Our final Do Democracy Campaigner of the Week, for Parliament Week 2014, is 21 year old Charlene Osuagwu. Charlene is an Ambassador for Sky News’ Stand Up and Be Counted where 16-25 year olds can speak out and debate the issues that matter.
Do Democracy is a national campaign running during Parliament Week to find the burning issues that young people really care about.
Charlene recently attended the 2014 party conferences with Sky News, and you can see her thoughts – as well as her Stand Ups on everything from votes at 16 to feminism here.
We caught up with Charlene to see what she had to say:
Effecting change that enables a fairer and more just society is what motivates me to campaign. Growing up, Nelson Mandela was a figure very much celebrated in my household. Learning of his continued dedication to fighting injustice, despite the trials he had faced, I was deeply inspired. For me, Nelson Mandela personified what was contrary to the belief that a single person cannot be responsible for realising great change.
What would you tell other young people who want to get attention on an issue they care about? What first steps should they take?
In my opinion, one of the best resources available to any campaigner at present is social media. Social media is not only a great way of expressing yourself and the issues you care about, but maybe more importantly, it is an excellent way of connecting with people. If there is a particular issue that you are passionate about and wish to draw attention to, chances are that this issue similarly resonates with more people who also wanted it highlighted. Something as simple as a post and a hash tag can open a dialogue with tens, hundreds, if not thousands of people and give your issue the attention it deserves!
What five words sum up campaigning for you?
What would you say to a cynic, or someone who thinks politics is not relevant to them?
Politics should not simply concern the thoughts of the few when it affects us all. The changes seen within your local town, your health and well-being, your education and your individual freedoms and rights are all matters that fall under the umbrella of politics. The more we distance ourselves from politics the less opportunity we have to drive the changes that directly influence our lives.