a Migrant Voice community researcher and founder of Equanicity, a media platform advocating for equality in the UK.
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Do it Now Now’s initiative, Common Call, set out to achieve something that many people in the impact sector thought impossible; persuading trusts and foundations to reconfigure their funds to create new Black-led specific funding pots, and for those funds to operate in tandem with other programmes open to Black-led organisations.
Prior to Common Call’s existence, funding to Black-led charities and social enterprises in the sector was commonly restricted to large, well-resourced, mainstream organisations, with evaluation teams and the capacity to maintain relationships with funders. The Common Call fund stands as a bold new fund, representing a significant change in direction.
The Common Call Fund Two report shares insights on the current state of Black-led charities and social enterprises, previously unknown to the sector.
Looking forward, Do it Now Now is uniquely positioned to continue leading the connection between Black-led charities, social enterprises, and funders. The organisation navigates the expectations and experiences of all parties, and seeks to address the most pressing needs in the UK’s Black community.
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In the quest for sustainable development, there is a need for collaboration across public, private and social-impact sectors to enhance growth and positive change. Do it Now Now's initiative, AfriTech XYZ is dedicated to bridging these sectors, and connecting African start-ups with mentors and experts in the UK and US.
To help achieve this, AfriTech XYZ has partnered with globally renowned legal firm Hogan Lovells, to provide pro bono legal advice to a group of award-winning African social entrepreneurs as part of Hogan Lovells (HL) BaSE Catalyst. The programme delivered a workshop to four innovative tech start-ups across Africa, providing them pro bono legal advice to support them in tackling some of the most pressing challenges we face today, including employment, food security, and biodiversity loss.
Hogan Lovells is an American-British law firm co-headquartered in London and Washington, D.C. It is a top 10 global legal services, and was listed within Forbes' list of America's Top Trusted Corporate Law Firms 2019.
For more information on the collaboration and its impact, visit here.
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Afritech XYZ is running a Clean Energy Tech Innovation Prize with Lion’s Head Global Partners | Announcement
We are pleased to announce that we are working with Lion’s Head Global Partners to highlight and support some of the most innovative early-stage clean energy startups coming out of Sub-Saharan Africa. The aim of this partnership is to assist Africa’s clean energy tech entrepreneurs in achieving their full potential, to empower diverse perspectives to contribute to the international discussion of Net Zero and the Extinction Rebellion and to spotlight the development of globally relevant innovative technology from African startups.
Over the past 5 years, Afritech XYZ has successfully collaborated with the UN World Food Programme, British Council, International Trace Centre, international investors, Amazon, Google, Hogan Lovells and others to effectively support African tech entrepreneurs.
After researching the needs of African tech entrepreneurs we recognised that two of the key elements missing in the support ecosystem available to them is publicity and direct links to expertise, locally and internationally. Our Innovation Prize allows us to select a small group of startups (5) that have the potential to solve a pan-African or global problem and provide them with access to experts and opportunities that will challenge them to think bigger, build quicker and more sustainably. Through the prize, we also offer a small amount of cash to the winner (£1000) to help them build out their innovative technology even further. This prize is happily partnered with Lion’s Head Global Partners.
Established in 2008, Lion’s Head Global Partners is a leading investment banking and asset management firm bringing innovative financial solutions to emerging and frontier markets, with a specific focus on Africa and the Middle East. Regulated by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority and UAE’s Dubai Financial Services Authority, they provide investment management, financial advisory and capital raising services across multiple sectors and geographies. With offices in London, Nairobi, Lagos, New York and Dubai, they leverage their local market understanding and global investor networks, to deliver the best financial solutions to their client's diverse challenges. They combine a ‘client-first’ culture with a long term sustainability mindset to deliver outstanding products and services, whilst upholding the highest professional and ethical standards.
The Lion’s Head Asset Management team provides fund management services to partner DFIs, impact and institutional investors. They currently manage four pioneering funds, including three Africa-focussed, clean energy orientated funds, the Off-Grid Energy Fund (OGEF), the Facility for Energy Inclusion (FEI) and Africa GoGreen (AGG). They now have over US$550 million of assets under management with investments in 18 African countries, giving them unique insights into local market activity. They are also creating a new jointly-owned venture fund that invests in fast-growing, tech-enabled businesses across Africa. Their Investment Banking group provides bespoke financing solutions and skilled transaction execution to sovereign, corporate, donor and public sector clients across a wide variety of key sectors, including healthcare, technology, infrastructure, power & energy, financial services and sustainable finance.
Our mission with Afritech XYZ is to support tech startups to ensure that they are closing the skills and opportunity gaps that will ensure the forward movement of their innovative startups through effective mentorship based training programmes. Our last cohort of finalists has gone on to build significant relationships with investors in the UK and USA. The cohort of finalists before them have gone on to raise more than £3M in funding to develop their startups further. This partnership with Lion’s Head Global Partners has the potential to transform the trajectories of our finalist startups in just a few months.
Our upcoming Clean Energy Tech Innovation prize will run between August 15th and November 15th 2021.
The startup criteria
To register your interest in the Innovation Prize, please fill in this form. By September 15th, 2021.
To find out more about Lion’s Head Global Partners please visit their website or connect with them on LinkedIn.
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We are delighted to announce that we have accepted an invitation onto the London & Partners Mayor’s International Business Programme (MIBP), supported by the Mayor of London. The programme champions London-based scale-ups in their efforts to expand internationally by providing access to mentorship, expert advice, virtual trade missions, focused e-workshops and events, as well as introductions to potential new business partners.
Dhaval Gore, Head of the Mayor’s International Business Programme at London & Partners, said: “I am delighted to welcome Do it Now Now to the Mayor’s International Business Programme (MIBP). To date, the MIBP has helped more than 1000 high-growth London companies win business in international markets, creating more than 1700 jobs for the global economy. We are extremely proud to be shining a light on what London’s fastest-growing businesses have to offer overseas.”
Commenting on Do it Now Now’s inclusion, our CEO, Bayo Adelaja said: “I’m excited to be taking part in this prestigious programme and for the opportunity to collaborate and share knowledge with some amazing business leaders over the next 12 months. Do it Now Now has experienced tremendous growth in the last year and our team has been proud to deliver critical services to Black-led organisations working hard to support their communities. We hope our participation in the Mayor’s International Business Programme will facilitate our organisation's further growth and capacity to deliver greater impact.”
The MIBP welcomes a new cohort every quarter, with notable alumni including companies such as Monzo, Revolut, Elvie and Bloom & Wild. Do it Now Now will have its first opportunity to meet fellow cohort members, programme partners and mentors at the MIBP’s virtual Cohort 20 Launch Week starting on Monday 12 July. Part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the MIBP is supported by five lead partners: Ciklum, Globalization Partners, Microsoft, Taylor Wessing and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati.
For more information about the free, 12-month programme and how it supports London businesses, visit: bit.ly/aboutmibp
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In this spotlight article we are shining a light on Common Call grantee, Equality 4 Black Nurses.
Many Black and Ethnic Minority nurses have long experienced racism and discrimination in their work, with conversations of their experiences typically shared in private. In 2019 it was reported that 17 per cent of nurses experienced workplace discrimination and racism, from their manager, team leader and sometimes colleagues. This percentage rose by 1.3 per cent from the previous year and has been on the rise every year (WRES 2019 & 2020 report).
As infection rates of COVID climbed throughout 2020, along with the rapid rate at which people were being hospitalised, many nurses stepped forward to help contain the virus. From student nurses being drafted in early to assist as well as retired nurses, numerous heroic healthcare professionals put their own lives at risk in order to save the hundreds of thousands of lives endangered by this little understood virus. Shockingly, many of these selfless professionals were on the receiving end of vile racist abuse from patients and internal discrimination, while risking their lives on the frontline.
Within the wider nursing community there has a been an overwhelming response to the racism and discrimination experienced by nurses prior to and during the pandemic, with many completely fed up with their treatment. In response to this maltreatment, as well as the George Floyd murder and the subsequent Black Lives Matter movement, Neomi Bennett set up Equality 4 Black Nurses. The registered Nurse Practitioner founded the organisation in 2020 to ‘bring about positive change by lobbying employers and government to reduce and eradicate racial discrimination in the healthcare sector.’
Neomi tells us: “Although there are equality, diversity and inclusion measures in place within the NHS to protect nurses and patients from racism, unfortunately it seems that those people who are in charge of NHS departments lack the knowledge, expertise and insight to recognise what racism is and its impact on the individual.
Equality 4 Black Nurses has discovered the uncomfortable truth that “racism within the NHS has become embedded within the organisation’s culture and normalized so much that racist behaviours such as microaggressions, gaslighting and bullying has become part of the British healthcare institution.”
The percentage of nurses who have experienced racism and discrimination while caring for the sick during the pandemic has yet to be officially documented, but individual experiences are being reported constantly via social media and through anecdotes told in group chats. One such example is that of the daughter of a nurse, who two months ago tweeted a screengrab of racialized language used by a hiring practice nurse towards her mother. The tweet has been liked over 51 thousand times and has generated thousands of comments of support for her mum, as well as people with their own stories on how racism in the NHS has impacted their own lives. One student nurse tells of her experiences of racism from not just patients but also her lecturers.
Commenting on the incident, Neomi says: “We need accountability, and we would like to see the nurse who was responsible for the written content to be struck off the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) register and for her employers to sack her without notice for gross misconduct. They pose a risk to Black patients and in a nursing environment this could prove fatal, as their actions could be the difference between life and death for a Black patient. The measures the NHS needs to employ to protect Black nurses is to allow Equality 4 Black Nurses to deliver our tailored training package, which considers unconscious bias, microaggressions, cultural awareness and Black nurses lived experiences.”
The support that nurses such as Neomi and institutions like Equality 4 Black Nurses provide for their fellow professionals is vital, offering a safe space for nurses to share their experiences. It is essential that as a community we continue to support Black-led organisations which look after and care for those who take care of us. It is why we continue to support Black people with lived experience of key issues like this so that they can continue to tackle issues that shouldn’t be part of their working lives.
We are proud funders of Equality 4 Black Nurses and we look forward to the deeply rooted impact they will accomplish in the years to come.
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Yesterday, after the England Euro 2021 loss, Bukayo Saka, a 19 year old player, was digitally flooded with racially motivated threats in the comment sections of his social media posts. Much worse has likely found its way into his direct messages. His fellow players Raheem Sterling, Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford have also been hit with volatile racist diatribe. We stand with Bukayo, Raheem, Jadon and Marcus.
Local councils across the country have issued alerts about their fears over increased rates of domestic violence correlating with the times of the England matches, with abuse surging by 38% when England lost in previous world cups. Similar surges have been occurring year-on-year with regards to football related racist abuse online and physical attacks in England rising by 50% last year.
We also stand with the people across the country affected by the violence displayed online or in their homes over the past 24 hours. We all deserve better.