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About the movement

Letter to Zion

Read the letter, join the movement, let us work together to create a fairer landscape for the black community. Together we are stronger.

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The BBN is part of Cephas Williams commitment as seen in his Letter to Zion. The BBN is initially launching as an organising body which will allow black British professionals and the wider black community to have a united voice regarding business and economic advancement in the UK. In response to recent events, many companies have put out statements, action plans and manifestos indicating where they need to change and address a race or 'diversity' issue. The BBN wants to champion a more reflective response as opposed to a reactive one.

The BBN will initially focus its efforts on bringing both executives, decision makers and the wider black community together, to construct a uniquely positioned and unified proposition for systemic change. The proposition will be informed by both black people and industry leading companies. We will collectively formulate targeted actions and measurable outputs with all our ally companies. The BBN will also be a body that can hold everyone accountable as time passes. Allying with the BBN is not to say you are perfect, but to appreciate that nobody is, that we have not got it right yet and to make a commitment to work together to create a better landscape for this generation and generations to come.

Please see our 4 deliverables for year 1 below.

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4 Key Deliverables

Round Table Conversations

For each meeting, we aim to walk away with tangible actions to change our collective thinking, processes, approach and understanding of the black community. To build a better system we must deconstruct the existing framework and understand where it has failed the black community, only then can we have a reflective response as opposed to a reactive response; and use the learning we extract from each meeting to build a better framework/eco system within our organisations and society. 

Black Paper

Informed by the Round Table Conversation, we will work with each company signed up, their black staff and thought leaders in the black community to create a document that can be used as a resource  for companies to focus and develop efforts on how to better serve the black community at all levels. We will look at many things including the employee life cycle, the areas that currently fail the black community and practical steps we need to take to make it better.

Black British Stories

Video series of black people in the community + black employees in ally companies sharing their stories and thoughts on the black experience, past, present and hopes for the future. This will also be informed by the discussions had at the Round Table Conversations and will serve as a way for us to create a library of stories that can educate people and reinforce information that can support change.

Portrait of Black Britain

Cephas Williams has an aim to take a portrait series of black people from across the various ally companies we have on board, as well as black people in the community, in a bid to make more black people visible across the country. The interest is to crystallize and amplify the contributions of black british people in today's society and for this to serve as a creative method to not only make more black people visible but give the next generation and the wider society a holistic picture of black achievements in the UK in the 21st century.

In light of everything surrounding the black community and the wider world, I released 'Letter to Zion' on my birthday, 9th of October. My birthday wish is that you read the letter and support my aims and re-post this website if it connects with you.

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Leaders involved so far

Andrew Denton

Alfa Systems

CEO

Paul Polman

Imagine

Co-founder & Chair

Simon Pegg

Stolen Picture

Co-founder

Phil Thomas

Ascential

President, Marketing Division and Chairman, Cannes Lions

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Latest messages of support

Igne Butene   26th October 2020

I agree with every thing in the letter and love the cause, I think the chosen approach is very good - bringing it in the open and taking action, gaining allies to strengthen the community! ❤❤❤

Sophie Devonshire   22nd October 2020

Cephas This is only the start of something really important. Thank you for being an inspiration and making things happen. I hope there’s so much more we can all do together - for a fairer future and a better future for Zion and for everyone.

Helen Calcraft   19th October 2020

Cephas you are a poet and a visionary. This is an important initiative, and we stand with you. We cannot let this moment pass without doing our part to help create lasting change. And we need hope and determination in equal measure.


Supporting & Allied companies

Companies signed up

Alfa systems

Imagine

Stolen Picture

Ascential

Talon Outdoor

Crowdfunder

Clear Channel

Lucky Generals

Advertising Association

Conker

Supporting companies

CPG Photography

Casey took the letter to Zion campaign image

Cellar Door

Letter to Zion Trailer

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Whether you're an executive or not, sign up to keep in touch with what Cephas Williams is doing moving forward and to be the first to hear about the progress of the Black British Network, the release of the Black Paper, Black British Stories, Portrait of Black Britain and companies we sign up as we grow.

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