The Uncommon Collective is a social enterprise that passionately believes in increasing the equity of marginalised young people, especially those from black and brown ethnicities. We believe there is real beauty in being the ‘uncommon’ factor in the room which is why our ethos is to support “different faces to thrive in different places.”
We recognise the continued disadvantage our communities undergo, especially those aged between 13-18. We have seen the impact a lack of cultural capital, access, and visibility of people who look like them can have on their social mobility.
THE CHALLENGE WE FACE!
Since the death of George Floyd, Brexit and the pandemic we know there has been an effort to increase representation and be more inclusive of ethnic minorities. However, though visibility may be up equity is not! The attainment gap is increasing. Persistent race inequalities mean only a small percentage succeed and too many fail to have their potential recognised.
When surveyed about the barriers to success in education 49% of young black students (secondary age) felt that racism was a key barrier to attainment in school. Whilst 50% stated their teachers’ perceptions of them – e.g., being seen as “too aggressive” was an issue.
(Source YMCA 2020 Young black experience).
What we continue to see, is that those from marginalised backgrounds, who cross the intersections of ethnicity, gender and social class lack the provisions they need to succeed. This creates a cycle of low social mobility and impacts future salary earnings that are often 16% less than their white counterparts. (Source: People like us survey 2022).
To deliver grass roots coaching and EDI interventions that meet our clients in their own environment. To drive diverse entrepreneurship and leadership through the centring of black/brown, marginalised talent at the heart of our work. From our trustees to our guest speaks, everyone in our business talks from a lived experience. We use their stories to curate practical hands-on learning environments, consisting of workshops, panels Q&A and group coaching sessions. We show up authentically and connect to our audience using our cultural gaze.
Our core programme is Afro visibility. A 6 to 7-week intervention that looks to highlight diverse talent in a specified industry, but also widen the perspective of those outside the community. Wrapped around the curriculum, our content is designed to align with two or more academic subjects that are a gateway into the specififed industry. We work with diverse industry experts who deliver face to face talks on access and the challenges of representation. We layer this with CV workshops, career and employment talks. We are mindful of curating learning envrionments that suit all styles, so we aim to have a practical based element, where cohorts can learn by doing.
This year we had a cohort of 60 year 11 students, with 2 winners who received a week’s work experience.
- 78% of the cohort believe that bringing diverse professionals into the school environment is really import. Citing that it brings individuality and difference and an understanding of what good equality should be.
- 97% said having diverse guest speakers is a positive addition to their learning citing that as a black child it gave them confidence.
- 62% said they felt that the guest speakers inspired them to think different about careers.
- 81% said they felt that programmes like Afrovisibility could help them achieve more in schools.
Each year we are looking to work with more black and brown talent to inspire young people. We are on a mission to bridge the gap between the community and the corporate world and bring them closer together.