On Thursday 23rd March, 2023, our Moving on Up (MoU) team came together for their final Advisory Group meeting with Bola Abisogun OBE – Founder of DiverseCity Surveyors, and Digital Director at the BIM Academy – as as its Chair. This is a position he has held for an impressive 10 years.
Bola is stepping down from the role to give another young Black male the chance to steer the expert Advisory Group, which is made up of employers, funders, partners and others committed to improving the employment outcomes of young Black men, aged 16-24, in London.
Speaking at the meeting, Bola said:
I have to thank you all, because I am nothing without you all. All I have done is shown some humility and some determination, and have brought my lived-in experienced to the table. I am not leaving, but I am stepping back because I do believe after a decade, I have got to allow some fresh blood and fresh thinking. Whoever this individual is, I would like to support them in some capacity.
Jeremy Crook OBE was present to give thanks to Bola’s work on Moving on Up:
It will be very strange not having Bola at the helm because having him as a successful Black male entrepreneur from a sector like construction has been very powerful. The passion, the commitment, the resilient has been commendable. We wouldn’t be where are today without Bola”
Reflections from ARE
When previously asked why the work of MoU mattered, Bola commented:
When we started Moving on Up back in 2014 the unemployment rate for young Black men was over 50%…. We [couldn’t] allow that to happen as a country and a world city. We know employers have had difficult conversations following the death of George Floyd, and we also know are these are very difficult times for UK buisnesses, but we can’t afford to go backwards. We have to move forward now.”
This forward momentum has shone through in the energy, creativity and resilience Bola has brought to his tenure as Chair, with one of MoU’s key moments being the highly successful Journey Towards Inclusion event held with the Mayor of London, and Bola’s company DiverseCity Suveyors, in September 2022 at RICS.
Bola has also inspired countless partners, employers, and young Black men involved on the programme, including our Ambassadors.
As a Black male entrepreneur from a large sector like construction this has been powerful. Bola has been a champion and the face of what we have done. He took a group of young Black men to Atlanta in 2016, and invited me Jeremy Crook OBE along.”Young ambassador, MoU
The team at ARE, and all involved with MoU, would like to also give heartfelt thanks for Bola’s unfailing support to the programme and wish him the best of luck with his endeavours!
If you’ve worked with Bola in the past, and would like us to send a message of thanks, please get in touch.