We try not to be too political or partisan here at Year Here.
But this speech, given by Obama to his campaign team the day after being re-elected, speaks to so many aspects of what we are all about. It was too good not to share.
He speaks of his time as a community organiser in the southside of Chicago: starting his work feeling unprepared, being transformed by his experiences and coming to understand that, beneath all the differences, we have the same hopes and aspirations.
We believe that Year Here offers the same opportunity to get under the skin of your own country, while discovering just as much about yourself – tapping into new resilience and resourcefulness you might not have known you had. And, for those wanting to emulate Obama even more closely, you’ll be pleased to know that we’re partnering with Citizens UK to weave the community organising methodology into the Year Here experience.
He talked about the promise held in the individual members of the campaign team and their lives’ destinations, making reference to Bobby Kennedy’s “ripples of hope”.
In the same way we believe that Year Here Fellows will, from very different parts of society and in their own unique ways, go on to make social change a reality across Britain.
Maybe, like Obama, you have “a vague inkling of wanting to make a difference”. Perhaps you don’t think it’s fair that a child’s life chances are determined by his or her parents’ wealth. You might be appalled by the way some older people in Britain end their lives without basic dignity and wellbeing. And maybe you understand that issues like homelessness are so complex that they sometimes seem impossible to eradicate.
We think now’s the time for you to let that very human capacity to care about other people to take hold.