Hi, my name is Anah Zakeer, and I took part in Democratic Society's #PowerOfYouth Takeover Week. Demsoc was supporting this as part of #iWill Week 2020.
Organisations like Demsoc are leading the way for youth to be given not a voice, but a microphone, so our voices are heard on the issues that personally affect us.
Why is it important to give young people a platform?
This is important because I believe in today's society, youth are capable, educated and opinionated individuals who understand the importance of exercising their opinions. We are the new force behind change, and we propose ourselves as the people who need to be piloting these decisions. Just look to examples like Greta Thunberg for proof.
For example, it isn't right or fair to hard-working students, that choices regarding our GCSE's and A-Levels don't come through to us first. Youth and children form about 40% of the world's population. Involving us is not just the right thing to do but the strategic thing to do.
From my experience working with Demsoc, I learnt to make engaging, informative social media posts, which can still be found on the Demsoc Instagram and Twitter page as well as the opportunity to do more in-depth research on significant problems. I focused on racial inequality in its many forms: colourism, why 'black on black' crime isn't a real thing, islamophobia and more!
What could organisations do more of or start doing to involve young people?
The more organisations which start to reach out to young people, the more successful they will be. I would suggest that making work experience or shadowing programs and/or volunteering opportunities. Making an effort to take constructive criticism by opening up spaces for young people to shape decisions through more participation are all ways organisations can start involving the youth of today. This goes for private, public and third sector organisations. I would encourage any organisation, big or small, to sign-up to the #PowerOfYouth Charter - as Demsoc are doing!