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Looking ahead

Hard work, optimism, and self belief will be the three factors that will drive Black communities and individuals to great success this coming year, says OBV’s Simon Woolley

I’ve no doubt it will be a significant year – after all, the nation stands at political crossroads, the likes of which we haven’t seen for more than a decade.

Moreover, the Black communities role in deciding the ideological, political, and even spiritual path we take has never been more significant.

Why? Because in a election that will be broadly decided in metropolitan areas: London, the Midlands and a number of northern towns, the Black vote is concentrated – and thus could be a deciding factor.

Our role is to be prepared for this once in a generation opportunity. To fulfill this advantage political parties must see that we are registered to vote and will vote on election day.

They must hear a unified message as to what Black communities demand from the next government.

With your help and along with many other Black groups such as The 1990 Trust, we will write a Black manifesto setting out what communities expect.

Above all we must be a beacon to our communities that through activism positive change can be achieved.

To some the work load at OBV may seem daunting; in the first few months alone, we launch our election campaign with a rally at Friends Hse for 1,500, with special guest the American presidential candidate Rev Al Sharpton.

We also launch our MP shadowing scheme; a Channel 4 leadership programme; and we celebrate the 20th year anniversary of the release from jail of Nelson Mandela.

But we are not daunted by such a work load, but privileged that we can serve our communities in such positive way.

We will endeavour to do the very best we can, but real success depends on you: your hard work, your optimism your supreme self belief.

Lets collectively seize this moment and make our mark in history. This time next year we’ll plan to build upon the success we undoubtedly achieve in 2010.

Happy New Year.

Simon Woolley

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