London skyline in yellow and black, photograph by Ben Allan

Health effects of air pollution

Partnering with Black community leaders to improve air quality

We’re supporting Rooted by Design’s work to design and create new ways of working with Black community leaders on the health effects of air pollution. We hope this could be a catalyst for individual and collective action.

Key information

What are we doing together?

Black people in Lambeth and Southwark are disproportionately affected by poor health outcomes. Air pollution is a major cause of this health inequity. Yet the voices and experiences of Black people are often overlooked or ignored in conversations about clean air.

That’s why we are supporting Rooted by Design to work with Black community leaders to raise awareness of the health effects of air pollution and inspire activism.

Rooted by Design will work closely with a group of Black community leaders who are interested, but not yet involved, in the clean air agenda. Rooted by Design will co-design and test an immersive learning journey in nature with Black leaders, to create an experience space that instigates an enriching journey of learning, reflection and engagement around environmentalism and air pollution.

This environment will give participants the space and time to think, imagine and come up with ideas, drawing on their different perspectives. We hope those attending will become advocates for clean air and spread awareness within their communities.

As part of the journey community leaders will:

  • Improve knowledge and understanding of air pollution and its effect on health.
  • Gain a clearer sense of how justice and air pollution intersect.
  • Explore how they might support their communities on the topics of environmentalism and air pollution through their work.
  • Create new connections with other leaders interested in clean air issues, with opportunities for future collaboration.
  • Increase confidence and explore opportunities for collective and individual action on air pollution.

We have partnered with Rooted by Design because of their impressive local connections and strong track record of working with us to create change that improves Black people’s lives. As a strategic research and design practice rather than a service delivery organisation, Rooted focus on the creation of actionable solutions that are community-led and owned, and therefore have longevity.

Aim of the partnership

We are funding this work because we believe it could help to create the conditions for change needed to address the health effects of air pollution, particularly in Black communities in Lambeth and Southwark. It will also amplify Black people’s voices on clean air and health equity issues.

We want to learn more about the potential to involve Black community leaders in the air pollution agenda. This partnership will explore the best ways to engage and inform around health and air pollution, to inspire creative community-led ideas, and to support activism in Black communities. We will test this approach to understand how effective and scalable it is. If successful, we would like to create and co-fund more community owned spaces like this to reach more people and more places, in our boroughs, across London and in other cities.

Connection to our strategy

One of the priorities of our Health effects of air pollution programme is engaging and amplifying the voices of those most impacted by poor air quality.

Rooted by Design’s work will create greater awareness of the health effects of air pollution among Black communities. It will also build the capacity and skills of Black community leaders, giving them the agency and power to support their communities to take meaningful action, and to protect themselves, against air pollution. More Black voices speaking out on clean air issues will have a positive impact on health in our boroughs.

Farid Kelekun

Want to find out more about this project?

Contact Portfolio Manager Farid Kelekun

Contact Farid

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