It has been over 100 days since we launched as the UK’s first Black civil rights organisation sharing our ambition to dismantle systemic racism and make the UK a better, fairer country for Black people.
We will continue to provide updates on our new events, programmes, services, campaigns, and research over the coming months and we truly appreciate your support for our work.
We can’t dismantle systemic racism without our allies, partners and friends joining us on the journey. If you would like to support our efforts you can volunteer or to donate to BEO please click here.
BEO/Black Voices Report Published
The research, which was conducted by Survation and Clearview Research, comprises of both surveys as well as in-depth interviews with Black people from right across the UK, all heritages and ages. According to Survation, it is the most comprehensive research of Black people in Britain for a decade. Download the reports here.
The formation of BEO began two years ago when, on July 29, 2020 David Lammy MP, after consulting founding trustees Dame Vivian Hunt and Karen Blackett OBE, convened a work session for the design and delivery of a 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.
We launched with backing and support from some leading companies including Sky, WPP, who have provided pro bono marketing and communications support as well as charitable foundation Lankelly Chase and several of the country’s foremost law firms. Lilian Baylis Technology School hosted our in-person launch – you can watch highlights here.
Our powerful launch video “Change Is Here” was voiced by actress and Bridgerton star Adjoa Andoh and includes images taken by photographer Misan Harriman, the first Black man to shoot a cover of British Vogue. You can watch here.
We are identifying new ways to get to the heart of the issues facing Black communities in the UK. Part of this work includes our Listening series which hears from community leaders, activists and advocates from different sectors who share the challenges they’ve faced and their solutions intended to enhance the lives of Black people. Watch our first two online events Barrier To Economic Success: What Is Needed To Overcome? and Bridging The Gap: What Is Needed To Improve Black Lives?
Future 100 Fund
Our £1 million partnership with Sky created the Future 100 Fund to back black entrepreneurs to launch and grow their businesses in the UK. We are thrilled to have received such a high level of interest and strong applicants to participate in our first programme. Read more here.
Government Mental health and wellbeing plan – BEO’s Response
The UK Government recently ran a consultation on mental health and what is needed to improve the nation’s mental health. The data shows us that Black people in Britain are 30% more likely than White people to experience a common mental health problem in any given week and are four times more likely to be detained under the Mental Health Act 1983 than White people. We provided a response to the consultation which you can read here.
Our next Listening events online will take place on 18th and 26th October 2022 at 7pm the focus will be on Education. Save the date in your diary. The registration link will be shared in the coming weeks.
How the cost of living crisis is negatively impacting Black communities
New Economics Foundation (NEF) published research in May 2022 that showed Black, Asian and other ethnic minority households are experiencing costs that are 50 per cent higher than White households as a portion of their income. NPC has developed a detailed briefing that outlines the impact the cost-of-living crisis is having on Black, Asian and ethnic minority community groups. Read more here.
A poll conducted by charity People Like Us, surveying 1639 workers, found that 34% of professionals from Black and Ethnic minority backgrounds said their salary was not enough to cover their mortgage or rent and energy bills, compared to 27% of those from White backgrounds.
Campaigns that matter
Enough is Enough Campaign has been created to fight the cost of living crisis. The campaign calls for a real pay rise for workers; Slashing energy bills, Ending food poverty; Decent homes for all and Tax the rich. Over 500,000 people have signed up to the campaign. Enough is Enough held a rally in Manchester on August 30th where Andy Burnham and Zarah Sultana MP spoke. The group has received global attention and support, getting praise from US politician Bernie Sanders and have launched a series of other rallies taking place across the UK in September.
Step Change a charity that helps people deal with their debt problems has created an online hub to help people get more comfortable with talking about money worries and debt. Its cost of living hub is a dedicated page on its site with vital information on bills, benefits, budgets and more. Explore the page here.
Chris Kaba, 24, an expectant father and rapper was shot dead on Monday 5th September after driving away from police in Streatham Hill – he was unarmed. Our support and prayers are with his family and friends at this sad time. The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) has launched a homicide investigation into Mr Kaba’s death, It’s important to note that this doesn’t mean that criminal charges will necessarily follow.
Jake Ferguson, BEO Strategic Adviser was stewarding at the protest in London which had over 3000 people join outside Scotland Yard. BEO is also working in partnership with Lee Jasper and the Alliance for Police Accountability organisation. Lee is in contact with the Kaba family offering support and ensuring that they are heard by the Mayor and Deputy Mayor of London. Read our full statement here
A 15-year-old black schoolgirl know as Child Q was strip-searched by female Met officers in 2020 without another adult present after she was wrongly suspected of carrying cannabis at her school in Hackney, east London.
The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) confirmed that four Met officers have been served with gross misconduct notices in connection with its ongoing investigation into complaints that Child Q was inappropriately strip-searched.
Key findings from the 2022 review of all strip searches of children conducted as part of a stop and search by the Metropolitan Police between 2018 and 2020 showed that 650 children between the ages of 10-17 years old were strip-searched. Out of which an appropriate adult was not present on 23% of all occasions. The research also showed that from this group of children, 58% were described by officers as being Black, more than 95% were boys and under 5% of searches were carried out on girls.
Read the full review here
Black women are failed during investigations and missing person cases
According to a recent study by the charity Missing People, Black people are almost five times more likely to go missing in England but are less likely to get media attention or engagement on social media.
The disappearance of Owami Davies, the 24-year-old student nurse who was thankfully found on 22nd August, highlights how Black women do not receive enough collective attention, compassion or action from the media, local police forces and wider services in society when they go missing.
If Owami were white her disappearance would have caused more concern, writes the Independent read the article here
If Owami Davies were white, would her disappearance cause more concern? Take the poll
Drug Possession – white paper open consultation
The government is seeking to reform the way the criminal justice system deals with adult drug possession offences and in changing drug testing on arrest powers. The consultation closes on October 10th. You can take part here
Dormant Assets Funding – Open Consultation
The government has announced a Consultation on Dormant Assets Funding and would like your view on how it should fund social and environmental purposes as part of this funding, with a focus on four causes – youth, financial inclusion, social investment, and community wealth funds. The government also welcomes suggestions for any other social or environmental causes that it should consider. You can respond here
Our roles are open to people from all backgrounds, irrespective of their ethnicity, faith, age, LGBTQI status, gender, disability or social class. If you believe in the vital work we are doing, BEO is the place for you… view current vacancies