The UK is a place of both subtle and distinct extremes, not least in terms of wealth. In many places the wealthiest areas sit right beside the most deprived creating a dual existence, one in which hundreds of thousands of young people do not have access to the same creative, political, social, emotional and economic opportunities as their peers. This lack of opportunity builds barriers to youth participation in governance, politics and the decision-making processes that have a direct impact on their lives.
BUT social and economic inequality does not equal a lack of potential.
We believe, in fact we know, that all young people have ideas, ambitions, opinions and power but because we live in a country of inequality many of our young people are being marginalised from a society that actually makes them believe that none of these things matter, they don’t matter and they’ll never be able to create the change they want to see.
But it’s a strange thing to be marginalised from a system that has actively done it to you in the first place.
We want to stop young people from growing into believing this is what they are and simultaneously strengthen their power whilst challenging all the negative perceptions that envelope them.
The RISE Collective is a registered charity we founded in 2016 to combat the persistent disenfranchisement of young people. But it comes from a place of strength.
The youth are political, RISE itself is being built by a collective of amazing, talented, disruptive young people, but politics has become a dirty word associated with a world that effects them but is beyond them, behind the dusty walls of Westminster. And we want to bring those perceptions down and reclaim the word as ours.
So, we use strong, creative platforms (such as music, art and film), powerful role-models, professional experiences and build a range of skills so collectives of young people can self-organise, amplify their voices, inspire each other, take action and create the society they want.
We want to bring forward the day that young people can build on their power and determine their own futures.