LocalGlobe’s Blackout Tuesdays are accelerating diversity progress

LocalGlobe’s Blackout Tuesdays are accelerating diversity progress

LocalGlobe’s Blackout Tuesdays are accelerating diversity progress 1666 999 wemakecamden_nx0obw

Based at Phoenix Court in Somers Town, LocalGlobe is a seed fund that works on growing innovative companies and believes in social impact. Rose McCourt from LocalGlobe shared with us how their Blackout Tuesday is keeping them accountable on their work to improve diversity in positions of power as an organisation, but also to expand the change out to their founders and in their industry.

“It’s been an effective catalyst for us to start seeing the changes that are so desperately needed.”

At LocalGlobe, Latitude and Phoenix Court we have been holding quarterly Blackout Days where we spend time assessing our progress as an organisation in relation to the issues of black inequity and systemic racism and take soundings for further action.

We started this following the murder of George Floyd in June 2020 to show solidarity with the #theshowmustbepaused movement and held our first Blackout Tuesday on 6th June 2020.

The first Blackout day

We turned off our emails and blacked out our social media presence. We cancelled all our meetings or else switched the agenda to directly discussing these issues.

We put out a call and sent an open invite to everyone in our network – founders, their teams, investors, neighbours, friends, family – to join us for a no agenda virtual meeting that afternoon. The idea was to provide a space for people to share their feelings and experiences and to offer support to one another. 

We also wanted to take an introspective view of the venture capital and technology industries, highlight the systemic lack of black investors and founders and question what we could do to meaningfully address this.

Attendance and engagement was overwhelming, showing how much appetite there was to not only discuss these issues but make progress and have an impact. What was clear to everyone on the call was that we could not have this be a one-off event.

“[We wanted to] highlight the systemic lack of black investors and founders and question what we could do to meaningfully address this.”

Committing to Blackout days

We decided to commit to hosting these Blackout days and open calls quarterly to ensure we always had a check-in point and an opportunity to hold ourselves to our account whilst giving our community the chance to do so too. We locked in and published quarterly dates for the next two years immediately after the call.

This meant that projects we are working on had built-in deadlines for presenting progress, not just to ourselves, but to our engaged and supportive network.

This opportunity to receive constructive feedback from key stakeholders and respected individuals on our work is invaluable. Key partnerships and relationships have been made and efforts have been accelerated due to this initiative.

One particular example of how this forum has helped us take a project through from conception to launch, is a programme designed to help black women founders start successful and profitable businesses. The process of playing back ideas to the group and refining and developing the concept with input from experts and those with lived experience has left us with something we believe can have real impact.

We spend the mornings of Blackout Tuesdays making progress on our own internal projects such as ensuring our recruitment process is fair and equitable and setting targets for shortlisted candidates or developing a training programme for our founders to help them build inclusive organisations. We then have an open call in the afternoon where we discuss our ideas and ask for feedback, talk about issues on a broader societal level and offer the opportunity for black-run businesses, organisations or performers to share their work with a group where the potential for future collaboration is high.

Some topics of discussion we’ve had at events so far have been: Identity, Education & Social Mobility, Mental Health, COVID Vaccinations, Decolonising the Curriculum, New Organisations Supporting & Funding Black Founders.

Graphic for Blackout Tuesday, with a list of dates

An effective catalyst

We have found it to be a great forum to engage, educate and have conversations on issues that affect the black community and most importantly, it’s been an effective catalyst for us to start seeing the changes that are so desperately needed.

Find out more

Sign up to LocalGlobe’s mailing list to hear about their forthcoming Blackout Tuesdays. 

Photo credits: Lorem ipsum

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