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Empowering change: why there can’t be racial justice without economic empowerment

Copy of Untitled Design (4)
Copy of Untitled Design (4)

Author: Ugo Ikokwu, grants manager

This September we'll open for applications to phase two of the racial justice fund. Programme lead, Ugo Ikokwu, explains why the funding approach for this work remains an important priority for tackling racial injustice.

The pursuit of equality is complicated and requires us to think beyond racial justice itself. Empowering people economically is essential to racial justice. By addressing these two issues together through strategic funding we can create a powerful catalyst for positive change.

Last year we launched a new £4m racial justice fund in partnership with City Bridge Trust with this goal front and centre - to advance both racial and economic justice in Black and minoritised communities in London. In the first phase of the fund we gave out an initial £840,000 to six organisations.

Launching phase two

Phase two of the fund will launch on Tuesday 5 September 2023. Our focus is still very much the same. We want to fund work to reduce poverty in London’s Black and minoritised communities, with a focus on:

  • increasing household income in Black and minoritised communities; and
  • increasing the level of household and community wealth in Black and minoritised communities.

This is what we collectively call economic empowerment, and fundamentally we don't think you can have racial justice without it. Racial justice and economic empowerment are intertwined in profound ways. Black Londoners are more than twice as likely to be in poverty than their white counterparts. We want to challenge the underlying reasons that cause so many Black and minoritised communities to be denied the opportunity to be economically empowered.

We've found through our conversations and reflections from the first funding round, that to truly uplift these communities it's crucial to address both the barriers faced due to racial identity and the economic hurdles that block progress. We recognise that funding that bridges this gap between racial justice and economic empowerment is a potent force for change, and this will continue to be a long-term strategic commitment for us.

The racial justice fund will re-open on 5 September 2023. Book a place on one of our information webinars about the fund.