A member of youth parliament at 11, deputy young mayor at 13 and a British Empire Medal- awardee at 18 for his work against knife crime, Jeremiah Emmanuel has already hit career milestones that would be impressive for someone twice his age. And that’s saying nothing of the fact that this year the youth activist and social entrepreneur is set to release his debut book, Dreaming in a Nightmare: Finding a Way Forward in a World That’s Holding You Back, out in July from Penguin and Stormzy’s imprint, Merky Books.
Delving into the everyday inequality at the heart of austerity Britain, the book is partly an exploration of the trauma of systemic disempowerment Emmanuel has faced first hand. But it’s also a practical manual for young people like himself, who might not get advice on tackling this elsewhere.
And why stop there? With the Converse x Dazed 100 grant, Emmanuel would set up The Dreaming in a Nightmare Fund, providing 10 grants of £1,000 to young creatives between the ages of 18-25 who have been impacted by inequality and the Covid-19 pandemic. Alongside the financial support, says Emmanuel, they would “receive mentoring and guidance to deliver their ideas” while simultaneously, a documentary would be created following their journeys. “This fund is about turning the smallest dreams or ideas into reality,” Emmanuel says – something he could, by now, call his expertise.
Text Zsofia Paulikovics