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Mum starts 'black is beautiful' campaign

EVENTS: Mirabell Mayack with Frederick Clarke (third from left) of male mentoring network Mighty Men of Valour, and two mentors.

A YOUNG mother was so determined to make sure her son and other black children valued themselves that she started a campaign to help them.

Mirabell Mayack is now running a Black is Beautiful campaign to show young people their rich heritage, good black role models and the positive lives they can lead.

Stereotypes

“I want to go away from the stereotypes and show there are so many [positive] things you can do in life,” explained Mayack, who has a six-year-old son."

“My campaign is not about colour, it's about role models and breaking the stereotypes. I want to talk about only positive things because a lot of people have charities but it's always around knife crime… I thought 'no, we need to talk about the positive things'.”

"She said she also wants to “help boost the self-esteem in order (for youngsters) to be role models.”

As part of her campaign, Mayack, a voluntary special needs teacher, has organised events where she invites successful black professionals to meet and talk with young people. She has also organised events such as Positive Impact Hour that allowed people to have their say about the impact of crime, and how it can be tackled.

Mayack, from Croydon in south London, said she has deliberately organised some of them outside of Black History Month because she wants to inspire young people to think “it's always Black History Month. Every month is Black History Month. Every day, I am black and beautiful.”

The 26-year-old, who moved from France to the UK to study, set the campaign up last year while studying at a local college. She was inspired to start the campaign after becoming the first African-Caribbean student representative at her former college.

“I noticed that there was a lot of Afro-Caribbean students, and I was like 'wait, there is a Muslim student voice, there's a Kurdish student voice, there's a Hindu student voice, what is wrong with my community? There needs to be a student voice. We need to be heard'.”

A friend has now nominated Mayack for the 2011 Croydon Community Champion of the Year award for her hard work. The awards reward the borough's unsung heroes.

She will find out later this month whether she has won.

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