Scholarship Spotlight: Campaigners of Colour Outside of London

I love the scholarships we have on offer here at Campaign Bootcamp - they're what keep our bootcamps full of the most committed campaigners regardless of financial background.

If you're a grassroots campaigner the scholarships can cover the full fee of coming on Bootcamp (£3000) if you need it and if you work at a small or medium NGO there are partial scholarships available to cover some of the costs of coming. 

One my favourite scholarships we have up for grabs is funded by the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust (JRCT) and is specifically for campaigners of colour / a Black and Minority Ethic (BME) background from OUTSIDE of London.

Applications for Bootcamps 9 and 10 are now open! The deadline to apply is 9am on Wednesday 15th March 2017 (UK)

Why campaigners of colour?

As a black woman navigating the world of campaigning, this scholarship is particularly important to me - without it I would not have been able to come on Bootcamp 4 myself. I know intimately how overlooked faces of colour can be in activism, and I'm really proud Campaign Bootcamp are committed to tackling this.

On the last Campaign Bootcamp 70% of Bootcamp 8 participants identified as being a person of colour / BME (Black and Minority Ethnic), with over a third of the group identifying as black / of the African diaspora - and we think that's pretty great! Click here to see who joined us on Campaign Bootcamp 8.

It's never a comfortable conversation to have, but all too often it seems that white, middle class men float to the top when it comes to being considered 'leaders' of a movement, when more often than not they're not the ones who are on the frontline on the issues they campaign on. Making sure campaigners of colour are represented is important to us because:

  1. We want to redress the imbalance society systematically imposes on those from marginalised backgrounds 

  2. We believe that the best communities are formed when difference is embraced

  3. Campaigning works best when those directly experiencing an issue are instrumental to how we confront it

Recipients of the scholarship can campaign on any issue - it doesn't have to be on race. 

Why only campaigners outside of London?

London is, without a doubt, the most racially diverse part of the UK - so why would we exclude Londoners from this scholarship you might ask? Here's some reasons why:

  1. Great campaigning is happening outside the capital. The national press isn't great at picking up stories about campaigners outside of London, so the world doesn't get to hear about the campaigns going on outside of the city very often. We know great campaigns are happening all over the UK and we want to help raise the voices of those running them.
  2. We've found that London can be a bit a of sinkhole when it comes to campaigning. It's not uncommon for people of colour (including myself!) to move to London to get involved in campaigning - often the NGOs, the jobs, the activist groups and the trainers in the sector that can help you in your campaigning journey seem to be based here. However this makes access to some campaigning circles more difficult to anyone living outside of the capital, and we don't think that's right. We want to make sure that access to these networks is within the reach of those beyond London. This scholarship (alongside our travel bursaries) seeks to address the problem.
  3. With the exception of a few cities, the rest of the UK isn't very racially diverse. Despite what the right wing press might have us believe, the UK isn't wildly diverse when it comes to race. For example, in the town I grew up in, Bournemouth, less than 10% of the population are of any racial minority background. This can lead the people of colour outside of London to feel isolated in their own communities, and potentially less empowered to campaign - we want to encourage these people to keep on campaigning! Not to mention we hope to introduce them to other campaigners who they can relate to.
  4. People forget we exist! People regularly assume that if you're black or brown, you must be from London. Sometimes we can miss out on opportunities for BME folk because so often these schemes are limited to BME people living in or from London. We don't think that's fair and wants to make sure everyone feels welcome at Bootcamp.

What about campaigners of colour in London?

The Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust scholarship is specifically for campaigners based outside of London, but that doesn't mean we don't want people of colour from London to apply too - we have another BME scholarship available for campaigners of colour based anywhere in the UK. This one is funded by the Tinsley Foundation, just mark that you are a person of colour on the application form to apply for it.

So what happens if you get a scholarship?

If you're successful in getting a scholarship you'll get access to the full year long Campaign Bootcamp programme. It starts with a week of intensive training where you'll learn hard skills that you can use in your work, build your confidence and broaden your activist community. The syllabus includes planning a campaign, working with the media, fundraising, choosing your tactics, building websites, coding and much more! After the residential is over you'll get assigned a mentor, and receive follow up training and community support.

If you're a grassroots campaigner the scholarships can cover the full fee of coming on Bootcamp (£3500) if required.

TO SUM UP

  • Deadline for applications: 9am Wednesday 15th March 2017
  • Full and partial scholarships available for grassroots campaigners
  • Email hello@campaignbootcamp.org with any questions you may have
  • Click the button below to apply