I was embroiled in the aftermath of the 1981 and 1985 and 22 city riots working with the then-government - Margaret Thatcher's team - to bring healing and building alliances between angry black communities and funders eager to build back better and prevent more destructive turbulence through employment and innovation and cohesion schemes. It worked - for then. It was right - for then.
It didn't heal the wound - although it helped.
Turning to 2020 one of the darkest moments for many of us was the violent slaughter of George Floyd in plain public sight, and the easy slippage of his killers to bail, paid freed whilst a family are manacled in trauma. Then one of the bright luminous moments was to study the long life of a man we just lost – civil rights leader and Congressman John, who said "To create a covenant with yourself that you will conjoin with others in meaningful, purposeful, unrelenting acts of justice, irrespective of your job or position or all you don't have. To find moments that build a movement. To give time to lift the "less than" and to exemplify the real heroes in our communities".
Real heroes like Patrick Hutchinson, who stunned the world by picking up a white man manifesting racist aggression, yet fallen and wounded. Patrick lifting him across his shoulder to take him to safety stunned the world.
Our communities need to be full of stunning people. We need to shock the world by being the most engaged, the most relentless, the most professional, the most loving, the most persistent, the most generous.
For me, I joined the then Commission for Racial Equality serving nine years as a commissioner in the era after the death of Stephen Lawrence, when we fought for Macpherson whose report laid bare the ugly truths which changed law. But that took work. Not protests. Work.
We must build alliances that will empower freedom to have genuine equity of opportunity and solid governance and investable resources. That's why I lead the London Chamber of Commerce and Industries Black Business Association and the newly formed Black Business Institute —it is why we build alliance working with Hogan Lovells where we collectively see the significance of investing in long-term asset. We need more than a moment's outpouring in response to events. There is inordinate Black talent and creative energy represented in the examples of social innovators highlighted in the following pages. If we are able to collective give this talent, profile, resources, access to networks and reinforce their ambition – we will build a longer lasting movement for impact.
Lord Dr Michael Hastings CBE