News / Environment

Ambassadors sought to address social and environmental inequalities in Bristol

By ellie pipe, Thursday Aug 20, 2020

A pioneering programme working to “break the green ceiling” and champion inclusive action on climate change is seeking three ambassadors.

Following a successful pilot launched in 2016, the Black & Green project is building on efforts to address social and environmental inequalities across Bristol through empowering people to lead and engage communities.

Described as an “inspired project” by deputy mayor Asher Craig, the programme was born out of recognition that there is inequality in accessing the environmental and sustainability sector, meaning many voices go unheard.

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Ujima Radio and Bristol Green Capital Partnership are now looking to recruit three ambassadors for the first year of a three-year programme that will support a total of nine aspiring leaders to work closely with the city’s communities, businesses and organisations on issues of equality, diversity, inclusion and the environment.

Speaking about the project, Sandra Gordon, a director at Ujima Radio, said: “We are thrilled to be investing in a new generation of leaders whose work will showcase the inspiring work of Bristol’s black, African, Caribbean, Asian and minority ethnic communities as well as catalysing new community-led initiatives and ideas.

“Building on the great work undertaken by our pilot project ambassadors, this programme has huge potential to build greater connectedness, awareness and understanding across and within Bristol’s communities, leading to a more diverse, representative environmental community which celebrates and recognises the knowledge, perspectives and efforts of all.”

The Photovoice Project was part of the Black & Green ambassador pilot programme – photo by Shawn Sobers

The first year of the programme, supported by the National Lottery Community Fund, will run from September 2020 – September 2021, during which time ambassadors will receive ongoing mentoring, skills training and support to lead and deliver varied activities to engage communities and inspire bold, inclusive action towards a green and fair future for Bristol.

Work will include running community-based research projects, a monthly radio show and community development workshops, enabling ambassadors to gather evidence to advocate for change, identify tangible solutions and catalyse new projects.

Their work will showcase diverse approaches to environmental sustainability, celebrate best practice, stimulate debate and raise awareness of environmental justice issues and inequality.

Jasmine (left) says holding organisations to account for communities is a key aim of the role – photo by Chris Bettles

Reflecting on the pilot project, former ambassador Jasmine Ketibuah-Foley said: “Being able to speak to and hold to account these highly visible organisations within Bristol for the communities that we represent has become a very clear aim for the project.”

Lizzi Testani, the CEO of Bristol Green Capital Partnership, added: “Bristol’s communities are alive with sustainable traditions and practices, but they often go unrecognised. The next cohort of ambassadors will explore and inspire innovation and action across the city, and play a critical role in shaping Bristol’s recovery from Covid-19 and journey to become a carbon neutral city.”

The closing date for applications is midday on August 27. Find out more information via www.bristolgreencapital.org/project_cat/blackandgreenambassadors/

Main photo by Chris Bettles

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