Alfa, a provider of systems and consultancy services to the global asset finance industry since 1990, joined the Black British Network. Alfa joined the network alongside O2, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and EY, among others. By joining, Alfa will be a part of a collective of changemakers aiming to make racial equity a reality.
The Black British Network, which was founded by Cephas Williams, aims to enable roundtable conversations with members of the Black community and industry leaders to build better frameworks within organizations and society. Following these discussions, the Black British Network will compose The Black Paper, a manifesto for improving organizations’ approaches to inclusion and diversity. Next, the video series Black British Stories will highlight Black people’s experiences in order to educate viewers and support change, and a portrait series titled Portrait of Black Britain — photographed by Williams — will make visible and amplify the contributions and identity of Black people in British society.
“The Black British Network represents an important step forward in the journey towards racial equity,” Andrew Denton, CEO of Alfa, said. “Recently, alongside many other industry leaders, I signed Cephas’ Letter to Zion, joining forces to help dismantle systemic racism and create an equal playing field for the economic advancement of the Black community in the UK.”
“Andrew is a friend and someone I have got to know personally over the past few years,” Williams said. “The importance of friendship in this context is that being an ally is not just about thinking of ways to help people; being an ally is to build authentic relationships with others and through those relationships grow closer, firmly in the understanding of how you can support one another.
“It is true that many hang up the ‘garment of inclusion’ as soon as they leave the office and approach any conversation outside of selling their product or service as a tick-box exercise. This often leads to initiative fatigue, with many well-meaning activities but no real systemic change. And so, it is evident that to be a true ally, you must first be a friend and to be a friend, you must have a relationship. This speaks to real change beyond notions of charity and real empowerment beyond feelings of empathy. From conversations I’ve had with Andrew and the leadership at Alfa, and from tangible steps the organization has now taken, I strongly believe they will be an instrumental part of the systemic change we are pushing to see.”
In his Letter to Zion, a public letter to his son, Williams said, “I will build an alliance in the UK, an alliance of Black people and our non-Black allies, everyone who is brave enough and forward-thinking enough to stand with us, shoulder to shoulder, to help create the change we need to see.”
Williams is the founder of the Black British Network and previously founded 56 Black Men, a campaign in the UK focusing on changing the narrative of Black men in the media as an introduction to a much wider conversation. Since launching the campaign in December 2018, it has had both a local and global impact.
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