MAKE SOME NOISE: Boys, Rap and Gang Narratives in the Criminal Legal System

Black boys in the Criminal Legal System are facing gross injustice. Joint Enterprise and Conspiracy cases which rely on ‘evidence’ of a gang narrative, and rap and drill music, are steeped in racism. Those who work in the criminal legal system, youth justice and the music industry need to understand the issues so they can develop strategies for what to do.   We invite you to join us for a panel discussion with leading experts to explore these issues and discuss practical strategies for addressing them. Then enjoy some drinks and connect with fellow practitioners, with Art Not Evidence DJs providing the soundtrack. This event is supported by City University of London. Venue: Rich Mix Shoreditch

Doors open at 17.30 with panel starting at 18.00. Drinks at 19.30.


Dr Patrick Williams, Manchester Metropolitan University

Patrick undertakes research and publishes in the area of race and ethnicity, with a particular focus on racial discrimination and differential treatment within the criminal legal system. 

Patrick authored Being Matrixed: the (over) policing of gang suspects in London on behalf of the charity Stopwatch. He also co-authored Dangerous Associations: joint enterprise, gangs and racism and is regularly instructed as an expert witness in court proceedings.

Aika Stephenson, Co-Founder & Legal Director,  Just for Kids Law 

Aika co-founded Just for Kids Law in 2006. She represents young people at every stage of the criminal legal system, from the police station to the Supreme Court. She is driven by a determination to bring about systemic change that benefits all children and young people caught up in the system.

Aika offers practical insights into how to represent children differently, and therefore get them the best possible outcomes, and how to have an anti-racist practice. Aika is the author of In Their Defence.

Ciaran Thapar, Author, Youth Worker and Director of Communications & Public Affairs, Youth Endowment Fund

Ciaran is an experienced youth worker and is regularly instructed as an expert witness in cases involving young people and evidence of rap and drill music. Driven by his passion for using the arts to tackle social exclusion, Ciaran has collaborated with many organisations to support young people to express themselves through storytelling workshops. Ciaran is a regular contributor to the Guardian, British GQ and others, for whom he has written extensively about London music culture, social justice and city life. Ciaran is the Director of Public Affairs and Communications at The Youth Endowment Fund, the author of ‘Cut Short’' and writes a Substack newsletter called ‘All City’. 

Justin Finlayson, Founder & Director, United Borders

Working out of a double decker bus, United Borders is a music production studio on wheels. They provide services to young people who find themselves in moments or periods of crisis in their lives. Music is their main pathway to engagement as young people can express themselves, talk about the topics that they are normally excluded from and take ownership of their own futures.

Audrey Cherryl Mogan, Barrister, Garden Court Chambers

Audrey is a barrister at Garden Court Chambers. She practices in criminal law and related area of civil liberties. She has particular expertise defending victims of modern slavery, children and protestors and was named Legal Aid Newcomer of the Year in 2021. Audrey is currently instructed to defend one of the children convicted of grievous bodily harm in Manchester, arising out of messages on a Telegram Chat, led by Keir Monteith KC. 

Audrey has appeared in cases involving litigating issues of race at every stage of the system including leading the challenge against the racist nationality requirement in criminal courts which was scrapped in 2020 because of her work.  She is not afraid to say the ‘R’ word. 

Chair: Shauneen Lambe, Director, Youth Justice Legal Centre 

Shauneen Lambe is a barrister in England and Wales and an attorney in the USA. She is the co-founder and former joint chief executive officer of Just for Kids Law (2005-2018) and co-founder of Impact - Law for Social Justice, a consultancy that supports those considering using the law for social change.

Reino Unido
Youth Justice Legal Centre
Tipo de organización