Hearts are breaking. Lives ruined. Dreams lost. Communities broken. Hate prevails. There have been moments this week that I’ve cried at what’s happening in the USA……and I am well aware of my white priviledge.
Amongst all the pain there is hope. There is always hope.
So here are some things we can do as business people, as citizens, as parents, to better the lives of all, blacks, whites, muslims, christians…….we must all change to impact our local communities, family by family, child by child, gang by gang. The change has to start with ourselves. Here are some thoughts to drive change amongst young people, who after all are our tomorrow.
We need a ‘National Youth Development Programme – NYDP’ Aged 12 to 16. Every child in the country gets a mentor, a programme of self development, support with understanding life, relationships and feelings and PRACTICAL work experience and social skills building. Nobody gets left behind because of colour, address or parental dynamics. It’s run by schools with a new ‘Department of State’ with a ‘Minister for Future Generation’. If we get this right it will fundamentally change society. Full Stop. Yes, it will cost Billions BUT it will be worth it by reducing crime, saving lives and creating a dynamic new society where people see hope and opportunities. Businesses and Social Service will be working alongside the schools to roll it out where thousands of mentors step up to provide inspiration, work experience, coaching and opportunities. #UKGovernment – Please Stop spending on things we don’t need (like the High Speed Link, Heathrow T3 etc) and take care of our children.
Develop a nationwide Mentor Scheme/Database/App. Ready access for schools and other groups (for all people) would be incredibly useful. Of course it needs someone to do this so if anyone reading this has appetite to develop one do give me a shout on 07455 431534
Become a MENTOR (you, me and all those positive business people, sports men and musicians, black and white). There are many ways to become one – The Chamber of Commerce have a business mentor scheme and I understand most charities, the Rotary and others offer mentoring opportunities and call the local school up to see what they do. You can perhaps offer to go in to schools to SPEAK about an inspirational topic that will resonate to people.
Speak to your employers about their CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) Policy. Ask to them to support your efforts. Call local schools and non-profits involved in youth work and offer a visit to your workplace, consider some holiday work experience schemes and review the potential for long term apprenticeships and work opportunities working alongside schools to help the programme and the most disadvantaged children. Don’t be afraid to ask. Amazing things can happen if you extend a hand…….
Seek out the real facts about social mobility, crime rates, unemployment. Don’t form stereotypes based on the news. Follow and read/watch diverse cultural commentary and books/films. Go to events you wouldn’t normally consider, sign up for things that a re totally against your social conditioning and comfort zones. See the world standing in other’s shoes.
The most important thing is to do something, however small, to assist those less advantaged and by small consistent actions at a local and national level things will improve