Alfa, a provider of systems and consultancy services to the global asset finance industry, has joined the Black British Network (BBN), in a bid to form “part of a vocal collective of changemakers, aiming to make racial equity a reality,” the company said in a statement. 

Alfa joins the network alongside O2, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and EY, among others. 

The Black British Network aims to enable roundtable conversations with members of the Black community and industry leaders to build better frameworks within organisations and society.

Following these discussions, the Black British Network will compose The Black Paper, a manifesto for improving organisations’ approach to inclusion and diversity. Next, the video series Black British Stories will highlight Black people’s experiences to educate viewers and support change, and a portrait series titled Portrait of Black Britain – photographed by Cephas Williams – will make visible and amplify the contributions and identity of Black people in British society. 

Andrew Denton, Alfa’s chief executive, said: “The Black British Network represents an important step forward in the journey towards racial equity. Recently, alongside many other industry leaders, I signed Cephas’s Letter to Zion, joining forces to help dismantle systemic racism and create an equal playing field for the economic advancement of the Black community in the UK.”

Cephas Williams, the founder of the BBN, said: “Andrew is a friend and someone I have got to know personally over the past few years.

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“The importance of friendship in this context is that being an ally is not just about thinking of ways to help people; being an ally is to build authentic relationships with others and through those relationships grow closer, firmly in the understanding of how you can support one another.

“It is true that many hang up the ‘garment of inclusion’ as soon as they leave the office, and approach any conversation outside of selling their product or service as a tick-box exercise. This often leads to initiative fatigue, with many well-meaning activities but no real systemic change. 

Black British Network (BBN)

“And so it is evident that to be a true ally, you must first be a friend and to be a friend you must have a relationship. This speaks to real change beyond notions of charity, and real empowerment beyond feelings of empathy.

“From conversations I’ve had with Andrew and the leadership at Alfa, and from tangible steps the organisation has now taken, I strongly believe they will be an instrumental part of the systemic change we are pushing to see.”

In his Letter to Zion, Williams said: “I will build an alliance in the UK, an alliance of Black people and our non-Black allies, everyone who is brave enough and forward-thinking enough to stand with us, shoulder to shoulder to help create the change we need to see.”

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