Black History Month

11 Organisations To Support This Black History Month & Beyond

Jamii’s Founder Khalia Ismain spotlights businesses & brands that are redressing the balance.

Jamii founder Khalia Ismain
Adrienne Galloway

After leaving university in 2015, Khalia Ismain knew she wanted a career that would allow her to make a difference in her community. For a while, she toyed with the idea of going into politics but, after a two-month stint working with local business owners in Kericho, Kenya, she was set on a new path. Inspired by the entrepreneurship she had witnessed, Ismain founded Jamii, a discount card and marketplace that spotlights independent, Black-owned businesses in the UK. In just over five years, Jamii has grown its platform to create a community of 250+ businesses across makeup, hair, skincare, clothing, homeware, stationary, and more. To mark the beginning of Black History Month 2021 in the UK, we asked Ismain to tell us about the Black businesses, organisations, and initiatives she believes deserve a spotlight throughout October and beyond. Keep reading to find out what they are, why Ismain loves them, and how you can support their work.

For me, Black History Month every October is a time to celebrate and reflect on the past, present, and future of Black contributions to Britain. As the founder of Jamii, I’ve had the privilege to get to know some pioneering organisations and initiatives headed up by trailblazers in the Black community. These are the people who are redressing the balance – levelling the playing field when it comes to cultural representation, tech and entrepreneurship, access to mental health services, and more. Here are 11 Black-led organisations making a difference in the UK right now.

1

The Black Curriculum

Launched by Lavinya Stennett in 2019, The Black Curriculum delivers Black history programmes, trains teachers, and campaigns to ensure more Black British history is delivered in schools.

Discover more about The Black Curriculum here and donate here.

2

Carib Eats

When the UK first went into lockdown, Ali Kakande and a group of her friends realised that many people across Hackney were isolated from their support systems – meaning loneliness and hunger. Since then, they have provided more than 3,000 meals across the borough.

Discover more about Carib Eats here and donate here.

3

Frontline Therapist

Frontline Therapist is on a mission to connect people of colour with counsellors and psychologists from their same backgrounds. Led by Esther Sherato, their goal is to make culturally sensitive therapy accessible and affordable.

Discover more about Frontline Therapist here.

4

Coding Black Females

A community for Black female developers set up by Charlene Hunter, Coding Black Females aims to provide opportunities for them to develop, network, and build relationships. They run meet-ups, coding bootcamps, and help their members break into the industry.

Discover more about Coding Black Females here and donate here.

5

Black Blood Matters

Black Blood Matters is a community initiative to de-mystify blood donation and encourage more people of African and Caribbean heritage to donate.

Discover more about Black Blood Matters here.

6

The KC Causes

The charitable arm of beauty brand Kitchen Cosmetics (which donates a portion of every sale), The KC Causes provides support for families experiencing financial hardship, food shortages and mental health needs.

Shop The KC Causes here.

7

In Other News

A boutique media platform reporting Black British stories, In Other News was set up by Candace Oxley to spotlight the positive contributions that Black Britons make to society and culture.

Discover more about In Other News here.

8

SevenSix Agency

An inclusive influencer and talent management agency, SevenSix Agency was launched by Charlotte Williams to change the face of marketing. Earlier this year, they released a report identifying payment disparities between influencers of colour and their White counterparts.

Discover more about the SevenSix Agency here.

9

Carra

Founded by serial beauty entrepreneur Winnie Awa, Carra provides expert advice, tailored routines, and product recommendations to help Black women find hair care that works for them.

Discover more about Carra here.

10

Foundervine

Foundervine was started by Izzy Obeng to help young people of colour enter the world of tech and entrepreneurship and become the leaders of tomorrow. They run accelerator programmes, create networks, and advocate on behalf of under-represented creators and innovators.

Discover more about Foundervine here.

11

Swim Dem Crew

An inner-city swim club founded by Nathaniel Cole and Peigh Asante in 2013, Swim Dem Crew’s mission is to get more people into swimming – making the sport more inclusive and less solitary.

Discover more about Swim Dem Crew here.