EXETER RESPECT YOUNG AMBASSADORS
RUBY MAY SPENCER
Ruby May Spencer initially gained an internship working in the offices of Exeter Respect in January 2014. Working closely alongside the Director Dr Suaad George, Ruby experienced first hand what went into the organisation of Exeter’s biggest community festival, and was personally made charge of gathering and collating information for volunteer applicants. Ruby says “…I became more involved, learning about all aspects of diversity, I decided to have my own stall which was headed ‘What does peace mean to you?'” People were invited to write or draw their thoughts on material provided.
Later in the summer, I also joined Young Citizens Academy, CHRSE CIC as a Young Ambassador. My personal concerns as a young person are with regards to child exploitation and domestic abuse amongst young people, I believe that we should all be educated from a young age about unacceptable behaviour.
By the time preparations had begun for the 2019 Exeter Respect festival, I had been involved in numerous fundraising and celebratory events supporting not only Respect & the Academy, but also International Women’s Day & Respect’s International Fest. I had also written a song, aptly titled, “Respect” inspired by my role of Young Ambassador within Exeter Respect. I also performed an acoustic set on the Cafe stage and then – compered for other acts throughout the weekend for the Acoustic stage.
As Respect enters it’s 22th year and my involvement, in it’s 5th year, being one of many people of the Widrush generation who were lucky to find organisations to foster and believe on me, to become their young ambassador. I know that my time whilst volunteering with the Respect team has gained me invaluable experience. My confidence and self esteem has grown and I have been made aware of many social issues that I wouldn’t have otherwise known much about. I have a voice, that I use when I write my songs and feel very fortunate that I have had access to this learning.”
Ruby May Spencer is an up and coming solo singer/songwriter based in Exeter, Devon. Her music is a blend of soul, blues and jazz with a hint of folk. She released her debut EP ‘The Prologue’ back in December 2014 – at the age of 14yrs. Influences such as Amy Winehouse, Etta James, Nina Simone & Alabama Shakes inspire her music. The BBC Introducing in Devon artist, was recently chosen to record 2 original tracks as part of the Radio One Big Weekend Academy, which resulted in her performing at R1’s closing showcase. RMS is currently in the recording process of creating her 1st album, with plans for release by summer 2017!
“Bringing people together regardless of colour, culture, or ethnic background is something I hold dearly to my heart. Being the son of a Chinese father and a Bangladeshi mother, and growing up in Britain, I’ve always thought that if I can exist as a multicultural person then surely we can all live in a multicultural community and society – one where everyone can feel welcome and included. So, when I first met the director Dr Suaad Genem-George and found out about Exeter Respect Festival, I was instantly drawn to its cause and what it stood for. I believe that the most powerful way to promote understanding and community is through the universal language of art. Using art not just to help others understand an individual’s story, but to help individuals share their story too.
The goal of the art I create is to do this as well as bring people together to experience it under the same roof. Exeter Respect Festival gave me the platform to do just that, and for this I am grateful.”
Ram is a newly qualified doctor, as well a visual artist, art and music producer, singer, guitarist and songwriter. His current projects include Love Community, a collaborative collective of music artists within the local community of Exeter, and Passion For Compassion, a new and unique art event designed to promote compassion for the self and others through interactive art. This event will be taking place at Maketank between the 20th – 26th May 2019.