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Black Thrive Global becomes the new host for Black Thrive Lambeth
Black Thrive was born out of the frustration within Black communities who had grown weary of the trauma inflicted on them at the hand of the State. Too many of our brothers, sisters and siblings such as Sean Rigg, Olaseni Lewis, Cherry Groce, to name a few, have lost their lives and liberty due to systemic failures.
Who would have thought that the 40 recommendations that emerged from Lambeth’s Black Health and Wellbeing Commission (BHWC) would seed a movement to reduce the mental health inequalities experienced by Black communities? These recommendations shifted people’s mindsets. Commissioners and service providers are more aware of the links between racism and the poor outcomes (e.g. mental, physical, social and economic) experienced by Black communities in Lambeth and beyond.
In 2014, Jacqui Dyer, co-founder of Black Thrive Lambeth, worked with Social Finance to seek investment to challenge the status quo and take the 40 recommendations from BHWBC forward. Three years later, with the support of some dedicated individuals, partners and funders the Black Thrive Lambeth Partnership was born.
To guide the partnership’s strategic direction, a Black-led team was recruited and over the years they have brought the local community and organisations together to shape policies, co-design services and attract resources into the borough. The seed has taken root. The team has grown from two members of staff to ten, and we are now able to realise our ambition of becoming an entirely Black-led organisation. Healthwatch Lambeth previously hosted our work in Lambeth. Moving forward, Black Thrive Global CIC will now host the team and the work planned in Lambeth.
Our vision that all Black people will live full lives wherever they reside remains at the forefront of our minds. The desire for Black communities to take the lead in reimagining their existence in a just world burns bright. As the new host, Black Thrive Global is committed to supporting the Lambeth team to build on their successes and strengthen the Black Thrive Partnership. Together they will continue to challenge racism within services and deliver real change in the lives of Black people locally.
Over the next 12 months, they will continue to work with communities and partner organisations in Lambeth to influence policy and practice. They will focus on improving the emotional and social wellbeing of children and young people; address racial and disability discrimination within the workplace to reduce the barriers to accessing employment opportunities and progression; improve access to and the experience of mental health services; and develop the workforce to deliver culturally relevant services that are free from discrimination.
However, the patterns of inequalities experienced by Black people in Lambeth are also found globally, which indicates that systemic racism is deeply rooted and widespread. There is great work happening in Lambeth, as well as across the UK and worldwide to address these challenges, and there is much we can learn from one another. Black Thrive Global aims to work with partners to make better use of data, to inform decision-making and share learning.
We are also aware of the biases in existing research. We will do our part to decolonise the evidence base, so that communities and decision-makers can invest in great ideas and better solutions. We will work with communities to tell their stories, as well as influence and undertake research that answers questions that are important to them. We also seek to identify the conditions required to enable people to thrive against the odds, and critically review existing literature through an anti-racist lens.
We recognise that we will not achieve our ambitions without the support of Black communities and our allies. Over the next 12 months, we will work with the Black Thrive Lambeth Partnership and stakeholders across the UK to design a leadership academy. This programme seeks to mobilise communities and the workforce to influence the systems that they work within, in order to improve outcomes for Black communities.
Global and Lambeth’s teams commit to creating a platform where the voices of Black communities are at the centre. We will bring our energy and learning to both challenge and inspire individuals, communities, organisations, and neighbourhoods to be courageous. If we tap into our individual and collective power, we can create an anti-racist society where Black communities thrive. The progress we have made in Lambeth, and this move towards a whole-heartedly Black-led movement, demonstrates that change can and will come.
Black Thrive Global Directors – Dr. Jacqui Dyer, Lela Kogbara and David Weaver.
Black Thrive Lambeth Director – Natalie Creary