New Mentoring Unit – ‘Identity’ – Created in Light of the BLM Movement

In recent weeks, our mentors have been creating a unit on ‘Identity’ in light of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Our young people have been hurting after hearing of and witnessing the murder of George Floyd. With immediate access to news online, nearly all of them have seen the footage of his arrest.

Our girls and young women wanted to share their thoughts and feelings with someone they could trust, as they felt confused, angered, and saddened by the tragic loss of a life due to racism. So our mentoring team created a safe, virtual space for them via Zoom where they could express themselves among people they knew would not judge them, but would listen, reassure and educate.

One of our participants – Daniella, aged 16 – wrote and performed a poem called ‘Prisoner’ in one of these Zoom sessions.

In this poem she speaks of what it is like growing up black in East London and the racism she has experienced in her young life. You can listen to Daniella’s poem below:

Post COVID19, Goals4Girls will campaign – in each of the schools our mentoring and football development programmes are delivered – to redress the current education system re-systemic racism, intersectionality and oppression experienced by our young people.

As a start, we have created a G4G Book Club where we recommend books, poems, spoken word pieces created by black authors, about black experiences. You can find our recommendations here.

As a black owned organisation, with 82% of our participants also being black, we are here to support our Goals4Girls family in ensuring they are heard, and that they feel their lives more than ‘matter’ to us and society.

We are hoping to raise £25,000 to ensure these mentor sessions and our work on intersectionality, racism and oppression are continued during the summer – a first in the history of Goals4Girls – and are fully resourced for the next academic year (from September 2020).

The funds will go towards developing our newly established unit on ‘Identity’, stationery for our young people to complete tasks at home without barriers, potential laptops, the cost of therapeutic mentoring and various other necessities to ensure the development of our young people during this unsettling time.

To read the complete financial breakdown, and to donate to our fundraising campaign, please check out our GoFundMe page. Please share with those you think would be willing to contribute to our programme.

Remember, ‘it starts with you and continues with her’.

Prisoner – Daniella, aged 16.

‘A prisoner:

A person legally committed to prison as a punishment for a crime.

A crime:

An action or a mission which constitutes an offence and is punishable by law.

There are prisoners who haven’t committed a crime, yet are locked within walls taped with words: THUGS, CRIMINALS, MURDERERS, THIEVES, VIOLENT, OUT OF ORDER, UNSTABLE, IMMIGRANTS.

I am one of these prisoners.

I am boarded inside these four walls of skin.

I haven’t committed a crime nor have I gone against the law.

Yet my skin makes me a criminal.

Through historical events I have been given rights.

Rights to freedom and rights to liberty.

But what’s the use in having a right if I’m still deemed inferior?

My voice hasn’t been heard.

I still have to worry if I’m going to make it through the day and not be ‘put down’ for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

I still worry if the mother-of-mine has to bury me even before her own time.

Or have to hear her cries and pleads to the Lord Above as she begs for forgiveness over something she couldn’t control.

We never asked to harbour this skin, it was a blessing given to us. So why must you use this against us?

Why after years of torture, oppression, abuse, discrimination and racism is injustice still happening to people of colour?

When is it going to end?

How many more people, how many more lives…

Why do we dream of going with time and claiming to learn from the mistakes, do we then only just go back in time and carry on the mistreatment?

We are all human, we all bleed the same, so why are we deemed different because of our skin?

I know I’m young.

I know I’m a ‘kid’.

I may only be 16, but I want to be…

free.’

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