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  • LIFT Tottenham Posted 07 April 2021

    Last year the UpLIFTers transitioned into higher education in the midst of the pandemic.  Part of their continued process as young creatives was the examination of the self within society. In December 2020, there was an opportunity for them to connect with young activists through online talks held with Advocacy Academy alumni Fill in The Blanks, Re.Rooted and The Halo Collective, whose campaigns call out, challenge and seek to dismantle institutionalised racism in schools, and in written law.

    Wanting to further investigate advocacy and the impact of creative interventions centred on justice, we commissioned artist Potent Whisper to work with some of the young people to explore the processes of advocacy, who may be involved, it’s ethics andwith the tools of rhyme and spoken word, how impactful a young person’s voice can be.

    Unable to meet in-person, the video was created and recorded through workshopping on Zoom. It gives a glimpse into their examination of advocacy and serves as the beginning of a wider conversation for them to have with young people across London.

     

    The Young People’s Rhyming Guide to Advocacy

    Lyrics by the UpLIFTers

     

    Everybody has a voice but some voices aren’t heard  

    For some people getting human rights can be hard work

     

    The world might say you’re powerless but none of that is true  

    In fact the people you’ve been waiting for to change the world – are you!

     

    It doesn’t matter what your age, whether young or old  

    It doesn’t matter what your gender, you can get involved  

    You can be an advocate – whatever you’ve been told  

    And the first step to take is just to understand your role

     

    Always let them take the lead – your role is to support them  

    And you should act with them – never act for them  

    The next step is quite straightforward, but important  

    Identify the aims of the campaign that you’re supporting

     

    What specific things are you working to achieve?  

    And what skills do you have that you can bring your team?

     

    Then it’s:  

    Artwork – network  

    Hard work – let’s work! 

     

    If the world won’t listen then you have to speak louder  

    Change is like a book and it’s yours to turn the the page  

    Recognise your power and shout it to their tower  

    To help secure people’s rights, and break away their chains  

     

    To help prevent their pain and take away anxiety  

    To be the change we want to see in our own society  

     

    Don’t forget your power you can change the world for better  

    You can write the future if you choose to work together

     

    But don’t forget about yourself – know your own limits  

    Take a step back don’t forget your self care  

    Caring for yourself should be something you revisit  

    In order to support them, ensure your welfare

     

    Young people make a change and you can do it too  

    Take a look around the world and you can see the proof  

    They try to say you’re powerless but none of that is true  

    In fact the people you’ve been waiting for to change the world – are you!  

    Potent Whisper is a rapper, spoken word artist and community organiser. He has led and been involved in campaigns on diverse issues including the war in Afghanistan, the demolition of Brixton’s arches, nuclear disarmament, and a youth march for housing in Brixton.

    You can support Fill in The Blanks in their campaign to de-colonialise the teaching of history in Britain; help ReRoot.ED make secondary school education system anti-racist, critical and inclusive; and join The Halo Collective in their mission to end race-based hair discrimination.