Manchester United and England star Marcus Rashford featured on the cover of a special edition of British Vogue on the theme of Black Lives Matter.
The footballer, 22, shared a cover photo on Twitter and said he was “humbled” to be recognized for his campaign to help vulnerable children which led the government to abandon free school meals.
Rashford appears on the cover alongside mental health activist and model Adwoa Aboah.
Editor-in-chief Edward Enninful said the issue was a “rallying cry for the future” and included 40 activists described as “Faces of Hope.”
The September issue is traditionally the most important fashion bible of the year. The guest of the Duchess of Sussex edited the issue 12 months ago.
Rashford partnered with FareShare, a poverty and food waste charity, in March and raised more than £ 20million to ensure children receive school meals during the lockdown.
However, as the government stood ready to stop providing free school meals to around three million children over the summer, the Manchester United star wrote to MPs on June 15 pleading with them to ‘protect the people. vulnerable ”.
His poignant letter was widely shared and prompted a quick turnaround in the government.
He also shared his own experience of growing up in poverty and, in his interview with Vogue, said: “I would have failed anyone who helped me get to where I am today if I didn’t. was not put out there saying, “This is not correct – and that has to change. In fact, I would have failed myself at 10 years old. ‘
Manchester United star Marcus Rashford covers the September issue of Vogue alongside mental health activist and model Adwoa Aboah and 18 other global activists described as “the faces of hope”
The footballer, 22, shared a cover photo on Twitter and said he was “humbled” to be recognized for his campaign on behalf of vulnerable children.
Other activists highlighted include Patrisse Cullors, co-founder of Black Lives Matter, Patrick Vernon, a Windrush activist, and Doreen Lawrence, founder of the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust.
The issue was curated by Edward Enninful, editor-in-chief of British Vogue.
The photos of Rashford and the other activists were taken by Misan Harriman, the first black photographer to cover Vogue in its 104-year history.
It comes after the Black Lives Matter movement spread around the world following the gruesome murder of George Floyd by the police.
Mr Enninful himself said he was the victim of racial profiling in July when he was denied entry to Vogue House in Mayfair by a guard who not only did not recognize him, but who had also said to use the entrance of the merchants at the back of the building.
Speaking to Sky News today about the incident, Mr Enninful said: ‘It was not an isolated incident. Of course, that brings you back to all those times in your life when this sort of thing happened.
“It’s important for something like this to happen, because it reminds me to never think that I’m too well known or too established, because to someone you are another black person. “
For Rashford, it is the latest form of recognition after his campaign to protect vulnerable titles generated around the world.
The footballer highlighted how his own experience growing up in Wythenshawe, south Manchester, motivated his desire to help the less fortunate.
Speaking to Vogue, Rashford said: “As an athlete, failure is part of everyday life. You lose a game, you bounce for the next. You lose in the cup final, you come back stronger next season.
“In that case, the failure would have been if I didn’t stand up for all those people who had no voice.
Vogue editor-in-chief Edward Enninful (pictured at Somerset House in November 2016) revealed he had been the victim of ‘racial profiling’ in his own office
Rashford, who has been an inspiration with his charity work, was humbled by the moment
“It was a problem I could relate to. “It was something I had experienced. What my mother had experienced. What we had experienced as a family.
“I always swore to my mom that if one day I was able to help, I would, and an opportunity presented itself. I took a risk, yes. But I reduced the risk by educating myself. I had listened and talked to those most affected.
“I was working with FareShare before the lockdown so I saw firsthand how parents had become dependent on food banks and food stamp support.
“I had been listening to the stories of parents, guardians, school leaders and my partner FareShare for weeks and felt responsible for giving them the opportunity to share their stories and make their voices heard.
“People were talking but no one was really listening. I am by no means a politician, but I had a voice and a platform that could be used to at least ask the questions.
Rashford has been praised for his campaign and will even receive an honorary doctorate from the University of Manchester, the youngest recipient in the history of the award.
However, the footballer insisted that his goal remains to help those in need.
Just days after the Premier League ended, he posted a series of photos on Instagram of himself and FairShare at a factory loading food.
Rashford lent a hand at a FareShare factory shortly after the Premier League ended
Rashford has been praised for his campaign and will even receive an honorary doctorate from the University of Manchester
He told Vogue: “There are many athletes and clubs working in communities. You might not always hear about them, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t.
“With me, it was instilled in me from a young age that I would use my voice to help others and I have a great team around me who have always encouraged me to be myself.
“On a sensitive topic like this, just being myself was enough, because no one could tell my childhood story better than me.
‘Few people can disagree [with the fact] that children should not skip meals and go to bed hungry.
“When the U-turn came, I was shocked. We had had little communication from key decision makers so far, but my shock quickly turned to pride.
“The British care and we have shown the real power to come together to make a difference in so many lives.
“Should we have done it?” Absolutely not. But we have shown that we have compassion for one another at a time when we were somewhat divided.
The footballer also spoke about how he was inspired by the spread of activism and protests that followed the murder of George Floyd.
His death sparked anger around the world, with the Black Lives Matter movement staging protests in several major cities, including the UK.
Rashford said: “I am a black man from a black family and will eventually have black children. I want my children to grow up in a world where no matter what the color of your skin you have the same chance for success in life.
“No one person is more important than the other. The beauty of the government reversal was that we all came together as one – regardless of race, gender, religion, background.
“We all agreed that our children should be taken care of – all of our children. We were together in this feeling.
“It was a strong moment. I don’t think I have felt such pride before.
‘[But] we are only scratching the surface of the problem.
“Child poverty is a huge problem in the UK. With the U-turn, we bought ourselves some time. The food stamp system is far from perfect, but it is a start.
“Access to food is the most basic of human needs and the systems in place are not always designed to support our most vulnerable.
“We need a framework in place that is sustainable to support families and children who need access to food supplies, especially emerging from this pandemic with such high unemployment.
“I have the conversations, I ask the questions and I hope we can continue to move things in a positive direction.
“No child in this country should go hungry… end of story.
British Vogue said the issue was an “ode to the extraordinary voices, the majority of whom are women, who have played a critical role in driving change.”
Aboah, 28, said: “For some time now I have felt that I have been taking a very selective approach to racial justice, mental health and sustainability. Now I hope that changes. I don’t think you’re going to get away with just spraying perfume on the situation.
The issue of Vogue’s Hope is a collaboration between the magazine’s 26 editions around the world for the September and October issues.
This is the first time in Vogue’s 128-year history that all editions have come together under a unique editorial theme.
The September issue of British Vogue will be available on newsstands and for digital download on Friday, August 7.