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With the return to real life dating, singles across the UK are heading back to their go-to spots for first dates. However, today, more than half (57%) of Black British people in the UK have experienced racism or racial bias on a date.

This prejudice or hostility, which manifests as everything from microaggressions to judgemental looks or comments, feelings of unwelcomeness, or even fetishisation, causes 1 in 3 (36%) Black people to cancel a date because they are anxious about the venue.

Research by Bumble, the women-first dating app, shows that across the UK, racial bias is overwhelmingly happening at popular date spots. As a result of these experiences, almost two thirds (65%) of Black British people say that they actively choose to go on dates at Black-owned small businesses.

Based on these findings, and in support of Black love stories and the spaces that empower them, Bumble is launching a campaign celebrating Black-owned businesses.

The campaign, in partnership with Metallic Inc, and featuring Reggie Yates, Zeze Millz, and Stephanie Yeboah, will showcase Black-owned date spots and will include the launch of a grant programme to support small businesses that have been hard hit by the pandemic.

Bumble have also curated a Date Generator together with Black Owned London, making it easy to discover Black-owned small businesses you can visit for your dates. Enter the kind of date you’re planning, and the Date Generator will suggest IRL and virtual ideas from over 40 businesses across the UK, such as tarot card reading, yoga, and rock climbing.

Research from Bumble shows that…

To support empowering spaces to date across the UK, Bumble is launching a new grant programme which will give £50,000 to small businesses, who are among the hardest hit by the Covid pandemic. Businesses can apply through the Bumble app and nominations can be made through Bumble’s Instagram ( @bumble_UKI ). Businesses, both applying and nominated, need to be activities or venues that are popular date spots.

Last year, Bumble launched their #MyLoveIsBlackLove campaign which addresses the lack of representation of Black British love in online spaces. The popular dating app has previously introduced policies to address fetishisation and body shaming and has a zero-tolerance policy for hate speech, slurs, racism, misogyny, or bullying,

Naomi Walkland, Head of Bumble UK & Ireland says, “Dating, especially over the last year, is hard enough without having to experience anxiety, prejudice and racism. At Bumble, we believe that both online and offline empowering spaces are critical to healthy relationships, and we want to celebrate Black-owned businesses across the UK that provide these spaces.

“Last year, on our #MyLoveisBlack campaign was about celebrating the breadth of Black British love, and this year, we’re taking it offline. Dating should be fun, not disempowering, and we are committed to supporting the Black community – whether its single people trying to find a date spot with the Date Generator; or small businesses with our Grants. This campaign supports the wider, all encompassing movement towards racial equality and equity, which Bumble is proud and committed to being a part of. “

Freya Bramble-Carter from Freya Ceramics says: “Small businesses have all been impacted by the pandemic and now more than ever we’ve seen the Black community coming together to support Black-owned businesses. We create a daily, welcoming, safe, inspiring space for people to meet and try something new. We are all family here in our eyes and these spaces matter to share love, kindness and care. We’re excited to be partnering with Bumble on their campaign to support Black-owned spaces and venues that empower and welcome all communities.“

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This content was originally published here.

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