With Black History Month right around the corner, initiatives are already taking place to celebrate the impact of Black people in the UK in all industries. Amongst them is #ShareTheMicUK, a campaign dedicated to “magnifying black women & their work to accelerate global change”.
Spearheaded by Stephanie Phair of the British Fashion Council and Vanessa Kingori MBE, publishing director at British Vogue; the campaign set to take place on October 1st is inspired by its American sister @sharethemicnow, a scheme which was set up just this June when the world was at the height of racial tensions.
On the 10th of June, 50 white women in the public eye gave up their Instagram accounts for the day, handing them over to 50 black women, giving them another platform to amplify their voices and the powerful work that they are doing. Elaine Welteroth took over Michelle Monaghan’s Instagram to read an excerpt of her ground-breaking book, ‘More Than Enough’; while Bozoma Saint John took over Kourtney Kardashian’s Instagram to discuss seeing the beauty in Blackness.
The day consisted of important conversations being broadcasted to audiences who otherwise, wouldn’t have ever had the opportunity to hear from black women.
This, Kingori says, is the reason behind bringing this initiative to the UK. “Within the important narrative of racial inequality are Black people with key contributions to society. Their human stories often involve overcoming, triumph, success, incredible leadership”; she says, and a sentiment she, as the first female and first Black person to be publishing director of a 100+ year institution understands better than most.
Included in the line-up so far for the UK edition are TV broadcaster June Sarpong, award winning Afro hairstylist Charlotte Mensah and bestselling author Yomi Adegoke who will share the mic with Victoria Beckham, Poppy Delevingne and Laura Whitmore, respectively. “Many of us in the Black community know some of these women and their stories, it’s time the world does too”, Kingori continues.
Follow @sharethemicuk and keep your eyes peeled for Oct 1st.