Today we’re welcoming to the OWN IT! family: Marienna Pope-Weidemann. Marienna is a writer, activist and journalist with a decade of experience in storytelling for social justice.
Marienna is currently working on her first book, Justice For All Of Us, a creative nonfiction collection of stories from families like Marienna’s, who have lost someone they loved at the hands of the state and are fighting for change.
The book was inspired by Marienna’s experience working with other bereaved families and leading the Justice for Gaia campaign on behalf of her own. Her cousin Gaia Pope, a survivor of sexual violence, was let down by the mental health system and the police after they took no further action following her rape allegation against a known child sex offender.
Set entirely on a London bus travelling from Hoxton to Highbury and taking place over just 36 minutes, the events of The 392 unfold through a cast of charismatic characters coming from very different worlds. On the 392 are all the familiar faces you might expect to see on any bus ride through inner-city London in the grip of gentrification; delinquent school kids, the high-flyers, the weird, the wonderful and the homeless. These Londoners share two things: a bus journey and a threat. A threat which is ready to blow apart everything they know. Now available as an audiobook with 9 narrators.
BBC Radio 1Xtra and Asian Network have teamed up with BBC Contains Strong Language for Words First, a scheme aimed at finding the best emerging spoken word talent in the UK. USE WORDS FIRST is a collection of 12 poets from Words First brought together in this brilliant anthology edited by Jude Yawson, co-writer of Stormzy’s Rise Up: The Story So far and contributor to the SAFE anthology edited by Derek Owusu.⠀
Exploring themes of identity, connectivity and mobilisation, USE WORDS FIRST brings together eclectic styles and people all exploring humanity in their own unique ways. This is a snapshot of some of the struggles, inspirations and muses of young Britain today expressed through poetry that spans from the personal to the political and is always full of beauty and power.
THE GUARDIAN CELEBRATES ITS 200th BIRTHDAY WITH A TRIO OF ROUSING FILMS
Environment. Equality. Stories.
This evoking short film, Equality, looks at civil rights and gender issues and is accompanied by a striking voiceover from writer, performance poet and activist Salena Godden.
Each film is dedicated to a different topic, all of which tie into the Guardians editorial mission.
Retirement Hell: Why many Nigerian pensioners are denied access to their pensions.
BBC Africa Eye goes undercover to expose an ineffective and corrupt pension system in Nigeria, which leaves some elderly people sick and penniless, yet grants some politicians outrageous retirement packages.
Reporter Yemisi Adagoke travels to Cross River State to meet “Ghost Pensioners” – elderly people whom the state declared dead and deprived of their pensions.
Some of them are forced to rely on financial support from their relatives and are subjected to dehumanising treatment from the state officials for petitioning for their pensions to be reinstated.
In celebration of MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS WEEK (10-16 May 2021) we’d like to suggest some OWN IT! reads for you:
A year ago, May 7th 2020, our good friend Ty sadly passed away. His ‘Pass the Torch’ events meant so much to him and said so much about him. A chance to support a new generation of hiphop emcees and poets that he put everything into. It was an honour for us to be able to host them with him.
This session will give you a taster of some of the gems and stories shared by 45 international top tier players in Soccology. Kevin is a former professional footballer. Using his experiences and insight into the sport, he developed Soccology, a human performance programme, that has been widely endorsed by key footballing and sports figures around the world and which he has taught across all Premiere League clubs. In his first book and psychological guide Soccology, Kevin draws on the lessons that the game taught him about the connections between the heart, mind and body and provides the reader with an invaluable resource for their journey to becoming the best version of themselves.