In January 2020 we had planned on starting this particular GO FUND But shortly after that the Pandemic took place and some of our team based in London had to return back to their countries due to the global shutdown.
7 Months later here we are. The lockdown has eased and things seem to be slowly returning back to "normailty"
THE PANDEMIC AND ITS EFFECT ON BLACK HOMELESS PEOPLE
During the pandemic various hotels including Intercontinental Hotel Group, Travelodge, Best Western and Accor provided rooms across the capital to make sure homeless Londoners were protected from the virus. The scheme was ran by homeless charity St Mungo's and funded by a £10.55million grant from the Mayor of London and the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government. But after some of our street interviews and meet ups we've noticed that there were barriers accessing homeless provisions and some of these "service needs" for the African / Afro Carribeans in the UK.
With that we have decided as the lockdown has eased to continue with our efforts to reach out and support the African / Afro Carribean Homeless by providing them Essential Everyday Packs.
OUR INITIAL ESSENTIAL PACKS
Essential Packs we have for Women:
Sanitary Towels, Underwear, Socks, Teeshirts, Toothbruths, Flannels, Toothpaste, Deodorant, Soap, Handsanitizers, Wipes (Face Wipes) Reusable Water Bottles, Water, High Protein / Carb snacks.
Essential Packs we have for Men.
Underwear, Socks, Teeshirts, Toothbruths, Flannels, Toothpaste, Deodorant, Soap, Handsanitizers, Wipes (Face Wipes) Reusable Water Bottles, Water, High Protein / Carb snacks.
We pledge for your support to raise this fund to further asssit in providing MORE Essentials in these packs. Below are some of the health issues weve noticed homeless people have and what we plan to include in our next Essential Pack with your donations.
1. Skin & foot problems People experiencing homelessness are often out and about for long periods of time, sometimes in ill-fitting shoes and worn-out socks. Your donation will help us add more socks, comfortable footwear to each Essential Pack.
2. Dental problems The inability to access preventative and restorative care, combined with poor hygiene, often results in tooth decay and other oral health issues which can be expensive to resolve. Your donation will help us add Toothpastes / Toothbrush, mouthwash for better oral health in each Essential Pack.
3. Respiratory illness Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, bronchitis and other forms of respiratory disease are also common among people experiencing homelessness which is caused by sleeping on cold surfaces during cold weathers. Your donation will help us add Sleeping Bags, Blankets, Thermal Winter Wear in each Essential Pack.
4. Hunger and nutrition Poor nutrition can also contribute to a number of chronic conditions over time, and issues like fatigue and weakness in the short term. Your donation will help us add Holistic / Nutritious food items in each Essential Pack.
5. Also your donation will provide Racksacks rather than the tote bags we used initially. Racksacks we find allows more items to be carried comfortably and makes movement easier.
6. Unintentional Injuries The harsh conditions of being homeless often lead to serious injury or death. Unintentional injuries are a leading cause of morbidity and mortality, especially among homeless men. Injuries are often the result of falls or being struck. Your donation will help us add a small medical kit in each Essential Pack.
7. We also provide our own safe reusable water bottles as plastic bottles contain bisphenol A (BPA) and other plastic toxins that seeps out of the bottle making their way into the bloodstream, which can cause a host of problems and damage.
8. There will be monthly updates on the homeless people we meet on here
The uprising of the Black Lives Matter movement in wake of the death of George Floyd started protests and most importantly, conversations on what needs to happen in order for racial injustice to stop occurring and for black people to be treated as equal. An ongoing topic I see all over social media in regards to this is the topic of educating our white counterparts about racism and why it’s wrong.
For most of us, we know that racism is wrong. We know that judging someone by the colour of their skin is wrong. However, as we continue to see in our daily lives, there are a lot of people who for whatever reason have been taught that judging someone by the colour of their skin is the right thing to do and in accordance with that, to treat people with certain skin tones in a certain way.
It’s clear that these people do need to be taught that what they have been taught is wrong, but is that for us as black people to do? Or is it something that we should leave to these people to do for themselves?
Sayce Holmes-Lewis, the Co-founder of Mentivity, a black owned service that supports young people through sports, education and much more, took matters into his own hands following an incident where he was unfairly stopped and search by the Metropolitan Police. In an area such as London especially, that is very diverse and multi-cultural and with the current climate of racism that we're living in, it's no surprise that Holmes-Lewis was yet another victim of an unfair and unjust stop and search. Below is data that shows the Stop & Search rate per 1000 people by ethnicity and the results are unsurprising:
Holmes-Lewis, in the video which he took whilst being searched, vowed to have a sit-down conversation with the Metropolitan Police and educate them on how to approach not just young black kids, but also black people in general.
ITV covered parts of this first of what will hopefully be many sit downs between Holmes-Lewis and the Metropolitan Police and from what we can see in video, the conversation had seemed to be very productive.
I have personally always been in favour of educating our white counterparts on racism and seeing the conversation that Holmes-Lewis was having with the police was really encouraging and I believe that more conversations like this need to be had, not just with the police, but with as many people as possible especially if we want change.
These conversations will be difficult and they will be awkward and they may even cause a bit of friction. Not everyone will be receptive and open to these kinds of conversations simply because they are too stuck in their ways, but the more people we are able to educate, the more people we are able to have these type of productive conversations with and the more people we can finally get to understand why the racist mentality they’ve been taught is so wrong, the closer we can get to providing the next generation and even potentially ourselves with a life that is free of racial injustice and a life where black people are treated as equals as we very well should be.
Be sure to check out & support Sayce Holmes-Lewis and ‘Mentivity’ by clicking the link below:
It is estimated that there are approximately 30 million people around the world who are speech impaired and therefore rely on the use of sign language to be able to communicate with others. Not everyone understands sign language, so for someone who is speech impaired it will obviously be difficult for them to communicate what they want to say.
In steps Roy Allela, a 25-year old man from Kenya who has created an invention that’ll solve this problem: Smart Gloves. These gloves are able to convert sign language into audio speech, meaning that a person who does not know sign language would be able to communicate much more effectively with those with speaking difficulties.
Allela says that he was inspired to create these gloves by his 6-year old deaf niece, who uses the gloves to communicate with him. Each of these gloves contains sensors in the fingertips which detect the movement being made once connected to the mobile application created also by Allela to work in tandem with it. Once connected and upon a movement being made, the corresponding letter or word comes out as audio speech.
One of the most important features about this product according to Allela is the speed of the audio. He says: “People speak at different speeds and it’s the same with people who sign – others are really fast, others are slow, so we integrated that into the mobile application so that it’s comfortable for anyone to use it.”
Inventors like Roy Allela are the people that the black community needs to push, push and push some more. These are the kind of inventions that get swept up by someone else claiming it was theirs and getting all the rewards from it as well as being recognised as the creator. Take Thomas Edison for example, the ‘creator’ of the light bulb. The innovation used to create longer, more efficient light bulbs with the carbon filament that we use today was created by an African-American man, Lewis Latimer. He’s often the one who gets overshadowed and forgotten about but without him, there would be no light bulb.
With this being said, it is important that we as a community give Roy Allela the recognition and exposure his invention deserves. It has incredible potential and is something that a lot of people, maybe even 30 million people, will be able to benefit from. Click here to see a video of the gloves in action.
Written by Lore Adekeye (Twitter: @loreadekeye, Instagram: @shemz_nl)
Today marks the start of an initiative created by So Solid Crew Member Swiss on the back the death of George Floyd and the uprising of the Black Lives Matter movement. Black Pound Day as described by Swiss is a way of repurposing the energy brought about by the recent racial injustices that have occurred and turning it into something that can positively benefit the Black community.
Black businesses exist in many different markets including Fashion, Hair & Makeup and fitness. However, even with the existence of black businesses, the spending of black people has generally not been within the black community. It has been reported that approximately 95% of money spent by the black community is actually spent OUTSIDE the community and with BME purchasing power at a whopping £300 Billion as reported by IPA Multicultural Britain (2012), that means that approximately £285 Billion is being spent outside the black community and only £15 billion being spent inside of it. In isolation £15 billion is a lot of money but when compared to the total amount of spending power that is being spent elsewhere, it’s clear to see that more work needs to be done by consumers in investing in black businesses and also by black businesses themselves ensuring that they create sustainable businesses that can withstand the tests of time.
Black Pound Day is a day that pushes that ideal and encourages people to spend on black businesses and like Black Lives Matter should be a movement, not a moment. Swiss when talking about the purpose of Black Pound Day within a caption of one of his Instagram pictures, also said this:
“The vision of Black Pound Day is to empower the community to create a new economy which will, in turn, underpin our long-term financial growth and infrastructure.”
Black Pound Day will be celebrated once a month and will require you to do these 5 things to show your support for the movement:
Buy from any black-owned business.
Take a picture of your purchase.
Post and Hashtag #BlackPoundDay
Share Your experience on socials (Important to note for black businesses, ensure your customer service is good! This isn’t a day for you to get away with poor customer service for the sake of some money).
Recommend the business to a friend.
Be sure to follow Swiss on his Instagram page @swissworld_ to stay updated on all things relating to the Black Pound Day Movement.
Written by Lore Adekeye. Social Media Handles: @loreadekeye (twitter) / @shemz_nl (Instagram).
Since the death of George Floyd and the uprising of the Black Lives Matter movement, it has become even more evident that racism definitely still exists in the UK. At the time of writing this, two police officers have been arrested for taking selfies, yes selfies, with the dead bodies of two black women, Nicole Smallman and Bibaa Henry and sharing them in a WhatsApp group chat.
It’s unfortunate to say that this isn’t in the least bit surprising due to the current climate we live in where racism is still very much alive and exists within the systematic structures in this country and elsewhere. Where did it start though? What’s the history of racism in the UK and the fundamental grounds on which it has stood on for so many years and still does until this day? We’ll start with Britain’s involvement in The Triangular Trade.
THE TRIANGULAR TRADE AND BRITAIN’S INTRODUCTION INTO SLAVERY
The Triangular Trade is the term for the 3-way trading system that existed in the 16th century up until the 19th century. It involved three different regions: Africa, America and Europe. It is estimated that as well as other things such as manufactured goods and cash crops, the triangular trade took at least 12 million Africans as slaves to different destinations across America and Europe and this system had great involvement from Great Britain. Their involvement increased when the Treaty of Utretch (1713) gave the British slave traders right to sell slaves in the Spanish Empire. This was very profitable for the British even though it meant worse than poor treatment for any human being whilst they took slaves through the Atlantic to sell them in North America. This passage was called ‘The Middle Passage’ and it is estimated that 2 million slaves died whilst on this passage in the hands of British slave traders from diseases such as smallpox, scurvy and measles.
This continued all the way until the early 19th century when public opinion finally decided to hold weight and people began to realise that what was happening was wrong. Resistances began to form and British slave ships were getting attacked and slaves were set free and eventually, the slave trade was abolished in Britain in 1833. This did not mean, however, that racism ended.
As many Africans and Caribbean people began to move to Britain upon invite from the British Government themselves, our people were still subject to racial injustice in the form of violent crimes and systematic oppression. There was a belief that those who were white were far more supreme than those who were black and this was evident in the laws that were passed such as the ‘Colour Alien Seamen’s Order’ (1925) which stated that any coloured men that did not have the documentation to prove that they were British were to be listed as ‘aliens.’ This belief became ingrained in the minds of a lot of British people and unfortunately, today still exists within the minds of a lot of other people. There were a lot of high profile cases in which a black person was killed with no grounds for doing so other than the colour of their skin, including Kelso Cochrane in 1959 and Stephen Lawrence in 1993.
In an effort to relieve the racial tension that existed in Britain, more organisations such as the Black People’s Alliance (1970) were formed, big strikes such as the Grumwick Strike (1976) took place and events such as the Notting Hill Carnival which was started by a woman name Rhaune Lasset-O’Brien who was born to a Native American mother and a Russian father, were created in an attempt to bring many people together. This was all after laws were put in place in 1965 which wasn’t THAT long ago, to prevent racist practices from taking place.
AND SINCE THEN….
It would be a lie to say that things are exactly the same as they were during the early days in Britain, where black people couldn’t even go into certain restaurants or other public places. However, there is still a lot of progress that needs to be made.
The mindset that exists in Britain that was built upon The Triangular Trade and laws such as the Colour Alien Seamen’s Order still exists and that can’t be disputed. From the death of Mark Duggan to what has happened to Nicole Smallman and Bibaa Henry, many examples of the racist ideals that existed and were legally allowed all those years back are still alive today.
With that being said, it is ESSENTIAL that the Black Lives Matter movement continues not just in America but also here in the UK to prevent racial injustices from occurring and to get to the period in time where eventually, people are no longer judged by their skin but by the content of their character (Martin Luther King Jr, 1929-1968).
Written by Lore Adekeye. Social media handles: @loreadekeye (twitter) / @shemz_nl (IG).
All that racism needs to keep going is for white people to keep being nice, says Robin DiAngelo. Being nice is better than the alternative, of course—but ask: What else am I doing to end racial inequality?"But I have friends of color" is a deflection device, not a real way to engage in productive dialogue about systemic racism.It's difficult for white people hear and, in DiAngelo's experience, many people will reject the idea of systemic racism and how they may benefit from it simply because it is too uncomfortable.For the white people who want to push through this issue, the biggest thing they can do is recognize internalized superiority.
Yesterday I started a firestorm by saying that statues of the blonde-haired, blue-eyed Jesus-figure should be taken down just like the monuments of slaveholders. The problem is that for tens of millions of white people, it's necessary for that Jesus, that Savior, to be white. And it has been used as a tool of oppression for hundreds of years. It's a problem. Aired: June 23, 2020 The Breakdown with Shaun King
In her 2018 book “White Fragility,” Dr. Robin DiAngelo digs into unconscious bias--and why white people are so defensive when it comes to talking about race. Now as the book returns to the top of the bestseller list--as people seek to educate themselves--we are airing an extended version of her 2018 conversation with Michel Martin. Originally aired on September 21, 2018.