Vogue: a stylish move in the right direction…

Posted 15.09.2020

Equality of opportunity of living, of being, is central to the European Social Fund / National Lottery Community Fund commissioned Building Better Opportunities programme (BBO).  Stakeholder Managers work across the D2N2 LEP area to develop partnership activities to help people do more, connect with more, to work towards a way of life that’s good for all and fair for all.

2020 will be remembered as a tough year, but also as a moment of vital change.

For its September issue, British Vogue has presented a series of covers featuring notable activists from around the world under the cover line “Activism Now”.

The main cover features British model Adwoa Aboah with footballer Marcus Rashford that then folds out to reveal photos of 18 more people championing social reform.

The photos were taken by Nigeria-born Misan Harriman. He is the first black photographer to shoot a British Vogue September cover in the magazine’s 104-year history, and the first black male ever to shoot a cover. Nadine Ijewere was the first black photographer, she shot the January 2019 cover.

To be the first black male photographer in British Vogue’s 104-year history to shoot a cover and the first black person to ever shoot a September issue cover “… is an honour,” Harriman wrote on Instagram.

He paid tribute to Edward Enninful, the British Vogue editor who became the first black person to helm the magazine when he took over from Alexandra Shulman in 2017.

Harriman said: “To be the first black male photographer in British Vogue’s 104-year history to shoot a cover is an honour, but let’s be clear, this has Edward Enninful written all over it. His ability to force change whilst empowering others is a lesson to us all. He knows that there are many talented people from a diverse background who never had a fair chance – hopefully the door is ajar.

Equalities policy and practice across all BBO programmes in D2N2 are driven by the voices of lived experience to help bring about the change we need to see.

Ensuring equal access to BBO programmes is important, which is why we have been keen to also connect strongly to delivery partners that specialise and are trusted by Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic communities (BAME). We have also been developing strong links with council initiatives, such as the Syrian Refugee Resettlement Programme, and the Building Resilience Programme for migrant communities. We recognise that for those whose English is not their first language is an enormous barrier, compounded by wider issues that has resulted in a move to another country. We have built good working relationships with colleagues overseeing these projects and continue to support and progress BAME participants that are engaged within our BBO programme.

The BBO Towards Work programme has an Equalities and Diversity Group which is chaired by our Stakeholder Manager for Nottinghamshire. The purpose of the group is to ensure that the programme reaches all within the community. The group developed an action plan to ensure that we address any emerging issues around gender and race.  The group not only look at those on the programme, but staffing to ensure that the work coaches, job brokers and core management team for Towards Work reflects our communities.  You can find out more about this work here.


BBO is having a significant impact on individual lives, supporting people to increase their confidence, independence and achieve their employment aspirations.

See what our participants have to say in these case studies …

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