We are done being left behind! The Black United Representation Network (BURN) is a new membership organisation of nine founding VCSE and micro companies, which exists to challenge and tackle persistent racial inequalities which negatively impact people of African Descent. We exist to ensure that the momentum and desire for real change generated by the Black Lives Matter movement isn’t lost.
Greater Manchester has no people of African descent in senior leadership positions that can influence policy and decision-making. The decades long lack of strong and co-ordinated Black leadership has resulted in growing racial inequalities in education, employment, business, health, housing wealth divide. BURN was created to fill this gap.
Research shows that the Black community has been hit hardest by the COVID-19 crisis. The Black Third sector have seen rising demand for their services from those in greatest need. Many are on the brink of closure, lacking reserves due to years of under-funding, especially in relation to core funding.
The founders have successfully lobbied for the creation of a race equality panel to advise Metro Mayor, Andy Burnham to hold city leaders accountable and responsible to deliver deeds not words. It is due to be launched in July 2020.
To address the systemic and structural racism that has been normalised within the fabric of life in Greater Manchester, we commit to:-
- Representation. Mobilising and growing an army of Black leaders with the competences and capabilities to fill senior decision-making and leadership roles within civic, public sector, education and business sectors so the economy works for us too!
- Ecosystem building. Accelerated growth and capacity building of the Black business and Third sector to work collaboratively to win investment and large contracts, create thousands of well-paid jobs and trap wealth by doing business with each other.
- Economic Empowerment. Education, networking, staging of events, conferences and investment summits to leverage and channel the spending power of people of African descent, known as the Black Pound to increase our influence within the wider UK society.
- Advocacy– Becoming a strong and compelling voice for change within the Greater Manchester ecosystem to influence policy makers. We’re calling for 1% of the GMCA’s £8 billion annual budget to be ringfenced and spent with Black organisations to level the playing field – that’s £80 million to create over 2000 well paid jobs to reduce the inequality divide.
- Skills For The Future.Develop bespoke EdTech solutions for education, skills training, recruitment and career progression to enable Black talent to secure well paid jobs in the high growth Tech, Digital, Health & Innovation, Advanced Manufacturing and Low Carbon sectors.
- Youth development. Establish a BURN Academy to develop a pipeline of young people with the confidence, skills and competences to excel in life and their careers and make a positive contribution to Greater Manchester as future leaders.
- Africa Trade.Become an economic powerhouse catalysing trade links with Africa and the Black Diaspora in the Americas to grow wealth and prosperity within the global African family to release Black people’s awesome potential as leaders, influencers and business magnates.