The only vehicle to liberation is building an organisation that can empower the global black nation. Kehinde Andrews

Our origins

Black Thrive Global evolved from the work of the Black Thrive Lambeth partnership, which was established in 2016 to address the inequalities that negatively impact the mental health and wellbeing of Black people in Lambeth.

The Black Thrive Partnership brings together individuals, local communities, statutory agencies and voluntary organisations to address the structural barriers that prevent Black people from thriving.

Black people’s cumulative exposure to negative experiences and poor outcomes are not unique to Lambeth, as demonstrated by the Race Disparity Audit and global data. Intuitively Black Thrive Global was founded upon the common understanding that wherever Black people of African and Caribbean descent are located, detrimental outcomes persist. We determined that focused Black Leadership which facilitates systems change will transform the Black experience from surviving into thriving.

Our Philosophy & Approach

  • Placing Black communities at the centre
  • Collective Impact
  • Embedding race equity in systemic change
  • Decolonising the evidence landscape

Due to structural inequalities, the experiences and outcomes for Black people in White-majority countries are on average significantly worse than those of their White counterparts in every sphere of life – education, employment, income, social care, housing, policing, criminal justice, wellbeing and health. We believe that the only way forward is to centre the voices, experiences and expertise of the full spectrum of Black communities in creating the change that is needed – of the people, by the people, with the people, for the people!

Collective Impact was first described by Kania and Kramer in 2011; this approach recognises that complex social problems cannot be addressed by individual organisations acting alone, but instead, require cross-sector collaboration.

Our experience of implementing the Collective Impact model has shifted our thinking to explicitly place communities at the centre and include systems change as an intentional result. We adopt an approach that is more in line with Tamarack Institute’s Movement Building, to which we apply a Black community perspective.

From:
- Common Agenda
- Shared Measurement
- Mutually Reinforcing Activities
- Continuous Communication
- Backbone

To:
- Community Aspiration
- Strategic Learning
- High Leverage Activities
- Inclusive Community Engagement
- Containers for Change

“The most dangerous place for black people to live is in white people’s imagination.” - D. L. Hughley

The systems, and the people who work within them, consistently create environments that prevent Black people from thriving. We work with individuals and organisations to challenge the mindsets and imbalances of power which underpin policy development, the allocation of resources, and practices. Many Black people thrive in spite of the odds that are stacked against them. We change the odds by embedding race equity into systemic change and take the learning from these experiences so that thriving is not the exception but becomes the rule.

"The first need of a free people is to define their own terms" - Stokely Carmichael

Society places a strong emphasis on the need for evidence to inform policy and practice. For decades, organisations that have the most significant impact on the lives of citizens in areas such as education, health, and criminal justice have claimed that they use evidence to determine their policies and practices. However, the knowledge that is recognised and valued within western societies is often from a eurocentric perspective, therefore silencing the voices of Black people. As a result, interventions grounded in this knowledge are misguided and fail to deliver positive outcomes for Black communities. We work to disrupt the knowledge production process by critiquing existing research through a Black lens and actively contribute to the knowledge base by undertaking research that is led by Black people with academic backgrounds and/ or lived experience. This provides a foundation that enables systems to understand what can transform the Black experience from surviving to thriving.

Directors

AllBlack Thrive GlobalBlack Thrive Lambeth
Director

Dr Jacqui Dyer MBE

Director

Lela Kogbara​

Director

Natalie Creary​

Director

David Weaver

Director

Dr Jacqui Dyer MBE

Jacqui is an independent health and social care consultant, with lived experience, and a background in adult mental health commissioning as well as community and family social work. Jacqui was vice chair of England’s Mental Health Taskforce, which collaboratively developed the 5 Year Forward View for Mental Health (NHSE) and its transformation of mental health service policy and provision. Its focus on reducing mental health inequalities was further strengthened in the NHS Long Term Plan for Mental Health. Jacqui has co-led the Mayoral ‘Thrive London’ since inception. Jacqui is an elected Councillor where she is cabinet member for jobs, skills and community safety having previously jointly held the health and adult social care cabinet portfolio.

 

Director

Lela Kogbara​

Lela was a senior leader in the public sector for 25 years, 16 of which were in Islington where she was Assistant Chief Executive for the Council. She also worked with NHS England and Department for Education to improve employment prospects and access to apprenticeships for people with learning and other disabilities. She is a qualified accountant and her responsibilities have included policy, equalities, performance, arts and culture, employment, and community safety. Lela also follows her passion for social justice as a board member of a number of organisations.

Director

Natalie Creary​

Natalie is the Programme Delivery Director for Black Thrive Lambeth. The cross-sector partnership works to dismantle the structural barriers that create and sustain mental health inequalities for Black African and African-Caribbean communities in Lambeth. She has a long-standing interest in approaches that tackle the root causes of inequality and push conventional boundaries. Her interest lies in working with communities and grassroots organisations to decolonise knowledge and to create opportunities for communities to have ownership of their stories and the solutions they deliver to address the social challenges they may face. Her work and research explore how race, age, class, gender and sexuality intersect to shape the health and wellbeing experiences of Black and mixed race communities. She has also completed postgraduate studies in Health Psychology and lectures on health inequality, quality improvement methodologies and health promotion for Middlesex University’s MSc Public Health.

Director

David Weaver

David is a social and political commentator with expertise in the areas of race equality, social justice and human rights. He is senior partner of DWC Consulting – a strategic leadership consulting firm whose clients span large and small organisations, teams and individuals across the private, public, and not for profit sectors. He works across international boundaries and as well as his predominant work in the UK, he has also worked in western Europe, west Africa, the United States and Eastern Caribbean. 

His work has focused on designing, co-creating and delivering interventions that build higher levels of organisational / personal performance to achieve outstanding results. He has a strong track record in the areas of ‘top team’ and senior management development; is an experienced and qualified mediator and leads a small reputable team that focuses on conflict management, consensus building and therapeutic interventions with communities and individuals. 

David is a former political advisor to Home Office government ministers including the Rt Hon Alun Michael Deputy Home Secretary in the late 1990s. A key part of his remit was development of the government’s strategy for working with the Voluntary Sector, community cohesion and on creating the rationale for, and eventual establishment of the Macpherson Inquiry into the death of Stephen Lawrence.  He has also led large scale change investigations and inquiries on equalities for public sector bodies – his most recent being the management and publication of Bristol City Councils ‘Transforming Race and Equality’ programme which was agreed by the Council in July 2020.

David is the current and first black President of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) having previously served as a Governor / Trustee (2012 to 2016) and Vice President (from 2004 to 2009). He is a co-founder of Operation Black Vote (OBV) and is currently Independent Chair of the National Coalition of Race Equality organisations (CORE).

He holds an MSc in Human Resources Management and qualifications and specialist training relating to mediation, international conflict management, counselling, coaching, and occupational psychology. 

Associates

Individuals that develop and deliver our work

Associates

Tracey Campbell

Associates

Leila Lawton

Associates

Tyrone Osborne

Associates

Dr Shola Apena Rogers

Associates

David Ruebain

Associates

Anthony Salla

Associates

Lynette Charles

Associates

Jassy Denison

Associates

Keisha Swaby

Associates

Tracey Campbell

Tracey Campbell is the Director and Lead Trainer of Together Transforming Behaviour Ltd.  Her company provides consultancy, training and coaching to teachers and parents, helping them to manage children’s behaviour.

She is a Behaviour Management Consultant, Coach, Trainer, Teacher, Speaker and Author of two books

Will You be the One? Touching the hearts of teachers, changing the lives of children with challenging behaviour and Behaviour Basics for Parents; Giving You the Tools from Schools.

Tracey began her career as a Primary School Teacher and quickly established herself as a positive and dynamic practitioner; renowned for her vivacious style of teaching.

Tracey’s ability to positively engage children with behaviour difficulties was quickly detected leading to her becoming one of only three Advanced Skills Teachers in Behaviour Management.

Tracey has her own moving story of multiple exclusions from school and her encounter with a supportive teacher, which she uses to inspire adults working in education; to look beyond a child’s behaviour and see the need to be a constant caring presence who conveys hope and commitment.

As a trainer Tracey is committed to and competent at motivating teachers to move ideas about behaviour management from common knowledge to common practice.  Her Will You be the One? behaviour management workshops have been described as ‘incredibly inspirational’ and ‘immensely powerful.’  These workshops featured as part of the Investing in Diversity Programme at the Institute of Education.

Her approaches to behaviour management coaching is solution focused. Tracey’s expertise and perceptiveness in this area has helped a number of teachers to successfully wade through the emotional trials of managing behaviour.

Tracey also designed and delivers the Behaviour Basics Programme for Parents.

Her programme featured in the 2014 Channel 4 documentary Mr Drew’s School for Boys. As the resident behaviour consultant on the show, Tracey led parents through her Behaviour Basics Programme with astonishing results. She later featured on ITV’s This Morning and BBC Radio 5 Live discussing the impact of her work with parents.

With over twenty years’ experience working with children and young people and as a former teacher, Tracey is passionate and unapologetic in her advocacy for children who, owing to their difficult behaviour, some say deserve love the least but she believes need love the most.

Associates

Leila Lawton

Leila is a Mum of three, an accredited Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist, Clinical Supervisor, Equity Activist and Part time lecturer.  Additionally, she chairs the South London & Maudsley NHS Trust psychology & psychotherapy (P&P) race equity working group and is a member of the British Association for Behavioural & Cognitive Psychotherapies Equality & Culture group.

Leila’s passion for people and inclusive clinical and research practice has been cultivated through 16 years combined experience within primary, secondary care and the third sector. Enhancing effectiveness of implementation of culturally congruent therapies. 

Leila has lived experience of mental health difficulties as well as being a Carer for others with Mental health needs. Having experienced both oppression and discrimination, her lived experience ensures reflexivity, with knowledge of intersectionality and issues of power. She works to inform the evidence-base and policy to empower communities to inform the systems response to our healing.

Leila is committed to developing solutions through education to address systemic and structural racism, increasing BAME research participation and shaping policy for meaningful change. Creating equitable mental health provision for all, with a focus on Black African and Caribbean communities.

She has worked within Community Mental Health Teams, Learning Disability & Youth Offending Teams, Memory Clinics, In-patients wards and IAPT. She has developed expertise in delivering mental health training and psychotherapies.

Associates

Tyrone Osborne

​Tyrone is a Psychodynamic Psychotherapist with 9 years post qualification experience working in private practice. Prior to his qualification Tyrone gained a wealth of experience supporting the community in the educational, prison and mental health institutional settings. 

In addition, he has experience on a board of trustees for a local supplementary school which addressed the educational needs of young African and Caribbean children.  These roles consisted of providing support to some of the most marginalised communities within society who found themselves in high need of support, but with little understanding or direction on how to access it. 

Tyrone is committed to the uplift of the community with the particular interest in increasing psychological awareness of those he supports. Tyrone believes the psychotherapeutic approach increases the understanding on how perception and interpretation of events informs action. That, in becoming familiar with one’s internal dialogue and the experiences that inform them, one is better able to meet external challenges with a greater sense of confidence and agency.

Associates

Dr Shola Apena Rogers

Shola is a qualified Forensic Psychologist and Lecturer at the University of Birmingham, with over 20 years of frontline working with communities with a focus on social justice and transforming lives. Shola has worked as a practitioner and researcher within various contexts, including the criminal justice system, Children’s Social Care and NHS to achieve impact and positive outcomes. Shola has extensive experience employing evaluation methodology and project management approaches to advise and work alongside statutory and voluntary agencies in a strength-based way. She is also a Consultant delivering Motivational Interviewing, Adolescent Mental Health and Trauma Informed Practice training programmes.

Shola is passionate in her work to support and address the inequalities across mental health, education and the criminal justice system for Black communities, with a particular focus on young people and families.

Shola is the Founder and Director of the African Caribbean Education Network (ACEN), an organisation that provides support to Black children and parents to increase schooling success and impact the number of Black people in decision-making positions in society, over the next generation.  Shola is also currently a Trustee for StreetDoctors.

Associates

David Ruebain

David was a practicing solicitor for 21 years and was Director of Legal Policy at the Equality and Human Rights Commission following a career in private practice as a Partner at and founder of the department of Education, Equality and Disability Law at Levenes Solicitors.  He has been Chief Executive of Equality Challenge Unit, a policy and research agency funded to advance equality & diversity in the UK further and higher education and research sectors. David is currently Chief Executive of the Conservatoire for Dance and Drama and also a Visiting Professor of Law at Birkbeck University of London. 

David has published widely and has a strong track record of strategy development and delivering positive change in policy and practice. He is a past Chair of the Law Society of England and Wales’s Mental Health and Disability Committee and has been a trustee and equality adviser for a range of national and international organisations including the Rights & Justice Committee of the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, Wellcome Trust and English FA Premier League.    

David is particularly interested in allyship across identity boundaries and in addressing structural and cultural exclusion and under-representation and conflict resolution. Most recently, he co-presented two discussions at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London and at Rupert in Vilnius on Disability and Inter-Dependence and on Allyship.

David is the winner of RADAR’s People of the Year Award for Achievement in the Furtherance of Human Rights of Disabled People in the UK, 2002.  He was also shortlisted for the Law Society’s Gazette Centenary Award for Lifetime Achievement – Human Rights, in November 2003.  In August 2006, David was listed as one of 25 Most Influential Disabled People in the UK by Disability Now Magazine and in 2013, listed in the Disability News Service’s “Influence Index” and listed in the Disability Power Lists for 3 years. 

Associates

Anthony Salla

Anthony has significant experience across the field of equality more broadly, and in relation to mental health and race equality in particular. He has been involved in race equality work since 2002, and has a nuanced understanding of race and racism, including from a lived experience perspective.  

Anthony’s work has involved establishing and coordinating London-wide race equality networks and he has led initiatives to address racial prejudice in hate crime offenders. He has sound working knowledge of equality legislation and has substantial experience providing training and support to voluntary, public and private sector agencies. This includes reviews of equality management processes and tailored support to assist organisations to mitigate the effects of racial bias.

Over the last five years Anthony has been involved in coproduced work researching and developing bespoke culturally appropriate interventions for racialised minority people. He was commissioned by the Department for Health and Social Care to lead a scoping exercise, with the University of Birmingham, to make recommendations about culturally appropriate advocacy for BAME people. Similar work in this area has entailed devising and delivering community based mental health services to minoritised groups. He was also commissioned by Health Education England to explore competencies for culturally appropriate peer support. Anthony’s other work has seen him lead a Home Office initiative around contextual safeguarding in relation to learners with special educational needs in the area of extremism and radicalisation.   

In 2019 Anthony completed his thesis at the University of Nottingham looking at early intervention support for young Black people. He was a member of the African and Caribbean and the Asian and minority ethnic subgroups of the Independent Review of the Mental Health Act and he is presently a member of the data subgroup supporting the NHSE/I ‘Advancing Mental Health Equalities’ agenda and its ‘Patient and Carer Race Equality Framework’.

Associates

Lynette Charles

Lynette Charles is CEO of Mind in Haringey, where for the past 5 years she has used her extensive knowledge and experience of Mental Health and Wellbeing to lead Mind in Haringey from near closure to a position of not just surviving but thriving! In part, her success is because Lynette is absolutely grounded in what a community organisation should be doing, and how to have an impact. She’s walked the walk and remains committed. More than this, she is dedicated and works with great energy, passion, commitment and hard work to make it all possible. She’s one of those people who can command a room when she stands up and talks, but she also wants to listen, be open and be honest. She achieves the balance of being able to speak truth to power, whilst also building working alliances and relationships with other local leaders. Lynette’s passion, commitment and inspirational leadership is underpinned by 27 years spent in social care. Lynette is MHFA facilitator, Humanistic Counsellor, Coach and Psychology Graduate. Her special interests are -Young People, Mental Health, Suicide, Counselling and Spirituality.     

Associates

Jassy Denison

Associates

Keisha Swaby

Keisha is a multi-disciplinary Social Design and Innovation Consultant with 15 years of experience within the private and third sector. 

Keisha brings a unique combination of lived experience and learned expertise to her practice, seeking to harness the power of research, design and innovation to co-create equitable, liberatory and abundant futures.  

She is currently working with Black Thrive as an Interim Programme and Partnerships Manager (Adult Mental Health), leading on the co-design process to develop a culturally appropriate peer support and advocacy offer for Black communities in Lambeth. 

Keisha holds a Masters of Design in Social Innovation from Ravensbourne University London. Her most recent academic research entitled ‘Beneath the Skin: To Understand & Be Understood’ centred around an exploration of the ways in which Design for Social Innovation can contribute to a deeper understanding of the emotional needs of Black British young people as they transition into adulthood. 

Keisha has previously undertaken a number of CSR, fundraising, partnership management and community engagement roles; working at organisations such as HSBC, The Prince’s Trust, Deutsche Bank, Meningitis Research Foundation, FareShare, Credit Suisse, Macmillan Cancer Support and Pavement 2 Catwalk.

Keisha is also a Trustee of youth charity MAC-UK.

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