Olmec 21st Anniversary and Black on Board Graduation January 26th
2024 Olmec Celebrates 21st Anniversary and Black on Board Graduation Milestone London, 2024 – On Friday, January 26th, Olmec celebrated the 21st anniversary of the charity and the graduation of 245 individuals from its acclaimed Black on Board programme.
The charity has supported over 1000 people from ethnic minorities into jobs, 450 social entrepreneurs set up in business and 250 into boards. Black on Board graduate Michelle Lam from Peabody Housing is now a Board Member on London Borough Market and speak the following of her experience on the programme
“Black on Board has given me more knowledge and better self-esteem into believing what I can achieve. I will recommend black on board to anyone as it doesn’t only teach you new skills and how to become a board member, but how to become a leader.” Reflecting on the charity’s success, John Mayford, Olmec Chief Executive said.
“We are delighted with the achievements of the graduates. Getting well paid jobs, starting business or board positions with organisations like London Borough Market, Goldsmith University, Unity Housing through to residents’ associations is wonderful to witness.
We have seen a growth in confidence in each one of the participants, which can only benefit work, family, and civic engagement. It is vital for the health of our communities that decision-makers reflect the diversity of our communities. By 2050 30% of the UK population is expected to be a ‘person of colour’. There is increasing evidence that boards reflecting our communities improves decision making, and a sense of belonging to staff as well as business sense” The diverse group of graduates included employees and residents from London Boroughs including Lambeth, Southwark, Westminster, Enfield, Islington, Richmond, and Wandsworth. Notably, the NHS, Peabody, and Metropolitan Thames Valley Housing collectively contributed over 100 employees to the Black on Board programme. Culturally significant organisations like Bristol Pride and Black Cultural Archives also participated, selecting individuals from their diverse networks.
The graduation ceremony showcased distinguished figures, including Professor Patrick Vernon OBE, Chair of Birmingham and Solihull NHS Trust, Windrush campaigner, and Olmec trainer. Reflecting on Black on Board, Professor Patrick Vernon shared, Race equality through economic and social justice “It’s an honour to contribute to this transformative program. Black on Board has nurtured individuals poised to reshape the world. In doing so, we take significant strides towards achieving true equality.” In addition to the graduation ceremony, the event featured captivating performances from awarding winning poets Roy McFarlane and Aflo the poet, creating a vibrant and memorable celebration of Olmec’s 21st anniversary and the Black on Board graduation.