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Project origins

In 2015, Bristol was recognised for its leadership in environmental sustainability by becoming the first UK European Green Capital, and more recently in November 2018, the elected members of Bristol City Council became the first in the UK to declare a climate emergency, building on Bristol’s reputation as a national and global environmental sustainability leader. However, Bristol and other UK cities have been criticised for failing to include diverse voices in the environmental sustainability community and its leadership, particularly those of Black, African, Caribbean, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities.

This issue was highlighted by Ujima Radio in 2015 who ran a series of ‘Green & Black’ activities, debates and projects in 2015. This work led to the formation of our partnership, and the development of the Ambassadors pilot project.

Read the first Green & Black Report

The first Green & Black Ambassadors

From October 2016 – October 2017, we worked with Ambassadors Zakiya McKenzie and Jasmine (Jazz) Ketibuah-Foley, who received leadership development training, mentorship and funding in this successful pilot developed by Ujima Radio, Bristol Green Capital Partnership and the University of Bristol’s Cabot Institute, working in collaboration with Up Our Street. In this initial pilot, Zakiya and Jasmine received training and support in order to:

  • Conduct Community Action Research: to explore why exclusion exists in the sustainability agenda, and propose means for overcoming issues
  • Collate Case Studies: to help establish learning lessons from local exemplars of inclusive green initiatives
  • Create Media and monthly Radio shows: to share learning and experiences, raising the profile of the Green and Black agenda
  • Undergo Leadership Development: receiving leadership training and mentoring, as well as opportunities to engage with organisations at Board level
  • Advocate for ‘disruptive’ constructive challenge: attend sustainability events, better connect environmental and social justice, and promote engagement with more diverse communities

Challenging, engaging and empowering!

Engaging with organisations and institutions in the city to challenge and influence how decisions are made, Ambassadors explored issues of exclusion through community action research, and produced a popular monthly radio show. They reached over 1,000 people at events and workshops, including at the Festival of the Future City 2017, a national research conference and Partnership Gatherings, raising awareness of environmental inequality and sharing best practice. The project made significant inroads, raising the profile of initiatives led by Black, African, Caribbean, Asian and Minority Ethnic individuals, facilitating new connections and deeper dialogues, and enabling decision-makers, environmental organisations and academic researchers to embed diversity and adopt more inclusive approaches.

Read the 2016-17 pilot project report

Black & Green Ambassadors 2020-23

In 2020, Bristol Green Capital Partnership and Ujima Radio were successful in their bid to the National Lottery Community Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK, to build on the pilot and deliver the scaled up  ‘Black & Green Ambassadors’ programme. Over three years, the programme will recruit, mentor and support nine Ambassadors – emerging leaders with environmental and social justice ambitions – to work between Bristol’s diverse communities, businesses, organisations and individuals on issues of environmental sustainability, equality, diversity and inclusion.

Meet the 2021-22 Ambassadors!

Meet the Ambassadors

Working with and between diverse communities, businesses, other organisations and individuals to explore, amplify and enable solutions leading to an environmentally and socially just

Radio show

Tune into the Black & Green Ambassadors radio show live every last Thursday of the month, 10am to 12pm, on Ujima Radio 98fm.

Support the programme

With thanks to your three year programme supporters Year One & Year Two Sponsors Year One & Two Contributors