Year 1 Reflections from the founding members

The Future Global Leadership Programme was designed to inspire young, Black people to engage in healthy conversations about race, encourage transformative thought leadership,  and challenge societal institutions. The five founding members of the board share their experiences as the first cohort of  The Black Policy Institute’s Future Global Leadership Programme. Each reflection emphasises particular parts of the programme they have benefitted from.

Diontre Davis, the Joint InternationalChair explains his experience in the programme was filled with the opportunity of forming transatlantic networks outside of his country,  “The Global Leadership Programme was an amazing experience which focused on building trans-Atlantic relationships between young black professionals from the US and the UK. Its development opportunities encouraged enlightening conversation about the Black reality from the 5 awakenings of racism to the requirements of a thought leader.”

Nadjah Osman, fellow Joint International Chair, details the practical application of the knowledge she acquired, “I have benefited immensely from being selected to partake in the leadership masterclass programme. The programme equipped me with the skills and knowledge to think both critically and strategically about how to navigate the world as a young Black individual. Having a transatlantic cohort to connect and network with has enabled us to see the similarities in the global Black community, and celebrate the variation in our experiences. The cohort so far has demonstrated innovative and actionable thinking to provide solutions for societal problems.”

Veronica Padron, formerly the US Co-Chair & Head of Communication, shared this quote: “ The programme has allowed me to surround myself with young people who look like me and have similar values. These interactions have given me the confidence to talk about racial issues with people who may deny injustices against Black people. Everyone has the same goal of creating awareness of the issues Black people face, and the programme has given me the power to use my voice to advocate for injustices. This has been beneficial to my growth as a person and my perceptions.’

Hannad Osman, Head of Membership: “New ideas from young people allowed us to work on exciting projects. This programme enhanced my critical thinking skills and problem-solving skills enabling me to take a forward-thinking approach to address solutions. Hearing the insights of various speakers, I was encouraged to actively think and theorize about the applicability of potential solutions to community issues. I really enjoyed this programme and am excited about my personal and professional development.”

Rochelle Wong, Head of Research: “The programme has provided intense insight into liberatory leadership and strategic activism. Being in the presence of Black excellence has inspired me to embrace my racial identity and to see how thought leadership is developing in equitable spaces within the UK. The warm and inviting environment made it easier to have passionate conversations about race, youth empowerment and shared struggles. The program has encouraged critical thinking, advocacy and compassion”

The Young People Advisory Board is entering its second year after The Black Policy Institute’s second Global Leadership Programme with a new cohort of 32 members. Our reach is no longer limited to the US and UK but now has expanded to  Canada, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, and Zambia. Within the first year of our founding, we shared various articles during Black History Month in the US and UK, we conducted an interview with the Kuumbia Nia Arts Theatre Company, made a podcast appearance in WemPower, and also hosted a convening of young people across the US and UK in a virtual event.  We are excited to be building out our team and providing a platform for young, Black professionals to grow, network with each other, and grow as advocates across international lines. Stay tuned for our future works involving articles and research papers from our new members about Environmental Justice, police reform, Black Mental Health, and many more. We will also be conducting our very own podcast and forming new external partnerships throughout this next year for joint projects.