Ashley King is calling on local youth to riot – or rather, be a riot.
The 18-year-old host of Project Rioteer on Otago Access Radio’s Youth Zone prefers the definition of riot as an impressively large or varied display, as in “a riot of colour”, over a violent public disturbance. The different backgrounds and interests of young people are to be celebrated, she says.
“What’s your colour? Your personality? And how can you contribute to making this world look so cool?
“Youth have so much potential to influence our future. After all, we are going to inherit this world.”
Ms King formed activism collective Ashley and the Riot in 2015, to bring young Dunedin people together to make a positive change in their community. The group’s stated mission is to work towards a better future, encourage diversity and to take a stand against bullying.
Following an appearance as an interview guest on another Youth Zone programme earlier this year, Ms King decided that her own radio show and podcast could provide a platform for discussing the issues Ashley and the Riot was formed to address. Programmes to date had focused on poverty and hardship, with activities including a collection of food and hygiene products for donation to the Salvation Army foodbank.
Project Rioteer co-host Esther Tamati (15) said she joined the show after meeting Ms King at a meeting of the Dunedin Multi-Ethnic Council. Her aims were to encourage confidence in young people and to help get their voices heard.
“It’s important to me that everyone is treated equally. I’m a bit younger than Ashley and have a different view on things. So I offer a different perspective.”
Ms King had recently been appointed to the executive committee of the Otago Community Broadcasters Society and was looking forward the experience.
“It means a lot to me and I’m really excited to contribute to Otago Access Radio on behalf of young people in Dunedin.”
Project Rioteer airs every second Friday at 4pm on OAR 105.4FM and 1575AM. Podcasts are available from www.oar.org.nz.
Photo: Young potential: Esther Tamati and Ashley King are hosts of Otago Access Radio show Project Rioteer.