My name is Dom Anderson and I’m a political activist and blogger from Derby. I decided to aim my blog at young people who feel they have no voice or power in society.
I came to this decision because at 15, I was that person. I felt powerless. I like many young people was expelled from school. I never actually did one thing that was particularly bad, I just rebelled against a system that I thought was irrelevant to me.
I now know that education is the most powerful and transformational tool we have, but nobody back then ever made me feel like it was. Education should help you to form political ideas. When I talk about political ideas I don’t mean it should make you vote for a certain party, but it should empower you to form opinions about issues that matter to you.
I ended up involved in what many in what society would probably call a gang. It was actually just a group of friends who I hung around with and had known since is was a little boy.
Inevitably though I started to get myself into trouble with the police. At one point I was very close to going to prison.
It was at that point that I met a chap called Dave who ran a youth project that set young BME offenders up with positive mentors. It also ran workshops on music and politics. It made me realise that I had a place and a voice in society. I felt for the first time in my life that I had power.
When I talk about power it can sometimes make people feel a little uneasy but power in its self isn’t a bad or a good thing. It’s like a resource that if used properly can be used to achieve whatever you want to. I believe that power should be used to build movements and leaders. “The best leaders are the ones who create and develop more leaders”.
I’m lucky that I went to the University of Derby and I managed to find time to be critical about my ideas and learn how to develop fresh ways of thinking, still to this day my opinions on things change with the different books I read, programmes I watch and people I talk to. Many people are shut off from our education system and that’s wrong, everyone should have access to a college or university education, everyone should also be given the tools to take back their voice. I hope this blog inspires you to find you voice or to help someone else find theirs.