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End of Year Reflection from Yvonne Field, Founder and CEO of The Ubele Initiative

December 22nd, 2020
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I felt slightly nervous last Friday as end of year reflections started to arrive in my inbox. I felt I might struggle to write with already so much being said over the past few days about the past 9 months. 

However, as the news unfolded over the weekend about a new strain of the Coronavirus in London and the South East, the Covid-19 pandemic continues to demonstrate that a day is a long time in the life of the average UK citizen, the health service, local and regional businesses and other impacted sectors as they scramble to respond to governments’ ever-shifting messaging about how we have to respond and right now, how Christmas should be celebrated this year.

“Covid-19 has taken its toll on myself and my family – 4 of us were infected with Covid-19 during the first wave and two others had confirmation of it this past weekend. The depth and extent of personal and community tragedies witnessed since March has left me reeling and sometimes in despair. ”

Even though a vaccine is ‘on its’ way’ the nightmare is far from over for most of us. I have also noticed a slight pause in the reporting of racialised data -  I assume we will hear more startling facts about the over representation of Black and racialised minorities in Covid-19 infections and death rates in the new year. Ubele plans to host an event about the vaccine roll out – controversial a topic as it may be for some, we need to open and include and hear our communities’ viewpoints in this important debate. 

The murder of George Floyd added another shocking layer of global hurt, anger and despair– the resultant resurgence of the BLM movement galvanised young voices leading to some high-profile commitments to social change. I have been privileged to have contributed to some organisational change conversations at the national level which could see transformational change unfold over the next 12 months.

There have been other rays of hope and highlights– I am deeply humbled by the contribution Ubele has been able to make this past year. We have found ourselves supporting and at times helping amplify the voices of communities which often experience marginalisation – we have tried to do this through research outputs, online events, the design and delivery of emergency funding programmes, the provision of organisational support, innovative emergency projects and responses as well as strategic interventions at regional and national levels. We have been fortunate to have convened an exceptionally talented and committed team who have worked relentlessly throughout this challenging period to deliver on an extremely stretching agenda. 

As we take two weeks of well-earned rest and restoration, we would also like to take this opportunity to thank you for your extraordinary support in 2020 and look forward to collaborating with you in 2021.

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