Last month, I was honoured to win the £1000 Jhalak Prize for my debut book, Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race.
Like every other Londoner, I’ve been disturbed by the recent spate of violent youth crime. I’ve spent most of my life in north east London, so I’m sad to say that I’m not a stranger to youth violence. I spent my teenage years hearing stories about friends of friends being slain on the streets of London, and it is simply pure luck that it hasn’t affected anyone close to me.
I am in awe of the work of Temi Mwale and her youth-led advocacy project 4Front. Too often initiatives to tackle youth crime are led by men with punitive and paternalistic solutions. My heart lifts when I hear Temi talking about public health, mental health, trauma counselling, empathy and combating alienation. I believe that only a truly caring society can combat systemic violence.
The 4Front Project’s work should be funded by the government. In the meantime, since I have received some unexpected cash, I wanted contribute financially.