Black Members Mentoring Scheme – young Black members to be paired with more experienced activists

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2019 National Black Members' Conference
14 September 2018

UNISON has about 63,000 young members, of whom approximately 8 percent are Black members.

However, there is a noticeable and worrying shortage of young Black members and activists in UNISON. More needs to be done to recruit young Black members and to encourage them to become involved at all levels of the union.

Young Black members are often dealing with discrimination and racism in their workplace and can sometimes be isolated as a consequence of these issues. It is therefore, imperative that we do all that we can to recruit and support young Black members to ensure that their voice is heard and to increase representation within our structures.

Role models within our communities can be a useful resource in recruiting young Black members by mentoring them. Black men and women who have established themselves within UNISON and can offer support, encouragement and guidance to young Black members.

This can be achieved through a mentoring scheme aiding new members in becoming more active starting at branch and regional level. Giving young members a list of reliable contacts that they can use will aid in getting more active. IT will also help bridge any gaps in communication as each member can be assigned to a specific mentor informing them of how the union works, training opportunities etc. giving them confidence to become activists.

Conference calls on the National Black Members Committee to:

1)Work with the National Young Members Forum to devise strategies for recruiting young Black members and consider ways of promoting the training available to young Black members;

2)Encourage regional and branch Black members and the young member’s forum to have the recruitment of young Black members on their agenda and work programmes;

3)Consider introducing a recruitment award for branches or regions that run successful recruitment campaigns of young Black members;

4)Select a young Black member as a guest speaker at Black member’s conference 2020;

5)Discuss a mentoring programme to be developed at branch and regional level to target young Black members;

6)Have a sign up register for experienced activists to become part of a mentoring scheme to help young black members get more involved.