Tiredness and hope.
100Projects.Org was born out of tiredness and hope.
Tiredness from living with the feeling of intense surveillance, of being noticed and observed, for simply being in a predominantly white space, and of quizzical looks from store owners and their security guards when we venture shoppig.
Tiredness from public institutions and corporate organisations making our blackness the subject of eloquent corporate proclamations, without first addressing the lack of racial diversity in their leadership and senior management ranks.
Tiredness from being made to feel like we are not appreciative of the career opportunities we have worked hard for, when we discover that our white colleagues, with equal and comparative skills, have been earning significantly more for doing the same job.
Tiredness from our children’s hair, their beautiful crown of weaves and twists, being the subject of profound interest and inquiry at the school gate, while the invaluable contributions of their forebears is omitted from the pages of history in the classroom.
Tiredness from remaining silent for far too long, because making people face up to the cheapness of their interest in the issues of structural racism may come across as a tad bit unfriendly. Or how calling out racial microaggressions may be perceived as disproportionate or aggressive.
Tiredness from people thinking we want special consideration. Or that we are demanding extraordinary treatment. When all we ask for is a level playing field; equality of opportunity, and the same levels of consideration as our white counterparts.
Tiredness from hearing the narrative of adversity young black men in America sometimes find themselves mired in – or have thrust upon them.
Tiredness from pretending, along with nearly every other person in this country, that Britain does not have its forms of systemic discrimination and racial inequalities, or should we say structural forms of privilege and bias, that need to be addressed.
Tiredness from knowing that the protests, and the corporate statements and the black tiles on Instagram, while all in themselves are remarkably well-intentioned, will not be, in any way, sufficient to drive sustainable social change.
But there is hope.
Study after study shows that diversity and inclusion enables a stronger and more resilient society. And quite unlike any other time in the history of mankind, we are the first generation of human beings with the technology, the know-how and the money to address these issues.
That is why we are taking on the mission to help create a more diverse and inclusive society by bringing together people, knowledge, creativity and financial capital to tackle the pressing issues of racial inequality and systemic bias facing black people working in Britain.
Would you join us?