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Newsletter

September 2022

23/09/2022

Welcome to the BEO newsletter,

It has been just 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.


OUR HIGHLIGHTS

BEO Launches
The formation of BEO began two years ago when, on July 29, 2020 Lammy, after consulting founding trustees Dame Vivian and Blackett, 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 watch here

Our powerful campaign video Change Is Here voiced by actress and Bridgerton star Adjoa Andoh the film includes images taken by photographer Misan Harriman, the first Black man to shoot a cover of British Vogue watch here

Listening Series
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 their experienced challenges and 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. As we know, mental health issues are a big issue in the Black community. 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. Read more here


BEO EVENTS

We will be hosting our next Listening events online on the 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.


Key news and insights

How the cost of living crisis is negatively impacting Black communities

Data collected by City Hall; London has found that 31% of Black people across London are financially struggling. 1 in 5 Londoners are earning less than £20,000 and have admitted to going without food regularly or occasionally. The Retail Price Index- the cost-of-living measurement for ordinary people, is predicted to reach over 17% later this year, even higher than inflation which is expected to hit 13%. Read more here.

London’s Poverty Profile published by Trust for London provides evidence on and insight into poverty and inequality in London. Its findings show that 39% of Black and other racialised Londoners have been living in poverty, compared to 27% of households in the capital. Read the report here

New Economics Foundation (NPC) 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

Don’t Pay UK is a movement against the rise in energy bills. The campaign is urging consumers to cancel their direct debit bills starting on October 1, 2022, to coincide with Ofgem lifting the energy price cap, in order to pressure energy companies to lower record-high gas and electricity rates. More than 154,000 people have already pledged not to pay. Don’s Pay UK will only strike if it hits 1 million pledges by 1st October to succeed in their mass action against rising energy bills. Citizens Advice has cautioned potential bill strikers that they may experience “consequences,” especially if their household accumulates debt for energy bills. [Find out more here]

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.


THE ISSUES

Justice

Strip search of children by the Metropolitan Police Service – new analysis by the Children’s Commissioner for England

Key findings from the 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
  • An appropriate Adult was not present on 23% of all occasions when the Metropolitan Police strip searched children
  • From this group of children, 58% were described by officers as being Black, and more than 95% were boys and under 5% of searches were carried out on girls.
  • In 23% of cases, strip searches took place without an “appropriate adult” confirmed to have been present.
  • Two-thirds of these searches (70%) involved Black boys
  • 53% of all strip searches of children resulted in no further action taken by the Metropolitan Police.

Read the full review here

Black women are failed during investigations and missing person cases

Owami Davies, the 24-year-old student nurse who was reported missing on 6th July was found on 22nd August. The way in which Owami Davies’ missing persons case was handled has reignited debate on 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.

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, according to a recent study by the charity Missing People.

If Owami was 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 offenses and in changing drug testing on arrest powers. The consultation closes on October 10th.You can take part here

Culture

Notting Hill Carnival returns

This incredible celebration of Black Caribbean culture, history and contribution in the UK made a big return to West London streets during August Bank Holiday weekend.

Many have criticized mainstream media’s negative coverage of the Notting Hill Carnival, sharing that the persistent narrative that NHC is violent, is unfair. Many have highlighted that there has been a lack of discussions on violence or crime when speaking about the Reading and Leeds festival, even though this music festival experienced a higher prevalence of criminal incidents this year, than NHC. The Voice has reported on the need to stop this outdated and racist media narrative on NHC, which can be read here.

Do you think that the Notting Hill Carnival is negatively reported on? Take the poll

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.

The Ubele Initiative is holding an online event to discuss the Dormant Assets Funding Consultation, on September 13th 2022. Find out more here.


COMMUNITY EVENTS

The World Transformed 24 -27th September, multi-day festival in Liverpool, will imagine, demand and build radical alternatives to the status quo. It will be responding to the biggest political challenges of today and sharing ideas, strategies and skills, training, debates and workshops to strengthen the movement.. Find out more here The BEO community will receive 10% discount using the Promocode BEO22

Spiritual/Religious Texts & Mental Health, 25th September, hosted by Thelma Matilda Alves Foundation and led by Toni Wilkey, a spiritual mental health expert, will explore how different religious and spiritual texts from around the world integrate with mental health to support Black women, find out more here

Annual Autumn Keynote event, 30th September, hosted by The Stuart Hall Foundation in partnership with author Arundhati Roy and Co-Founder of Healing Justice Ldn, Farzana Khan. Event details can be found here.