Mission 44 announces partnership with Black Equity Organisation to remove barriers to education for Black young people in the UK.
Black Equity Organisation (BEO) will receive £100,000 from Mission 44 to explore the barriers to educational attainment for Black pupils in the UK and make recommendations on what can be done to dismantle them to enable children, particularly those from Black Caribbean backgrounds to reach their full potential.
In 2021/22, just 34.4% of Black Caribbean pupils in state-funded schools in England achieved grades 5 or above in English and mathematics GCSEs, compared to 49.6% of the student population overall. BEO’s ‘Black Education in Britain’ programme will examine these gaps and establish clarity about the systemic barriers that need to be addressed to support Black pupils and their families through the education system. Its focus will be to lay the foundations for change across the education sector, working in partnership with key actors.
Founded by some of the UK’s most influential Black leaders from the worlds of business, law, arts and social justice, BEO was formed in response to the murder of George Floyd and the protests in the UK that followed. BEO aims to advance justice and equity for Black people across the country through this new national, strategic race equality organisation in the UK – one that would have the same level of depth and scale as the NACCP in the US.
BEO’s interim CEO and Director of Programmes & Partnerships, Timi Okuwa, said: “This partnership between BEO and Mission 44 is a fantastic opportunity. We are both committed to changing the world for the next generation and this research programme focussing on Black Education in Britain, will help us both gather the evidence and provide potential solutions to make that a reality. We very much look forward to growing our relationship with Lewis, Jason and the team at Mission 44 in the coming years.
Speaking about BEO’s ongoing partnership with key partner Aspire Education Group, led by Patricia Lamour, MBE Timi added: “Patricia and her team at Aspire which will be crucial to the success of our Mission 44 funded Black education research and engagement programme. This partnership will enable BEO to co-develop our educational strategy and play an important part in convening and amplifying Black voices, expertise, and leadership to address systemic racism in education and improve outcomes for Black children and young people in our schools.” – Timi Okuwa, BEO, Interim CEO and Director of Programmes and Partnerships.
Jason Arthur, CEO, Misson 44 said:“BEO is an exciting organisation that will play an important role in tackling systemic racism in the UK. We’re looking forward to working with them to build a more inclusive education system in which Black pupils can thrive and achieve.”
Mission 44 was founded by Sir Lewis Hamilton in 2021 to transform the lives of young people from underserved communities. Through grant-making, advocacy and research, the charity aims to support young people facing disadvantage or discrimination to fulfil their potential. Mission 44 focuses on creating a more inclusive education system, supporting progression into careers in STEM and the creative industries, and empowering young people to lead positive change in their communities and beyond.