Think About It | What does it take to make it in modern Britain?
Ask a politician, and they will tell you it is hard work. Ask a millionaire, and they will tell you it is talent. Ask a CEO and they will tell you it is dedication. But what if none of those things is enough?
THINK for Peace is the Peace Foundations’ programme for young people at senior school that helps them build character developing skills like critical thinking, reasoning, compassion, courage, citizenship, and community awareness. It also prompts young people to develop confidence and determination, motivation, and perseverance, leading to resilience.
Think About It is a ‘spin off;’ from our main THINK programme and helps develop thinking through creative pursuits such as the arts, sport, health and well-being and literature.
For many young people who get caught up into a cycle that can lead to conflict and possibly violence; it is important to find a strong sense of direction and a ‘road map’ to move towards further and higher education or employment. That pathway is hard, especially for some more than others, especially around the subject of employability and in finding a job.
We live in a society where the single greatest indicator of what your job will be is the job of your parents. Where power and privilege are concentrated among the 7% of the population who were privately educated. Where, if your name sounds black or Asian, you will need to send out twice as many job applications as your white neighbour.
Raised on benefits, barrister Hashi Mohamed knows something about social mobility. And as part of our latest Think About It initiative here, we introduce you to his book People Like Us, here he shares what he has learned: from the stark statistics that reveal the depth of the problem to the failures of imagination, education and confidence that compound it.
Wherever you are on the social spectrum, this is an essential investigation into our society’s most intractable problem. We have more power than we realise to change things for the better.
Hashi arrived in Britain at the age of nine as a child refugee and is now a barrister at No5 Chambers in London. He is also a broadcaster, having appeared on BBC Radio 4, and presented Adventures in Social Mobility (April 2017) and Macpherson: What Happened Next (2019). He is also a contributor to the Guardian, The Times and Prospect. He mentors many young people at various stages of their career and is also a trustee of Big Education, a trust which oversees three inspirational schools in London and the South East.
Think About it – People Like Us
Notes to teachers, youth workers and all young people
The book is published by Profile Books and is widely available through all good book sellers such as Waterstones, Goodreads, Book Depository or Amazon. It is available as an Audible audiobook, in hardcover and paperback and as a Kindle edition. You may wish to help us by purchasing through AmazonSmile.
PLEASE NOTE: AmazonSmile is a programme that donates 0.5% of your eligible purchases on Amazon to a charity of your choice. You can nominate the Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Peace Foundation. All you need to do is start your shopping at smile.amazon.com. The donation will be made at no extra cost to you.
Read the book and then use the reading guide questions to structure lesson plans, design an activity for young people, or undertake some project work to help challenge your thinking. Write a blog, share your thoughts, publish some social media, start volunteering, or act based on how the book makes you feel and think. Remember to tell us at The Peace Foundation what you are doing. @peacefoundation or firstname.lastname@example.org
Think About it | People Like Us | Reading guide questions
- What do you think are Hashi’s main obstacles when he arrives in the UK? Do you relate to any of them?
- Consider your family members and their occupations. Is there a common thread? Do you feel you might work towards getting the same job as someone you’re related to?
- In the case of Shamima Begum, do you agree or disagree with the Home Office decision to make her stateless? At what point do you believe citizenship should be up for discussion?
- What would be your ideal kind of learning environment, at home and in school? How might it affect your learning?
- What would you say are the key turning points in Hashi’s life?
- Hashi is lucky to have help from the adults around him (teachers, family and mentors). Do you know any adults that have changed your views, or helped your studies, whether they are in school or in your personal life?
- You probably speak differently with your family, teachers and friends. What kind of language might you use to get a place at university or in a job interview? Would you joke as much as Hashi does?
- Do you know anyone who works in your dream industry? How would you try to make contacts today if you had to ‘tout for business’ like a Barrister does?
- If you could ask Hashi anything what would it be? Would you have done anything differently if you were him?
- Has People Like Us changed the way you think about people and society in the UK?
Find out more about Hashi
BBC Sounds includes a series of programmes featuring Hashi reading extracts form the book – https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000nl8y/episodes/guide
Primary schools find out about our KS1 and KS2 work – STEPS for Peace
Senior schools find out about our KS3 and KS4 work – THINK for Peace, including Think About It, Think Again and Think Plus; and our programmes: Extreme Dialogue, My Former Life, and Combat Hate
Further and Higher Education, and educators find out about CONVERSTION for Peace
Local authorities and community activists find out about Community Action for Peace and Women for Peace
Find out more about the Peace Foundation www.peace-foundation.org.uk or on Twitter, Facebook and Linked In @peacefoundation