Creating a better future for these young men is why we are supporting the work of Kay Rufai this year.

by Sinead Hasson December 13th, 2021

At Hasson Associates we work with a number of groups to address diversity within the market research industry. Its really important to us. Creating opportunity across all areas of our community, enabling young people to see themselves reflected in our workplaces, this is vital if we are to create the truly diverse and inclusive organisations of the future.

Some of this work begins at grass roots level, gathering our young people together to tackle the issues they face, giving them new skills, a belief system, new ways of thinking and this is especially true within our black communities.

S.M.I.L.E -ing Boys is run by the inspirational artist, poet and photographer Kay Rufai. He runs an 8 week happiness and well-being creative arts project that uses photography, poetry, film and discussion to empower young people and give them the tools to improve their mental health, emotional literacy, raise their aspirations and build a positive identity. Each project ends with a series of portraits of the boys, often exhibited in public access spaces throughout London. These portraits, and the reaction of the boys, normalising the image of a smiling black boy across our communities and the media, is a joy to witness.

Addressing the visual representation of black boys, working with them directly to not only create better mental health but to feel included and aspire is invaluable work and Hasson Associates are delighted to support Kay, the project and all the young men that are placing their trust in S.M.I.L.E-ing Boys to work for a better future and we are delighted to announce that we will be sponsoring 10 boys through the program.

If you would like to know more about Kay and his work and offer your support to a great project, here’s a few links that will explain more:

http://universoulartist.com/smiling-boys-project/

https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/smile-ing-boys-project

https://www.theguardian.com/world/gallery/2020/mar/18/portraits-black-teenagers-south-london-mental-health