'A people without knowledge of their history and culture is like a tree without roots'.
- Marcus Garvey
It's that time of the year again in the UK - Black History Month. Despite celebrations across all industries, events taking place across the country, and articles citing the contributions Black people have made to the UK over history, you may have heard of that there has been somewhat of a backlash.
This year, some councils and organisations took the decision to rebrand BHM as 'Diversity Month', celebrating people from all walks of life and backgrounds, labelling the celebration of Black culture and history as out-dated, exclusive and discriminatory. From a statistical point of view, too, interest and funding in BHM has dropped rapidly in the UK since 2012. Whilst we can argue that we may not need a month for our history as Black history should be acknowledged everyday, the reason for BHM is the same reason for why there is a need for the BYP Network - representation.
We live in a world where Florence Nightingale is celebrated widely, yet many fail to recognise the name Mary Seacole. Everyone knows Charles Darwin and his theory of evolution, but rarely do people mention John Edmonstone, the man who mentored Darwin as a youngster and propelled him to start researching the phenomenon of natural selection.
It is this same argument for the lack of recognition of Black faces in certain industries, certain roles, and certain organisations, which prompted me to create BYP Network - a space where we could make sure Black voices, faces and stories were seen, heard and shared. Our network is one that is inclusive of all, but works to represent Black young professionals in all workplaces and create a space to find career opportunities, receive mentoring, advice, guidance - all of which are necessary to navigate a workplace, particularly one in which we are not represented in.
The question we ask to our members is how will you celebrating Black History Month? What will you be doing to change the narrative and leave a legacy for those after you?
Do you want to make a difference to the Black community?
Opportunities are still available for those of you who are interested in our mentoring programme. If you would like to offer your expertise to upcoming talent, fill in the form here.
For students, we're pairing up with African & Caribbean societies. Register your interest here to join the party!
Let's rise together,
Kike Oniwinde 🏿
Catch Our Founder, Kike Oniwinde, at Meeting Of The Minds
On 21st October, our founder and CEO, Kike Oniwinde, will be speaking at Meeting of the Minds' 'The Big Business of Starting Up: Discover How to Grow and Execute Your Idea'.
Interested in finding out how Kike created and grew BYP from an idea to a network of over
20, 000 online? Get tickets here.
The Best Black History Month News
Let's Talk About Black History Before Slavery!
These Black Men Transformed the UK.
Let's Recognise the Contributions of Black People from the LGBT Community!
How Did Black Women Contribute to Womens' Suffrage?
Check Out this Black Heroes Art Series
Dami Fawehinmi interviews Michael Bervell, Harvard student and founder of Hugs For Ghana, a student-run non-profit organisation that has raised over $500, 000 and impacted the lives of over 300, 000 people worldwide. Read the article here.
Do you have a story to tell?
If you are interested in being interviewed by our blogger, Dami, email us here.
Want to join the blogging team? Email here
This week's #BYPOfTheWeek is Sharon Adjei. The CEO and Head Creative Stylist at Josh Hair & Beauty. Her work portfolio includes working with Ayo Banton to produce exquisite campaigns for the likes of Wahl, Claudio Lugli, Liberty, Scott Cornwall to name a few.
If you'd like to nominate yourself or a fellow BYP, email us and you could see your face in this newsletter!
BYP UKBBS: 15% off & we'll be there!
We are delighted to be sponsoring the UK Black Business Show 2018 on October 13th. There'll be business exhibitions, workshops, interactive panels and seminars, and much more!
Code is BYP which gives you 15% off tickets, click