Georgiana Epure is fundraising for a new platform to educate young people about the politics that affect their everyday lives.
We believe that a nurturing environment where young people can both learn, and create, political content, is a way of building bridges across the aisle, of cross-fertilising new ideas about what society and the good life should look, irrespective of ideological leanings.Georgiana Epure
A Gates Cambridge Scholar is raising funds to start a unique educational platform that addresses shortcomings in citizenship and political education across the UK and other regions of the world.
Georgiana Epure [pictured] and three other Cambridge students and alumni – Matt Mahmoudi, David Orr and Luke Naylor-Perrott – are raising funds to start The State of Things which will address increasing political polarisation in the West and post-truth discourses.
Georgiana says: "A healthy democracy necessitates an educated population, who understand the political implications of their choices. Growing up I often thought that politics was about being loud on TV, about a certain person or a group of persons and not about important issues that affect my everyday life. In the absence of civic and political education, it was not until I joined the Students National Council when my eyes opened and I began to see and understand the politics behind different things like the educational system and started to connect the dots. Growing up, I remember wishing there was someone or something that made politics more relatable to me.
"We are worried that young people today are growing up without a fundamental introduction into the world of politics, where angry and polarised exchanges are considered ‘politics as normal’. We believe that a nurturing environment where young people can both learn, and create, political content, is a way of building bridges across the aisle, of cross-fertilising new ideas about what society and the good life should look, irrespective of ideological leanings.”
The State of Things will be centred on three principles: accessibility, non-partisanship and engagement. The project aims to develop a website and a student magazine to increase young people's interest in and knowledge about politics by illustrating how politics permeates everyday life – from explaining the Fairtrade, agricultural subsidies and trade policies behind a morning cup of coffee to sexual and reproductive health policies that allow for access to and affordability of contraceptives. As the project develops, the founders envision the creation of fora for interested youth to engage with local politicians. They envisage this ‘day in the life’ approach will provide students with a more tangible understanding of political life and enable them to pose their questions to their representatives.
To get the project started, The State of Things team is now engaged in a fundraising campaign to cover the upfront costs of the project, which include conducting a series of focus groups with secondary school students in the UK. Donations can be made on the Pembroke College The Time and The Place campaign website.
Georgiana Epure graduated in 2017 with an MPhil in International Relations and Politics from the University of Cambridge. She is currently a 1+3 Economic and Social Research Council scholar at the University of Leeds, researching the politics of international criminal justice.
- 2016 MPhil International Relations & Pols
- Christ's College
Georgiana is currently working on accountability, liberty and economic justice at the Open Society Justice Initiative in London. Before her current role, Georgiana was a trainee in the Strategic Planning Division at the European External Action Service in Brussels. Prior to this, she was an intern in the Investigation Division, at the Office of the Prosecutor, at the International Criminal Court.
She holds an MA in Social Science Research Methods from the University of Leeds, an MPhil in International Relations and Politics from the University of Cambridge (Christ's College) and a BA in International Relations from the University of Leeds. Her main interests lie in the area of responses to gross human rights violations, especially accountability.
Georgiana is the founder and editor-in-chief of The Responsibility to Protect Student Journal, the first global student-led journal on responses to gross human rights violations (www.r2pstudentjournal.leeds.ac.uk). She is a passionate advocate for gender equality and as a Women Deliver Young Leader alumna and a member of the Association for Liberty and Gender Equality she has been involved in advocacy projects for fighting sexual harassment in the workplace and introducing comprehensive sexuality education in the national scholar curriculum in Romania.
University of Leeds