Parents of Black Children UK
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Our Story

Our Roots

In the heart of Canada, Parents of Black Children (PoBC) was conceived by three visionary founders who shared a common thread: their experiences as parents of Black children navigating the school system. Each founder brought a unique perspective and personal story, but they all shared a deep commitment to the well-being of our children.

Our Purpose: Dismantling Bias, Elevating Potential

PoBC’s mission is deliberate: to eradicate anti-Black racism and decolonize the education system. We stand firmly beside parents as they advocate for their children and navigate the complexities of the educational landscape. We provide comprehensive support through workshops and educational resources to ensure the protection, nurturing, and fulfilment of our Black children’s potential.

Our founders observed that Black children were too frequently directed into non-academic programs and faced higher rates of suspension and expulsion than their peers. They recognised pervasive biases and disparities in surveillance and disciplinary actions against Black children. They also acknowledged that the challenges in education extend beyond the classroom and affect other systems such as social services and health care. As PoBC expands and chapters emerge globally, it’s evident that these issues are echoed across the world, particularly affecting Black communities in the Global North.

Our Promise: Unity in Support

Regardless of your location, profession, or educational background, Parents of Black Children is here to stand with you. Our work is anchored in the belief that Black students have the right to a peaceful education and a peaceful existence. We wholeheartedly acknowledge the immense potential and brilliance of Black children, and our mission is to systematically nurture their full potential, guiding them towards a bright future and, in turn, transform our community.

UK Chapter: Beginnings

The UK Chapter was established in 2023 by Desna McKenzie, a London native with Jamaican heritage. Growing up in London, Desna has held a deep-rooted passion for education from a young age. As a mother of two boys, her journey in supporting her sons through their educational experiences illuminated the pressing need for parents of Black children to have access to guidance and support while navigating the education system.

The English education system exhibits significant disparities in outcomes for Black children, including alarmingly high expulsion rates and the stark reality that approximately 70% of our boys do not attain the grades needed for pursuing higher education.

There is a pressing need for parents of black children to engage in dialogue with one another, to identify common issues and collectively address recurring challenges.

What is Anti-Black Racism?

Anti-Black Racism encompasses a spectrum of prejudices, attitudes, beliefs, stereotypes, and discrimination specifically targeted at individuals of African descent. It has its roots in a historical strategy of dehumanising Indigenous and African peoples, a strategy originally conceived to facilitate the commandeering of lands and the enslavement of Black people. This doctrine of dehumanisation played a significant role in gaining social acceptance for the inhumane treatment and atrocities committed against Indigenous and enslaved Africans across the globe.

Over centuries, the association of Black faces with savagery, illiteracy, and violence became deeply entrenched within our literature, language, religion, education systems and media, preserving this indoctrination long past the abolition of slavery and into present times.  This centuries-old social conditioning has programmed a social psyche that defaults to fear at the mere sight of brown faces, perpetuating prejudice and bias consciously and unconsciously.

In the UK, Anti-Black Racism often takes a more subtle form, devoid of overt racial slurs or explicitly prohibitive legislation. However, it can be deeply ingrained within British institutions, policies, and practices to the extent that it is either functionally normalised or goes largely unnoticed by the broader society.

The manifestations of Anti-Black Racism in the UK include disparities in education, opportunities, lower socio-economic status, elevated unemployment rates, significant poverty rates, and a disproportionately high representation of Black individuals in the criminal justice system.

Our Vision

Our vision is to build a united community where our children thrive and their potential is fully cultivated.

We aim to pave the way for a new generation of our community that is prosperous and self-determined.

Our Mission

Our mission is to build a community of parents of Black children and empower them to improve the educational outcomes of their children, ultimately bolstering the socioeconomic strength of our community.

Our Goals

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Advocating to ensure rigorous disaggregated data collection.

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Build a parent community that work together, support each other, collectively find solutions and take collective action to tackle our key challenges.

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Be a voice for all parents of Black children, so that no parent stands alone in their fight for a just, safe and equitable education for their child.

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Work to eliminate anti-Black racism and oppression of Black students within their schools and connected systems.

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Build the capacity of parents of Black children and students to advocate for change within the education and connected systems

Our Foundation: Black is Beautiful!

PoBC is founded on the principles of anti-oppression and rooted in the knowledge that Black children are experiencing anti-Black racism within their schools and connected systems daily.

We use the term “Black” to refer to all people of ‘African descent’ meaning; those who can trace their family tree (or part of their family tree) back to the continent of Africa. Therefore, Black in this case is also inclusive of those students who are of bi-racial heritage.

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