Black Leaders Awareness Day: Inspirational young black leaders

Black Leaders Awareness Day: Inspirational young black leaders

Black Leaders Awareness Day©

Black Leaders Awareness Day (BLAD) is celebrating its first year, recently founded by Veronica Martin, COO of Aleto and Baton Awards Winner during lockdown in 2020 and after the rise in inspirational leaders throughout the Black Lives Matter movement. This day aims to raise awareness of influential Black leaders, and to ultimately ensure that we celebrate and acknowledge the impact they have had not only throughout history, but in the present day and beyond. 

 We have created a list of inspiring young black leaders that are driving positive change and striving to eradicate social and financial injustices: 

Marcus Rashford MBE English professional footballer for Premier League club Manchester United and the England national team

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Marcus Rashford MBE (@marcusrashford)

Marcus Rashford has been named as one of the most influential black people in British football and he is just 23 years of age. He has used his platform to drive positive change and has campaigned and successfully prompted major changes in government policy for the provision of free school meals during school holidays to low-income families. 

Rashford speaking to The Guardian about food poverty–  “Food poverty is contributing to social unrest. Add school closures, redundancies, and furloughs into the equation and we have an issue that could negatively impact generations to come. It all starts with stability around access to food.”

Rashford following the voting down of the proposal in October 2020, on how he will continue to use his platform to raise issues on humanity, and the need for long-term food stability in children’s lives – “I don’t have the education of a politician, many on Twitter have made that clear today, but I have a social education having lived through this and having spent time with the families and children most affected. These children matter… And as long as they don’t have a voice, they will have mine.” – Twitter

Amanda Gorman – Youngest inaugural poet in U.S history, first person to be named National Youth Poet Laureate in 2017, author of the collection of poems The One for Whom Food Is Not Enough

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Amanda Gorman (@amandascgorman)

Amanda Gorman is an American poet and activist – with her work focusing on social issues such as oppression, feminism, race, and marginalisation. At only 23 years of age, she is one of our youngest, most inspiring voices, and she not only shone at President Biden’s inauguration but made history with her powerful and energising performance of The Hill We Climb.

For there is always light,

if only we’re brave enough to see it.

If only we’re brave enough to be it

Amanda Gorman’s The Hill We Climb 

Timothy Armoo Founder of Fanbytes

 
 
 
 
 
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Timothy Armoo founded Fanbytes whilst at the University of Warwick and has since collaborated with worldwide brands such as Nike and Deliveroo, in an attempt to help businesses broaden the reach of their social media campaigns. Specifically, Armoo has focused on the use of TikTok and how this particular platform can be used to connect with ‘Gen-Z’. Fanbytes is now widely regarded as one of the world’s most leading ‘influencer’ marketing agencies, and the impact of the company has seen Armoo named the ‘most influential person in marketing and advertising’ (Evening Standard), a business owner who is seen to be ‘leading the new school of marketing’ (Forbes).

More recently, as part of an ongoing effort throughout the pandemic, Armoo created a fund for growing, yet underfunded black creators and businesses. Armoo strives to continue his work with underprivileged people and help promote small businesses with incredible potential.

Nupol Kiazolu American activist and founder of Vote 2000

 
 
 
 
 
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Nupol Kiazolu is the President of the Youth Coalition for Black Lives Matter of Greater New York and is the founder and CEO of Vote 2000. She began her Vote 2000 campaign in 2017 when she was 18, which focused on encouraging young people of colour to vote in America. She partnered with Dosomething.org and registered over 100,000 young people to vote. She continues today to be a positive role model and is living proof that there is no age limit on activism, and she will continue to take strong stances on the issues that impact her community.

Nupol Kiazolu was part of Teen Vogue’s 21 Under 21 class of 2018, “which spotlights extraordinary young women, girls, and femmes making waves in their industries or passions of choice” – Teen Vogue

On speaking with Teen Vogue she highlighted her goal of becoming president in 2036, and how she ultimately strives to eradicate racism and social and financial injustices.

Yomi Adegoke Award winning British journalist, author and columnist for The Guardian and British Vogue

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Yomi Adegoke is a British journalist who raises awareness of issues surrounding race, feminism and popular culture. She has worked as a columnist for The Guardian and British Vogue and has also worked with ITN, Channel 4 News and as a senior writer for The Pool. She has also co-written several books including Loud Black Girls: 20 Black Women Writers Ask: What’s Next? and Slay In Your Lane: The Black Girl Bible

Yomi Adegoke was listed as one of the most influential people in London by the Evening Standard and journalist of the year by Woman Africa Awards. More recently, she was named as a ‘frontline pioneer’ bringing the fight to ‘a new generation’, by Harper Collins and has also been named a Marie Claire Future Shaper. Adegoke was awarded the Groucho Maverick for her first book, Slay In Your Lane: The Black Girl Bible, which was written with co-author Elizabeth Uviebinene.

Nadine WhiteJournalist and race correspondent at The Independent

 
 
 
 
 
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Nadine White is Britain’s first and only race correspondent at The Independent; she solely focuses on reporting issues surrounding people of colour and amplifying Black voices. She has investigated anti-Black racism within the Labour Party, which had officials introducing new codes of conduct surrounding this form of racism. She was also the first Black journalist shortlisted for the prestigious Paul Foot Award in 2020 that honours investigative or campaigning journalism 

Nadine White on making history with her position at The Independent – “To be part of the change that I’ve always wanted to see” and that being race correspondent was both her “dream role and an important continuation of the work I’ve been doing over these years” – Press Gazette

Cheick Camara and Ermias TadesseCo-CEO and Co-Founders of BlackGen Capital (Cornell University’s first Black investment fund)

Cheick Camara and Ermias Tadesse are the founders and CEO’s of BlackGen Capital which aims to serve minorities that are underrepresented in the financial services industry and the business world. Their organisation aims to reduce these barriers by cultivating an environment that educates but also acts as a network that members can professionally leverage. 

 “We foster a community of talented Black and Hispanic students who are interested in paying it forward and becoming the next generation of finance professionals. With the mission of closing the access gap for talented minority students, we provide our students the opportunity to attend private networking events and receive recruitment insight from our dedicated corporate sponsors.” – Founders of BlackGen Capital

Lavinya Stennett Founder of Black Curriculum

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Lavinya is the founder of Black Curriculum which highlights the lack of Black British history in the UK curriculum, and provides teachers with the resources to educate pupils on culture in lessons. She was inspired to do this after a trip to New Zealand, where she observed a greater representation of colonialism within the country – and decided that this should be shown in British schools.

“We talk about huge periods of history in this country like it’s a statement; it just happened. It’s not really broken down so we can explore and relive the experiences of people,” she says. “[In Aotearoa] it was much more truthful, there was no shying away from the reality of it. Colonisation wiped out cultures and I think [the way the UK talks about it] just distorts our reality. We have to be truthful.”- Lavinya Stennett, GQ

Khadija Owusu Award winning medical student and founding member and director of programmes at Melanin Medics

 
 
 
 
 
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Khadija Owusu is the founding member and director of programmes at Melanin Medics which is a non-profit organisation dedicated to promoting diversity in medicine; through supporting African and Caribbean aspiring medical students and doctors. She also is an ambassador at Medics2You and Guba-Enterprise and is a leader and advocate for Black medical students worldwide. She also has won the Women in STEM Award, has been a guest of Michelle Obama at the White House, and continues to inspire young people and drive positive change.

Black Leaders Awareness Day is an important occasion to acknowledge and celebrate Black leaders throughout history and in modern day. It is a great time to appreciate the young and upcoming leaders and their efforts to eradicate the financial and social disadvantages that negatively impact Black people worldwide. 

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