Operation Black Vote teams up with Croydon Council to launch Gee Bernard Leadership Scheme

Advocacy group Operation Black Vote will be launching a new project in Croydon to inspire young people to participate in a career in politics.

OBV, which has previously collaborated with Croydon Council, will be joining up with the borough for a second time to promote the Gee Bernard Leadership Scheme.

The scheme will be aimed at encouraging young Black Minority Ethnic (BME) residents in Croydon to participate in a career of politics.

OBV advocates for racial justice and equality in the UK and seeks to inspire BME communities to address racial inequalities issues in areas such as education, health and employment.

“We’re very excited to be given this opportunity by the council,” said OBV spokesman Simon Wooley.

“In memory of the borough’s first black councillor Gee Bernard, the scheme will nurture the next generation of young leaders who will then go on to become councillors, school governors, magistrates and MPs.”

Ms Bernard was born in Jamaica in 1934, came to London as a teenager, and soon became involved in politics, becoming a Labour party member, and then the first black councillor in 1986.

The Croydon community and politicians paid tribute to Ms Bernard when to passed away December last year of a short-term illness.

As well as founding a charity for Afro-Caribbean families in Croydon, Ms Bernard represented West Thornton for 16 years, and was remembered for all her work and contribution to the community.

Over the recent weeks, Operation Black Vote were doing their part for the General elections, helping Croydon residents vote.

OBV’s election campaign is seen as one of the reason’s turnout across Croydon’s three constituencies rose.

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