Department for Communities and Local Government
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Reach role model applications have rolled in

Reach role model applications have rolled in

COMMUNITIES AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT News Release (226) issued by COI News Distribution Service. 17 September 2008

There has been a fantastic response to the recruitment campaign to establish a national group of Black male role models - with over 250 applications from across the length and breadth of the country from successful Black men from a wide range of careers and industries.

A major national search to recruit Black male role models got underway this summer with Communities Secretary Hazel Blears calling for motivational Black and mixed heritage men to take a lead in inspiring the next generation of Black boys to achieve and succeed.

Communities and Local Government will now work with a group of approximately 40 Black Boys and Young black men to make an initial sift of the applications, selecting a shortlist of at least 40 of the most dynamic and inspiring of the candidates.

Once the shortlist has been created the Independent REACH Panel comprising fashion designer and businessman Ozwald Boateng, entrepreneur Tim Campbell, founder and Director of Operation Black Vote Simon Woolley and Metropolitan Police Superintendent Leroy Logan along with four young advisors will take over the next stage of the recruitment , putting the final 40 through their paces during an interview process which will determine who will succeed to form the final REACH national role model group.

Communities Secretary Hazel Blears said:

"I am delighted that we have had such a positive response to our calls for Black male role models. Its shows how much commitment is out there in our communities from successful Black men who are determined to lead by their own example and ensure that Black boys and young Black men set their sights high and succeed"

"Too often Black role models can be celebrities and those who glamorise a world of crime, drugs, guns and gangs but the applications we have seen from some extremely inspiring and successful men prove that there are so many more positive images of Black male achievement that we need to get out there"

The creation of the first ever Black Boys' National Role Model programme is part of a package of measures to help raise the aspirations and attainment of some of today's young Black men.

A national role modelling programme was one of the recommendations made to Government by an independent panel made up of members who had an in depth understanding of the realities of the lives of Black Boys and the barriers they face to success. The Government has responded positively to their report and is committed to taking action on all the REACH recommendations.

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