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A growing community – Ubele's Young Emerging Leaders Collective (YELC) by Aisha Khan

December 20th, 2021

The Young Emerging Leaders Collective (YELC) is a growing community for young Black people, people of colour and racialised people, committed to racial and social justice. The Collective is a space to exchange ideas, support and care; learn and build capacity and resilience; and work together in anti-racist and anti-oppressive action.   


From establishing the TL2 Podcast and executing their second online festival to celebrating the achievements of Women in Activism! It has been an incredibly busy year for the Ubele’s YELC. In 2021, YELC aimed to create more accessibility, raise attainment and increase social capital in Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities. Due to social distancing guidelines all of the YELC meetings, events and projects were moved online, this has meant the Collective has grown from being primarily London based to national.  


Here are some of the YELC’s achievements in 2021. 


#1 YELC carefully curated monthly events to respond to the needs of young people. Each event was planned and executed by a different young leader with the support of the rest of the Collective. This allowed for each leader to raise awareness of and share ideas with audiences about a social issue that they are passionate about.  

#2 The Collective released monthly newsletters which shared information about the projects & events YELC delivered and both internal and external opportunities for young people.  

#3 YELC has been involved in the national Heads Together mental health campaign and has ensured that the experiences and views of young Black and Minoritised people are listened to and represented in wider discourse around mental health. 

#4 One of YELC’S key success in 2021, is the TL2 Podcast. This podcast is a unique space to hold conversations about issues that affect Black and Minoritised people and for them to be able to share their lived experiences. Members of YELC have said that the podcast has had a positive impact on their mental health and wellbeing as it has given them an outlet to express what is on their mind and contemporary issues that have been affecting them. 

“The TL2 Podcast has helped me with feelings of loneliness and isolation during lockdown, as it has given me a platform to be a part of an online community.”


Take a look at some of the incredible events organised by YELC in 2021. 

International Women’s Month Festival – Practical workshops, talks and panel events exploring pertinent issues and experiences faced by Black and Minoritised Women. The sessions covered a variety of topics ranging from Digital Activism to Women's Health. Our headline event was an intergenerational panel event exploring the role of Women in social activism. 

Decolonising the Curriculum Event – Discussion about the flaws in the current curriculum, whilst educating people on how things need to change. We were joined by educators who shared their own perspectives and work they are currently doing to contribute to social change in the education system.   

Making Money Moves! - Tips on how to budget and save, what to look for when choosing a savings account and/or a credit card.  

Economics for liberation Event 1 & 2 – The first event explored actions that can build community sustainability towards this radical transformation, focusing on solidarity economic systems, including mutual aid and cooperatives. The second event analysed the current economic system and explored grassroots actions that can bring about radical transformation, focusing on climate action and organising.  

Migration Workshop - This interactive workshop reflected on existing projects and activities aimed at young migrants in the UK and explored new projects that serve the needs of young migrants in our communities.  

Community Conversation – Stigma’s, Support and Everything In-between: Mental Health in Black and Asian Communities - A panel of Black and Asian community activists and mental health professionals from across the UK came together to discuss the realities of Mental Health in our communities and the impact of the pandemic on the mental health of young Black and Asian people and signposted organisations to go to for support.  

Re-branding & Resilience During the Pandemic – Spotlighting the ways in which Black people have adjusted to new industries, businesses, and sectors and highlighted the positives and passions that Black people have been able to pursue despite the wider context.  

Behind the Titles - Building Your Career as a Young Black Woman in the UK - This event focused on helping recent graduates, early-career professionals and young people looking to change their career path to overcome any obstacles and excel in their next steps. We explored how to effectively navigate University Life, Networking and Employability. 

9 Zoom based ‘Diaspora Kitchen Sessions’ - Interactive, live cookery sessions and intergenerational conversations with Black and Minoritised Chefs focused on raising awareness of the cultures, experiences and food of people in diaspora. The sessions aimed to reduce loneliness, isolation and to foster a sense of community and togetherness in these times of uncertainty. 

Visit our YouTube channel to watch YELC events you missed

Thank you for your support & see you in 2022! 

Join YELC - Calling all young Black or racialised people aged between 18 - 30, who are committed to racial and social justice Apply here  

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