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  • Oby Mbagwu

BOOSKA PAPER- EXPOSING STRUCTURAL RACISM IN THE THIRD SECTOR

Updated: May 15

Hey y’all, today in few words, I want to share with you this very enlightening paper which exposes structural racism in the third sector. This paper is answering a very important question which is-“to what extent will the newfound awareness catalyzed by the Black Lives Matter (BLM) uprisings lead to enduring change, particularly for the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) sector in which we work?”


We do not fail to recognize that a positive light has shown on the barriers black and ethnic minority organizations face in accessing finance, and it has catalyzed changes in certain parts of the funding system, yes, but there is still so much work to be done and that is what this paper is bringing to our attention. Many might think improving human resources policies and practices and diversifying staff can be equated to having a substantive investment in place to address systemic racism in the UK, but they are hardly the same. Funders need to come to work with a long-term commitment to address racial inequalities. There is obviously an unequal power dynamic.


If there is nothing the pandemic showed us, it showed us exactly what was lacking in the funding system for businesses in 2020. Many black and minority-owned business has lent their voice to this body of work to collectively state their stance for a call for a just and fair funding system. The ultimate goal of this paper is to support funders in better equipping themselves to work in service of equality and justice, this paper also takes note of funding provided by local authorities, health systems and other public funding mechanisms for the VCSE sector.


The most significant barriers to Black and minoritized groups accessing funding are

Ø Lack of confidence: Rejection has made them exhausted and feel unworthy for what they should have access to really easily.

Ø Anxiety: Especially in the pandemic, the COVID-19 emergency programs were announced with very short deadlines, so they had to deal with rushing to get their applications in as well managing the missing staff situation either due to sickness or bereavement.

Ø Culture of Competition: Because of the scarcity of resources, large groups of the minority community are forced to compete against each other for the opportunities that are barely enough.


This paper provides an overview of how infrastructure organizations and funders has responded to the crisis; and how the funding sector hasn’t addressed institutional racism. The paper concludes by giving Calls to Action that were co-created by the organizations who signed this paper. These call-to-actions are solid and very obtainable steps that funders can use to address institutional racism in their organization, the funding landscape and how it would benefit the society as a whole.


There are so many features of the funding structure that needs to be changed so that black and minoritized groups can better access the resources they need. This is just a tip of an iceberg. To read on the full paper please click on-

Booksa Paper - published by the Ubele Initiative


Until next time, Bye.




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