Weʼre raising £15,000 to journey against racism & increase access to nature, books and a sense of belonging for all through the I Belong Here foundation.
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I was racially abused while on a train journey through the North (a place where I was born and bred, but where a racist man suggested I didn’t belong). The man who racially abused me told me to go back to where I’m from – this is where I’m from. The man was arrested, charged, pleaded guilty and was convicted of a racially aggravated public order offence.
It’s my aim to transform my experience of hate into one of hope and activism and that’s why I’m fundraising for the I Belong Here foundation, creating virtual and physical places of belonging. Racism and inequality urgently need to end. That requires systemic change.
I need your help to make this dream a reality. Please join me in supporting the project, and help everyone be able to say… I belong here.
The I BELONG HERE initiative has several objectives including:
• Free books
Donating free copies of I Belong Here to those who can't afford them.
• I Belong Here workshops
Outreach work. Help socially excluded communities have better access to nature through hosting walks and writing workshops getting close to nature of both the city and countryside. Following my experience of being racially abused my mental health suffered and walking in nature did wonders for my wellbeing. Yet inequality in access to nature is an urgent issue.
• Host I Belong Here writing workshops & talks around the UK & worldwide engaging groups marginalised from the publishing industry.
• HOME: I Belong storytelling centre
Creating a physical place of belonging. I grew up in inner-city Manchester and aim to create ‘a house of stories of the North’ in my childhood neighbourhood, inspired by projects such as Ministry of Stories. This space would feature: reading room/workshop space. Books and stories can create a profound sense of belonging, and for far too long marginalised communities have been made to feel that their stories don't belong in books.
I received £150 in victim compensation after the man who racially abused me was convicted – in the spirit of ‘paying forward’, I am donating this into the foundation. Matches, or more or less, would be greatly appreciated for this dream to become a reality. Times are tough and every bit of support helps.
Those who donate £150+ will also receive a signed copy of I Belong Here: A Journey Along the Backbone of Britain which stems from the experience of being racially abused and subsequent journey of reclamation walking through urban and natural wildernesses of Northern England. It is an aim for this book to start a wider movement in place, storytelling and belonging, garnering audiences who have hitherto been excluded from ‘the literary world’.
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This project has been featured in: The Observer. Vogue. The Bookseller.
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Donation from Paula Hawkins
Sep 14, 2021
"I want to support Anita in her mission to get her brilliant book into the hands of as wide a selection of people as possible"- Paula Hawkins
Sep 14, 2021
fantastic work! hugely inspiring.
Apr 11, 2021
So important on so many levels, keep trying and take care xx
Jan 20, 2021
Excellent project. Well done, Anita. Hopefully see you before too long.
Jan 14, 2021
Proud to be supporting your project of hope and activism. xxx
Jan 9, 2021
Dec 5, 2020
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