Remembering George Floyd on the Journey Forward

Today marks the second anniversary of the passing of George Floyd and we take a moment to reflect on his untimely murder in a police attack.

In case there is anyone who does not know, George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, was apprehended for an alleged offence in Minneapolis, USA. Following his apprehension, four police officers took a series of actions that not only violated his rights but lead to his neck being pinned against the ground, whilst he pleaded for his life, for eight minutes and forty-six seconds until he eventually passed away.

It took little under nine minutes for a police officer, Derick Chauvin to take his life. Nine minutes that should have been used to make the rational and moral decision to drive Mr Floyd to the police station for further questioning, yet instead they were spent murdering and allowing his murder, despite bystanders crying and screaming for them to stop.

There is no denying that the treatment Mr Floyd received was unjust; regardless of whatever crime he may have been accused of committing there is no excuse to murder anyone, let alone due to racial stereotypes associated with the colour of their skin.

While this day signposts an untimely and melancholic event, it also reinforces the mission of charities such as The Amos Bursary. Our mission seeks to help change the negative narrative associated with being young and Black. To help others see that we are so much more than a code like ‘IC3’ or a statistic in the number of people not going into higher education. That we can make our dreams a reality and not feel like we have to be held down by the clichés associated with being black.

The AMOS Bursary community that has been formed over the past 13 years facilitates and champions the success of ambitious Black British men and women from underprivileged backgrounds. It offers us empowerment and the ability to develop confidence in ourselves and our skill sets through workshops, networking events and so much more. Being part of The Bursary and its excellence program has made us increasingly confident in our abilities by the minute.

It has often been said that Mahatma Gandhi famously said “Be the change you want to see in the world”. In fact what he said was “If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. … We need not wait to see what others do.” As AMOS Bursary scholars we can say with confidence, that the skills and mindset that are being developed in us are helping us to become pioneers of change within our community. We’re not waiting to see what others do. We’re moving and we’re shaping futures that transform stereotypes about young black people and that allow students and professionals of African and Caribbean heritage to have the same opportunities as their white counterparts.

Article by Oluwabukunmi Oloyede and Daniel Bateren

Discover how The AMOS Bursary students and alumni have been inspired to change the narrative.

Think about partnering with us to shape the future

Talking diversity, equality and inclusion with HRH The Prince of Wales

Yesterday four AMOS brothers were part of a round table discussion at University College, Oxford hosted by Baroness Amos of Brondesbury with His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales as the guest of honour.

Amos alumni and ambassador Isaiah Wellington-Lynn, alongside current Amos scholars Wayne Gouro, Kwabena Osei and Leon Gidigbi discussed key issues surrounding access to Oxford and Cambridge for underrepresented groups and shared their own personal journeys of applying to and being at Oxford. The Prince took great interest in understanding their varied perspectives and the challenges they faced which included everything from misconceptions of Oxford, to lack of guidance and encouragement.

They also reflected on critical things that have helped them on their journeys such as the UNIQ Oxford program and The AMOS Bursary, and they explored ideas of what could be done to improve access further.

Isaiah’s PhD research paper “The anthropology of belonging, meritocracy and privilege” was of particular interest as Prince Charles is currently thinking a lot about how to leverage his network to better support young people pre, during and post-university, and those who take alternative paths. Isaiah said of the visit, “He was very inquisitive and managed to get me to talk about a lot of different things from basketball, my £64,000 crowdfunding campaign and my upbringing to the London Interdisciplinary School, the challenges of siloed education, and a university’s duty to validate contemporary jobs and career paths.”

Yesterday these young men left the residence of Baroness Amos feeling privileged to have had a seat at such an influential table alongside the future monarch. Today they got their heads back down and continued the necessary work to build the tables that they can invite their younger AMOS brothers and sisters to sit at in the future.

When future kings meet the future king great things can happen!

Get insight into what drives our amazing co-founder and patron Baroness Valerie Amos in her Becoming X interview

Discover what sets AMOS Bursary Students apart in any room and what inspires our alumni to continue to be ambassadors for change

Stephen Lawrence Day 2022 – A Legacy of Change

Today, 22nd April 2022, is the fifth Stephen Lawrence Day, since its introduction following the tireless advocacy of his parents, Neville Lawrence and Baroness Doreen Lawrence.

As a young person who was recently introduced to the details of the murder of Stephen Lawrence, it saddens me that when I Google searched his name the first few articles that popped up reduced him to a mere statistic – a black teenager who was murdered in a racist attack. It is obvious that he was so much more than that.

I think a lot of the time when recounting those who lost their lives in terrible circumstances, we tend to gloss over who they were as people and the lives they lived. After a while, we stop seeing those involved as individual innocents and merely another example of the extent of the institutionalised racism in the country. It pains me to see people be reduced to being another case to add to the long list of names of those killed in racial atrocities.  

Stephen Lawrence was an 18-year-old boy who lived in Eltham in South London. He had dreams and aspirations of becoming an architect. These were stopped in their tracks.  This Stephen Lawrence Day, I want to recall who Stephen Lawrence was, as a son, a brother, a cousin, a friend and most importantly a fellow man. I want to think about how, if he was not murdered, he would have achieved his dreams of being an architect.

Let us celebrate the life he did live, and the many accomplishments that his mother, Baroness Lawrence, has completed since that fateful day.  Like how she successfully campaigned for police reform and the elimination of double jeopardy (the principle that stopped suspects from being tried twice for the same crime). After founding the Stephen Lawrence Trust and opening the £10 million Stephen Lawrence Centre, in 2018 she achieved the ultimate goal of convincing the Prime Minister to introduce a day every year to commemorate the life of her son. The strength of Baroness Doreen Lawrence is extremely admirable and makes you ponder how much Stephen would have also achieved if he was alive today. 

Instead of this day being full of sorrow, I would like to instead celebrate Stephen Lawrence’s life and look forward to the impact his family’s legacy will have on future generations, on my generation and on me.

Moyin Babalola AMOS Bursary Progressive

#SLDay22 #StephenLawrenceDay #BecauseOfStephen #LegacyOfChange #LiveYourBestLife

Happy International Women’s Day

Our AMOS Bursary Sister Circle began in 2021 with the first female cohort. We are privileged to be a part of an inspirational network of black women from the AMOS Bursary staff, associates, committee members, supporters and donors whose aim is to build us up to be the leaders of tomorrow.

As young black women, this incredible support system helps address and challenge all and any limiting beliefs and strives to empower us to be the best that we can be. Some of our discussions have included issues such as:

  • The importance of female friendships and how to cultivate them
  • Being confident in our abilities and building our self-esteem
  • How to speak our minds and stay firm in our convictions
  • Confident and success in male-dominated environments
  • Maintaining our mental wellbeing
  • The fight against over-sexualisation
  • Helping people see that we can be both energetic and smart
  • How to deal with the barriers we face in society
  • Demystifying university life
  • Recognising the gaslighting of career vs. children
  • Debunking the stereotypes attached to women in the workplace
  • Articulating what it means to be a young black woman in today’s society and how that affects our life choices
  • Getting us excited about what lies ahead in the future

This International Women’s day for us is dedicated to celebrating the empowering exchange of ideas, encouragement, and motivation within our sisterhood.

The AMOS Sister Circle, we will #BreakTheBias

What’s on Your Bookshelf?

We’re always eager to share the knowledge so this World Book Day some of our alumni gave us an insight into their top reads.

The answers were nothing less than insightful so get ready for a bookshelf restock after you check these out.

  1. What book has had the biggest impact on your life to date and why?
“Since 2019, I’ve re-read this book over 4 times, bought it for my entire team and lived by all the teachings. It helped me pin down my purpose and taught me how to prioritise and win in all areas of my life (spiritually, physically, emotionally, professionally and financially). It came at a time when I would always get burned out. Thankfully since reading and taking the actions, that hasn’t happened again.”
“This showed me how ADHD can be a superpower!”
“This opened my mind to the wide range of aspects within the world of investing. It provides many great ideas on how to successfully invest in the stock market. There’s something in here for both new and experienced investors.”
“This book reinforced my understanding of how to embrace my versatility.”
“Reading this made me understand how detrimental limiting beliefs are to your capability of reaching your potential and taught me one of the mindsets universal to high achievers.”
“It’s more a business leadership book, however, in the abstract, the principles are applicable in leading one’s self to greatness. After reading it, I could instantly see the principle play out in real life.”

2. What is your number one must-read recommendation for all AB Students (other than Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, which we all know is an AMOS Bursary staple!)?

3. What was the last book you read?

“We couldn’t have a book recommendation list without mentioning this staple of The AMOS Bursary”

So like we said, time for a bookshelf re-stock! If you do pick up any of the recommendations above share your own review with us in the comments. Happy Reading!

AMOS Bursary Virtual Open Day – Wed 8th Dec 2021

So you’ve heard that The AMOS Bursary offers great opportunities but you have questions… we’re here to help! 

Sign up for our virtual open day this Wednesday 8th December 2021. You can come after school from 3.30pm or tell your teachers and get them to register the whole class or year group for 9.30am. 

This is a one hour session where AMOS staff and students will be available to tell you more about what it is like to be a part of the AMOS Bursary family and how you can join us.

Register your place now at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/211112492147 and find out how to build a foundation for your future!

 

#amosbursary

#shapingfutures

#amosopenday

Making Black History

Making Black History

This October we will not only be acknowledging our inspiring black history, but #ChangingTheNarrative and celebrating our very own Black History Makers!

Everyday AMOS Bursary alumni are #PromotingExcellence and #ShapingFutures that will be written about in history books to come. Throughout the month we will be spotlighting a number of our pioneering alumni and introducing you to the people that inspire them to excel.

#AmosBursaryAlumni

#MakingBlackHistory