An Outsider’s Perspective on You Press

By: Brendan Manning

My understanding of You Press is that they are a groundbreaking enterprise in London focused on empowering voices of underrepresented and marginalized communities. This is done in a number of ways through music, graphic design, photography, and creative writing. 

I was initially very impressed by their ability to balance the arts with activism, something that is not always easy for companies to do. I’ve since learned the key to be in the cause; rather than art for art’s sake, the people of You Press make art with a purpose. 

For instance, The Collective, a Conscious Music Programme, really struck my attention as it is a unique opportunity for aspiring musicians to find their voice and learn about making, producing, and performing conscious music invoking social issues. This is especially pertinent for young people who face barriers in a world of political turmoil, such as racism, classism, social exclusion, underfunding of the arts, and other acts of inequality. All these factors impact underrepresented / marginalized people and their access to the arts industries, and therefore their ability to effect positive social change. Art has the power to influence people’s feelings, beliefs and understandings which can lead to positive social change and reforms. Music is a priceless gift and empowering someone to use their voice is not to be taken lightly. With this programme, participants will also gain confidence from working in such a supportive and caring environment. You Press is paving the way for a better tomorrow. 

Another impression I have is that You Press is still growing. It is great to see so many of their programmes and ideas take off and make an impact on society, but I know there is still so much more they can do to make a difference. Being involved with so many organizations and projects is sure to lead to a successful future. Every city needs a You Press! 

As a part of my study abroad programme, I was given an internship with a company in a field that is of interest to me. I filled out a survey with my experience, skills, and what I hope to achieve from this summer internship. I am grateful to have been placed with You Press where I get to regularly write articles, as well as work with such a grounded and impactful company and assist with their community service elements. I have always been passionate about social diversity and inclusion, something that I have a lot of experience with in America. It is such a relief to know that the people at You Press share similar passions. 
I have not been nearly as acclimated as I would have liked to by this point, due to unforeseen circumstances, but I can confidently say that the best part of You Press is the people. Not only has every employee been extremely welcoming and friendly, they have been so accommodating and patient during these strange times. I am sad that my programme will not last longer, but I am grateful to work with so many inspiring people.