This year has been turbulent economically, environmentally and politically - at times it can be hard to see the glass half full.
We have seen natural disasters destroy lives around the world, we have seen brutality at the hands of the people meant to protect our communities, and politically we have seen an insane (and worrying) shift to the right. This year we’ve had to put our futures in the hands of a government who ignore the plights of our underfunded schooling system, the NHS, council housing, today’s youth … the list goes on.
Yet here we are nearing the end of 2017, alive and hopefully healthy. Although all of the above may be true, it’s important for us to look at the positives. We need to continue to look at our own journeys in this life and see what we can do to help our families, our communities, and ourselves.
Just over one year ago, I launched the Black Young Professionals Network (BYP Network) so I can give back to my community. Over 3,000 people have signed up for the BYP Network app, and hundreds of people have attended at least one of our eight events held in the past year. Plus, last Friday (15th), I was fortunate enough to celebrate BYP Network’s first birthday with our growing community at the Boondocks where there was a lot of networking, dancing, and people having a really good time.
It makes me proud to see so many people attend our events; doctors, lawyers, established writers, CEOs. I’ve always known that the black community is capable of anything, and the network we are growing constantly proves this.
I’m excited for the black community and it brings me joy to see so many people benefit from these events and resonate with our aim: to celebrate and champion black young professionals. Something that the media are very reluctant to do.
We know that the black community can make a difference. We can see people standing up and saying ‘this isn’t right’ or, ‘someone needs to be held accountable’. We’ve seen it in the past with Rosa Parks, Maya Angelou and Martin Luther King, and we’re seeing it today with Colin Kaepernick, Serena Williams, Stormzy, Barack Obama and you.
This is why I want to hear from the BYP Network community. What have you done this year that makes you proud? What are you grateful for this year? How have we helped you? And if we haven’t helped you, what can we do this year to change that? Let me know in the comments below.
All the best,
P.S. The Amref charity and the Sicklekan charity are two causes very dear to my heart, at BYP Network we’re working on bringing awareness to these causes. We will be focusing on both charities in our next few blog posts, so if you or anyone you know has dealt with issues stemming from these illnesses, or you have worked with these charities in the past, we would like to hear from you.