BBC Children in Need will match Stormzy’s £10m commitment to tackle racial injustice in the UK.
Last month, following the death of George Floyd and the subsequent Black Lives Matter protests around the world, the rapper pledged to donate £10m in 10 years to “organisations, charities and movements that are committed to fighting racial inequality, justice reform and black empowerment within the UK”.
Children in Need will commit the same amount to a new programme to support young black people in the UK.
The funds will go towards a range of projects, including “to support young social entrepreneurs in making a difference in their local communities, to develop young leaders and youth leadership, to enable access to education and learning, and to develop young people’s skills and confidence for work”.
Young black people will be involved in the creation and delivery of the programme, the charity said, including reviewing funding applications.
BBC Radio 1Xtra will partner with Children in Need for the project, in order to tell the stories of the communities and the people involved.
Children in Need currently funds more than 3,000 charities and projects, and said that “a number” of them already focus on supporting black youth.
‘We continue to urge others to join us in pledging’
Stormzy has repeatedly spoken out against racism in the UK. In 2018 he set up a scholarship for four black British students to go to Cambridge University. He also partnered with with Penguin Random House to launch #Merky Books, which publishes young authors from underrepresented communities.
Stormzy said: “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. 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.”
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.
“Recent events have been a stark reminder that we all have a responsibility to act: BBC Children in Need is committed to playing our part in addressing these issues and creating a fairer society in which young people can thrive. I’m delighted that we will be working alongside Stormzy to make a real difference to young Black lives right across the UK.”
Children in Need said it will give more details about the programme and its application process “in due course”.