Young people across London and the country are impacted by serious violence. Violence increases year on year, yet the response remains the same: one focused on punishment. The need for support and empowerment amongst young people is not pursued. Little to no effort is made to understand, let alone adequately respond to, the root causes of these systemic and growing problems. 4Front is a member-led youth organisation empowering young people and communities to fight for justice, peace and freedom. Instead of asking: ‘How do we reduce violence?’ or ‘how do we punish people?’ we ask: ‘How can we build peace?’. In this workshop, we share insight into our work with attendees exploring how we can empower young people to heal from violence and envision what peace may feel and look like.
In a political context in which we are bracing ourselves for more intense criminalisation and further cuts in the essential support young people need to survive, 4Front is ramping up the fight. It is with our communities that power lies, and where change is made. We know that despite this context in which young people are more likely to be victims, we are also less likely to be heard. This workshop focuses on young people’s perspectives, ideas, experiences and plans for change. Questions we consider include: What does youth-led systems change look like? What does peace feel and look like? What does youth empowerment mean? In the face of increasing inequality and uncertainty, how can we empower young people to create change? It’s time to change the narrative, find solutions and demand change.
Audiences will gain an understanding of the violent realities and the struggles that young people within our local communities experience every day. They will gain a deeper insight into the struggle and hardship that our young people face, but also leave with practical strategies to address these struggles in an effective and meaningful way. Anyone who wants to learn more about what their role could be in building collective action to create change and peace is welcome.