REP Group

JD (Head Boy) Introduces the new REP group at the Emmbrook School

Being a Black person in a white community is seeing and experiencing the injustice, institutional racism and discrimination around the world and in the British community, where my people, get abused, exploited, and treated unjustly for the colour of our skin. Whether it’s in the news or in the curriculum where we are portrayed slaves, criminals or police victims. In the community daily or even weekly at best with ignorant jokes, racist comments or THE look. But at the same time having to still maintain good grades.

Having to still perform in class. Having to still compete with my white counterparts in a system built to cater to them and not with me and my Black African features in mind. In a system where I have to research my own history in order to find a sense of identity. In a system that made me hate my heritage, hate my background, hate myself.

But the truth is BLACK IS BEAUTIFUL. 

Having obtained the role of Head Boy in my school, I desire to play my part in fostering a sense of family within my school community and ensuring that ALL can find comfort, inspiration and support. This has led to the sixth form and I implementing the Racial Elevation Program (R.E.P.) whereby we plan to help educate both students and teachers in racial awareness.

The aim of this initiative is to encourage both students and staff to actively fight against systemic racism in what is a predominantly white school so that racialised students feel accepted, heard and empowered in what should be a safe place for us. So that the future generations don’t have to go through the injustice I and so many others went through. So that they don’t suffer the same loss and hatred of identity. So they know the truth that BLACK IS BEAUTIFUL.

We’re in this together. No longer will this be a month of tokenism towards Black and other “ethnic minorities” but the BEGINNING of a MOVEMENT towards implementing the beauty and appreciation of Black culture and history into the school DNA.

Joe-David Okito.