The first step has been taken. After just five weeks of campaigning we’ve achieved a 5th place finish in the London mayoral elections, beating 15 other political hopefuls.
By championing young people the NDL has outperformed established political candidates with millions of pounds in funding behind them.
The acceptable face of politics has changed.
Now it’s time to pass the baton on to other young people who are already changing the future whether they enter politics or not – the leaders of tomorrow whose voices deserve to be heard on every platform.
For four years, Amika George has been fighting for free menstrual products in schools for children from disadvantaged backgrounds. In 2017 her organisation Free Periods staged a 2000 person protest outside Theresa May’s bedroom calling for an end to period poverty.
In 2019, they helped put pressure on the government and push them to make legislation paying for menstrual products in English schools. Now they’re scrutinising that legislation to ensure it’s fair and effective, and refuse to stop until period poverty is completely eradicated.
All this and she’s just 21. A young person that fights for young people.
Choked Up UK was established to fight toxic air in London in memory of Ella Kissi-Debrah, the first person to die due to air pollution in the UK.
It is run by Nyeleti Brauer-Maxaeia, Anjali Raman-Middleton, Kaydine Rogers and Destiny Boka Batesa, who describe themselves as “black and brown teenagers from South London”. All of them are just 17 years old, balancing running the organisation alongside school and exams.
Their campaign has been supported by over 100 doctors, and aims to highlight the disproportionate impact of air pollution on people of colour. They’re fighting for a greener future for themselves and all other young people in London. Big ups.
Cephas Williams is the founder of 56 Black Men, a campaign to change how black men are seen and presented in the UK and end the association with violence and crime.
He’s helping people see that it doesn’t matter what you wear, whether it’s a hoodie or a 3 piece suit – you cannot and should not be stereotyped. He’s fighting for black men to be spotlighted and recognised for the good they do, not just as the perpetrators of criminal activity.
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Rise 365 are a youth organisation based in Hackney helping to support those who need help the most in their community. They help people who need it to get their lives on track and to flourish to the best of their ability.
They do this by providing mentors for guidance, as well as mental health support for those in need and community food shops for anyone struggling to make ends meet. Some of their most valuable goes into helping eradicate local knife crime and helping people move away from dangerous or criminal circumstances.
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Justin Finlayson runs United Borders, a charity that helps at-risk youths in times of crisis. They know that every situation is unique, and give young people the tools they need to help themselves.
They provide mentors to teach young people to look after themselves, to make sure that they’re not only physically healthy but ready to take on the job market and find themselves work.
They also teach self-defence and fight to cut down knife-crime by showing young people more positive, creative routes to take themselves down – most uniquely, self-expression through music.
Faron Paul is a one-man army fighting knife-crime on the streets of London. A victim of knife-crime himself, he works most to keep knives out of the hands of young people and children by giving them incentives to do otherwise.
Using social media, he encourages kids to give him their knives in exchange for £10 vouchers from JD Sports or PlayStation. Then, he takes the knives directly to the local police station to hand them in.
By actually trying to understand the problem and how these kids are thinking, he ensures less knife-crime through respect and understanding – not by using methods like Stop and Search.
Aima and Natasha are the co-founders of All Black Lives, an organisation established to fight structural racism in the UK. Last year, they helped to organise some of the first UK Black Lives Matter protests in order to highlight and eliminate structural racism in the UK.
Since then, they have together gone on to form All Black Lives, a group which held Black Lives Matter protests every Sunday for 10 weeks across major UK cities. With teams all across the country, their main method of spreading their message is through social media.
They’re fighting to change the UK’s policing system, educational system, and any other institution that could be improved to be fairer for all.