Introducing Millie Hall, SCYJ’s new Communications Assistant

“Hello everyone! I’m Millie, the new Communications Assistant at the SCYJ. I am joining the SCYJ out of my dedication to holistically support vulnerable young people facing adversity, and also to help address the gross overrepresentation of BAME children and young people in the youth justice system (YJS).

I am interested in challenging social narratives, especially those unjustly tied to marginalised and oppressed communities. I studied a Bachelors degree in Global Studies and History at Nottingham Trent University where my interest in social research grew. I researched topics which receive minimal coverage such as the health inequalities faced by young Aboriginal Australians, the discrimination faced by Rastafarian communities, and sexual racism within the UK. I will continue to research and analyse social justice issues with my Masters course in Race, Media and Social Justice at Goldsmiths University of London starting this September. Through this course, I will be increasing my foundation of critical race theory, which will support my ability to understand the links between the histories of empire, and contemporary racial and societal formations in the UK.

Previously, I have worked as a writer for VICE Media’s magazine, NBGA, where I was responsible for publishing cultural articles aimed at female youth. I covered topics from racial identity to female empowerment and I collaborated with other female creatives to encourage young women to occupy spaces where they are underrepresented. This role allowed me to practice how to translate theories and academic ideas into a style of writing which attracts a wider audience and allows for more inclusive discussions. I also volunteer as a project assistant and social media coordinator at Disrupt Space, an emerging community-based art agency. At Disrupt Space we aim to tackle the underlying cultural bias and the layers of bureaucracy found in the arts sector by supporting the growth of Black visual artists. Through this work, I have been provided with a practical insight into the ways that Black creatives are harnessing the power of community to defy inequality.

In my work, I have always strived to look at the bigger picture and I constantly take into consideration wider factors. Therefore, what attracted me to the SCYJ was the organisation’s holistic approach to improving the youth justice system (YJS), as it recognises that progress must be made in the circumstances before, during and after contact with the system. I was also attracted to the presence of grassroots and community-based organisations within the SCYJ as I believe many solutions and answers can be found within these organisations which are much closer to the ground and will likely have a larger presence of lived experience.

Within my new role at the SCYJ, I am very much looking forward to getting more young people involved and discovering creative and accessible ways to help increase awareness and provoke thought around the YJS. I am keen to open up debates around the YJS to a wider audience as I am a strong believer that only through an inclusive approach can we carry out meaningful conversations which hold the power to create change. I am proud to be working with the SCYJ and its members, and I feel that in the current UK climate plagued by austerity, poverty, and a general lack of compassion, organisations such as the SCYJ are needed now more than ever.”

Millie will be working for us Wednesday-Thursday on all things communications, but specifically on increasing engagement with our members and the wider sector, refreshing our external facing platforms, and promoting the findings of our upcoming youth participation project. If you have any ideas regarding communications (or would like to say hello!) you can get in touch with her at comms@scyj.org.uk

The SCYJ would like to extend huge thanks and appreciation to the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation for their generosity, investing in our team and making this fantastic appointment possible.