Andre Johnson reviews One Big Community’s ‘Wall of Silence’ event.
On the 17th of April, the One Big Community organisation had one big event, which turned into one big debate! The event happened at the Mayor’s Office, City Hall, it started at 1pm and finished around 3pm. The event had a large turnout with a large number of people. The ages were around 16 – 25 year olds. The debate panel had the Prime ministers advisor for youth and crime Shaun Bailey and a few others such as the Evening Standard’s Campaigns editor David Cohen. Also, on the panel was Jennifer Blake, Duwayne Brooks and a few others.
The event was hosted by Hussain Manawer. The topics raised on the day were these 3:
1. If the police violate the rights of youths
2. Whether education is important
3. What the definition of gangs mean
Many views were expressed on the day, people said that police officers violate their authority. A member of the crowd said “he was stereotyped for stabbings”. Based on the behaviour of youth and the violence that has gone on, police have stopped and searched a number of youths, most of these youth being black.
A quick play was done demonstrating the description that the police match with youths and a youth who was tired of being part of a negative stereotype. The play was executed through spoken word.
On the day their were many responses that got put through. But one of the main things that stood out to make situations better and add solutions to every problem, was to ‘think positive’. A member of the audience said that “we don’t think positive, in every situation the negative possibilities always override the positive. But if we were just positive at all times we would see better outcomes”.
There were two inspirational performances from spoken word artist Chosen and the 2014 winner of The Voice UK Jermain Jackman to round off a wonderful day.
We also interviewed the leader of the 1BC, Jeremiah Emmanuel, the 15 year old who currently overseas the activity of the 1BC enjoyed himself on the day and hopes he can inspire many other young people and make a difference in the community.