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Black Thrive

About Us

"In struggle is our history, our language and our being. That struggle begins wherever we are.. Then we become part of those millions…dreaming to change the world."

Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o

Author and Academic

Our History

Since the 1950’s Lambeth has been home to the UK’s biggest Black community, with people of African and Caribbean origin past and present making valuable and sustained contributions to the cultural and economic life of the borough. Despite these successes, Lambeth continues to be a borough faced with growing socio-economic inequality which disproportionately affects Black African and Caribbean people. There is evidence to suggest that exposure to the stressors linked to these inequalities negatively impacts one’s physical health and mental wellbeing.

We started in Lambeth in 2016, primarily in response to the recommendations of Lambeth Black Health and Wellbeing Commission following the death in police custody of Sean Rigg, a Black musician who at the time was experiencing challenges with his mental health and died as a result of the use of excessive force.

We exist to address the inequalities that negatively impact the mental health and wellbeing of Black people in Lambeth. We are a partnership between communities, statutory organisations, voluntary groups, and the private sector. We work collaboratively to reduce the inequalities that lead to poorer socioeconomic outcomes for Black communities in the borough and initiate the systemic change required to see Black residents thrive.

Black Thrive Lambeth is a facilitation team striving together with our partners and our community for meaningful change and progress for Black Lambeth residents.

"And once you realise that you can do something, it would be difficult to live with yourself if you didn’t do it."

James Baldwin


Our Vision

We want to see Black communities in Lambeth thrive, experience good mental health and wellbeing. We are working towards a present where Black people are supported by relevant, accessible services, which provide the same excellent quality of support for all people regardless of their race.

Black Thrive Lambeth is a facilitation team striving together with our partners and our community for meaningful change and progress for Black Lambeth residents.

"A movement is a conscious decision, to organise,
to deal with the issues that face you."

Altheia Jones

Poet and Activist

Our Philosophy & Approach

  1. Placing Black Communities At The Centre

    Due to structural inequalities, the experiences, and outcomes for Black people in Lambeth are, on average, significantly worse than those of their white counterparts in every sphere of life – education, employment, income, social care, housing, policing, criminal justice, wellbeing, and health. We believe that the only way forward is to centre the voices, experiences, and expertise of the full spectrum of Black communities in creating the change that is needed – of the people, by the people, with the people, for the people!

  2. Collective Impact

    Collective Impact was first described by Kania and Kramer in 2011; this approach recognises that complex social problems cannot be addressed by individual organisations acting alone. Instead, cross-sector collaboration is required. Therefore, we work collectively with organisations, groups, businesses that provide direct services for Black residents, in order to support systems, change within the borough, by connecting people and organisations.

  3. Embedding Race Equity In Systemic Change

    The various systems and the people who work within them consistently create environments that prevent Black people from thriving. We work with individuals and organisations to challenge the mindsets and imbalances of power which underpin policy development, the allocation of resources and practices. Many Black people thrive in spite of the odds that are stacked against them. We change the odds by embedding race equity at every level of the system, building upon these experiences so that thriving is not the exception but becomes the rule.

  1. Taking An Intersectional Approach

    Black people in Lambeth are not a single, homogenous group and we know that disadvantage is amplified at different intersections of social and economic circumstances and identities, such as poverty, disability, gender, sexual orientation, and employment status. Our work is intersectional, as we recognise that people’s social identities can overlap, creating compounding experiences of oppression and discrimination.

  2. Decolonising The Evidence Landscape: Black-led and Black Lensed Research

    We work to disrupt the knowledge production process by critiquing existing Eurocentric research through a Black intersectional lens and actively contributing to the knowledge base by undertaking Black-led academic and/or lived experience research. This provides a foundation that enables systems to understand what can transform the Black experience from surviving to thriving. We are building a Black Thrive Research Institute to do this.