Redefining stereotypes by showcasing positive Black and Ethnic Minorities contributions, and empowering and inspiring the next generation.

EDITION FOUR – 2019

Levi Francis

I am…A child of loving Father that gave me a second chance and I am completely indebted to the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ….

Who are you?

I am A child of loving Father that gave me a second chance and I am completely indebted to the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ. I long to see young people maximize fulfill their true potential on this earth.

What is your present role?

Pricing and MI Manager – Oversee the strength, integrity and appropriateness of the pricing of my company’s insurance products and ensure the delivery of accurate and timely MI relating to the Financial Services we provide.

Tell us about your life journey so far. What has brought you to your current role?

I came from a divorced parent home which presented many challenges as a child and then as a teenager.

As result of not feeling as though things were not accessible to me and as though I was on the bottom rung of life I became a thief and liar and spiralled out of control once I reached secondary school.

My mum couldn’t control me so I went to live with my dad who didn’t have a full-time job at the time. We lived in a hostel where up to 8 people would share one toilet and shower that was rarely cleaned.

I was excluded/suspended 8 times from school (internally and externally) and I left school with only one GCSE achieving 4 D’s, 4 E’s and F and a U.

Moving back in with my mum helped to stimulate a change in my life when there wasn’t much positive. Alongside this, I found Jesus and became born again. The whole angle and trajectory of my life changed.

In your field of work, what has been your observation and/or experience of white privilege, discrimination and prejudices?

I don’t see much discrimination based on the colour of my skin. Prejudices do still exist in an office environment but to a far lesser extent than say 10-20 years ago. The real discrimination comes on the basis of my Christian faith. We live in a world where “speaking up” and “being yourself” is actively encouraged and where many beliefs and views are promoted but I have experienced that when you say you are a Christian the discrimination is quite strong – despite the fact that the last time I checked England was still a Christian country.

What do you know now that you wish you had known when you were younger?

Jesus is the only way. My parents were not Christians and having this foundation would have saved me a whole heap of pain in my younger years. I love them still don’t get the wrong impression! Practically, be disciplined and relentless in the pursuit of your goals.

What song, quote, statement or image do you find most encouraging?

Many years ago I used to listen to this song called “Optimistic” by Sounds of Blackness. 

In terms if statements there are two that have helped me:

A setback is just a SETup for a comeBACK.

In order to get something that you have never had, you need to do something that you have never done.

How are you redefining a stereotype?

A young black professional who loves God.

What advice or top tip would you give to the next generation of BAME individuals?

Be sure of who you are and what you stand for. Put yourself in challenging situations so that you can learn what your strengths are and work on your weaknesses. Don’t be an ostrich – putting your head between your legs and hiding from a difficult situation is not going to make it better. Confront it.