U.K. broadcaster BBC’s corporate charity Children in Need has partnered with urban, contemporary and Black music radio station BBC Radio 1Xtra to match rapper Stormzy’s recent £10 million ($12.6 million) pledge to benefit young Black lives in the country.
BBC Children in Need will match Stormzy’s pledge over 10 years and develop a dedicated new funding program to enable young Black talent achieve their full potential. The program will be developed in partnership with young people with direct experience of the Black British experience who will be involved throughout the design and delivery process, including reviewing grant applications and advising on the allocation of funding.
BBC radio stations, including Radio 1Xtra, will celebrate a range of emerging Black musical talent.
“Further to making my pledge last month, I’m happy to hear that the BBC have also taken up my plea for others to pledge,” Stormzy said. “I’m also pleased to know of their commitment to allow young Black people to decide where the money will be spent, and I believe this decision is an imperative factor in supporting and strengthening the young Black community. We continue to urge others to join us in pledging.”
Kenny Imafidon, trustee of BBC Children in Need, said: “Over the past few weeks, some of the systematic and institutional racism that exists in the U.K. has been laid bare for all to see. This racism is not new and many people from the Black community, like myself, have had to endure the negative effects of it all.”
“The anti-racism movement in the U.K. has truly gathered momentum to bring about sustainable and long-lasting change. Many people, groups, businesses, and brands have had to reflect, look inwards and ask themselves, ‘What can I, or we do to change things and make a difference?'”
“I truly believe that this is the beginning of greater things to come, as we continue on our mission to support children and young people most in need,” Imafidon added.
Simon Antrobus, chief executive of BBC Children in Need, said: “As a charity, we exist to unlock and celebrate the talent in every child and young person; in order to do this, we need to support them to overcome any barriers that stand in their way, including racial injustice.”