Noticeboard- Bulletin of Kente – December 1999
The role of black consultants in the black voluntary sector.
“We were set up to fail” is a constant complaint that one hears at conferences, seminars and discussions organised by the black voluntary sector. The hopelessness inherent in this kind of talk makes one wonder whether we need the black voluntary sector at all. We desperately need the sector, but must start doing something to take charge and devise strategies that will ensure that no one sets us up to fail; rather we set up ourselves to succeed.
I define the black voluntary sector as black-led not-for-profit orga nisations deliver ing services often but not exclusively to other black organisations or users. These are um brella organisations as well as membership organisations providing: education, employ ment, welfare and advice, legal, housing, lei sure and entertainment, arts and culture, so cial care and health promotion services. Though there are several mainstream organi sations that target black users for their serv ices I do not consider these to be part of the black voluntary sector.
My contention is that intervention of the right sort from black management consult ants can help turnaround a sector that is of ten seen as a poor cousin to the mainstream voluntary sector.