Note: This is the full version of the article found in our October print edition.
Growing up Black in the UK, and being on the receiving end of institutionalised racism and government policies that are designed to exacerbate wealth and educational inequalities can break many. The increased policing of our communities, the lack of funding, and the educational attainment gap are just a few examples that highlight how this nation undervalues Black life. Despite this, there are some individuals who use the injustices around us, as fuel to inspire change and make a difference. From creating alternative spaces to cater to our community, or challenging discrimination head-on by campaigning against the lack of representation, this list of wonderful young people has used their spirit to address and fight some of the issues we face.
Temi Mwale, Age 24, The 4front Project
Temi Mwale is the founder and director of The 4front Project, a member-led youth organisation established in 2012 to empower young people to be at the forefront for fighting against justice and affecting change. Providing a platform for young people most directly harmed by violence and the criminal justice system, Mwale and her team centre healing and transformative justice, to tackle the root causes of youth violence. “Black children and communities need more love, care and support, in response to their over-exposure to both community and state violence.” – Temi Mwale
See more of their work at: https://www.temimwale.com/
Legally Black (20-21 year olds)
Legally Black was founded by Shiden Tekle – a recent Queen Mary graduate-, Liv Francis-Cornibert, Kofi Asante and Belmiro Matos da Costa. It is a youth-led advocacy organisation which aims to tackle underrepresentation and misrepresentation of Black people in the media. They were recently awarded the MTV EMA Generation Change Award. The group is focused on recentering Black voices within film and TV, as well as addressing the invisibility of positive Black representation.
See more of their work at: https://instagram.com/legallyblackuk
Tianna Johnson, Age 23, Black Girl Camping Trip
Tianna created Black Girl Camping Trip in response to the overwhelming interest she received after sending out a tweet which was liked by over 1.1k people.
Created in 2018 and committed to breaking down barriers many Black people face in accessing the outdoors and nature, BGCT creates unique retreats for Black women and Non-Binary people in the UK as well as Transwomen.
See more of their work at: https://www.tiannajohnson.co.uk/about
Malone Mukwende, Age 20, Mind the Gap
A second-year medical student from St George’s University of London, Malone Mukwende has shone a light on the underlying discrimination present in Medicine. With two other members of staff, Malone produced Mind the Gap, a handbook which shows how clinical signs appear on darker skin.
Malone aims to make healthcare professionals aware of some of the biases they may have when diagnosing patients, and be more inclusive of the wide range of patients they serve.
See more of their work at: https://twitter.com/malone_mk
Sahra-Isha Muhammad-Jones, Age 20, Asra Running Club
A current student at Queen Mary University of London and founder of Asra Club – a Muslim women’s running group- Sahra-Isha is determined to provide a safe space for Muslim women to get fit. That is, without having to compromise their faith or being stereotyped as “breaking barriers”.
Alongside being a writer, researcher, and Vice President of the Decolonise QMUL society, Sahra-Isha created Asra Club in 2019 to address the lack of adequate spaces for Muslim women to access sports. She is also the founder of Sai Noir, a womxn led music magazine which seeks to demystify roles within the music industry.
See more of their work at: https://instagram.com/sahraisha
Tré Ventour, Age 24, Writer
Part of The Guardian’s Young, Black and British interactive writers column entitled “The voices behind the UK’s anti-racism protests”, Tré Ventour is a writer-poet and racial equality activist. His work involves decolonising education, anti-racism and Black history.
He delivers numerous workshops, lectures, and facilitates discussion on race and identity. Passionate about supporting his community, his work has spanned across the educational, healthcare and criminal justice sectors.
See more of their work at: https://treventour.com/