Last week, I moderated Young Leaders Speak—the second event in the Critical Conversation series hosted by the Commonwealth Foundation. A collaboration with the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust and the Commonwealth Youth Council, this conversation was a space for young people to talk about what they need from Commonwealth institutions in order to expand their work and increase its impact. Darrion Narine from Trinidad & Tobago, Kakembo Galabuzi Brian from Uganda, Kavindya Thennakoon from Sri Lanka, and Emmanuelle Andrews from the UK were the main speakers. They talked about the past atrocities and lingering effects of colonialism in Commonwealth countries, the importance of recognizing one own privilege, rejecting tokenism and recognizing young people’s expertise, and the questions and comments from viewers were just as interesting. Check out the 90 minute conversation.
In response to the growing Black Lives Matter movement, QCT has been running a weekly discussion with young people looking at various forms of injustice on the experiences of young people today. This is part of the Trust’s wider work on considering historic injustice, which started in late 2019. QCT exists to champion, fund and connect young leaders around the world; this work is being driven by young people in its network and is helping to inform the Trust’s future direction.
In the special session last week, QCT was joined by The Duke and Duchess alongside Chrisann Jarrett, QCT Trustee and co-founder and co-CEO of We Belong; Alicia Wallace, director of Equality Bahamas; Mike Omoniyi, founder and CEO of The Common Sense Network; and Abdullahi Alim who leads the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers network of emerging young leaders in Africa and the Middle East.