Some of the most influential black figures in the United Kingdom have launched the country’s first national Black civil rights group to advance justice and equity.
Created around the second anniversary of George Floyd’s killing in the United States, which sparked worldwide protests, the Black Equity Organization (BEO) aims to dismantle systemic racism, focusing on key areas where Black people face the greatest inequity, including economics, politics, and criminal justice.
BEO hopes to have the same level of scale as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in the United States, founded by Black progressives in 1909.
“This is a generational moment; history will view us harshly if we don’t do something,” artistic director and BEO Board Trustee Kwame Kwei-Armah told The Guardian.
“It is not about just that moment — as a community, we have experienced the Windrush scandal, the Grenfell Tower tragedy, and the more recent distressing Child Q incident. Our launch and existence is focused on creating the change that will ensure these stop happening,” Kwei-Armah further said.
BEO’s Board of Trustees also includes academic David Olusoga, Shadow Foreign Secretary and Labor Member of Parliament David Lammy, and business leader Dame Vivian Hunt, among others.
BEO already has support from several of the foremost law firms in the UK, according to The Independent.
The launch came a year after the government-backed Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities published a report that suggested that institutional racism did not exist in the UK, sparking condemnation.
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