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Making a Difference (a poem to be read aloud)

Lemn Sissay

When Lemn Sissay MBE became Chancellor of the University his promise was to ‘inspire and be inspired’.

At last year’s Making a Difference Awards, Lemn read a new poem inspired by our commitment to social responsibility. These annual awards recognise the impact staff, students, alumni and external partners have on the social well-being of our communities and wider society.

Lemn’s first reading of Making a Difference at the ceremony in Whitworth Hall was a fitting celebration of the outstanding achievements of those present; powerful words to inspire the University to continue to make a positive contribution to society through teaching, research and public engagement. 

Making a Difference (a poem to be read aloud)

We are shaking and waking and breaking indifference
We are quaking and taking and making a difference

We are working observing recording researching
Wherein we’re conferring subverting referring

We’re counting the minutes the moments the loss
Redressing the balance addressing the cost

We are citing and fighting it’s all in the writing
The spark is igniting in dark we are lightening

We are breaking the brackets the fact is the planet’s
In rackets and rackets of rackets in brackets

The systems the victims the damning the scamming
The biased predicting the beating and banning

The skills we exchange the breaking of chains
The actions sustained the makers of change

To relentless censors the damned and defenceless
Our words are the action the louder reaction

When no one is listening we hear
When heads turn away we volunteer

We work we stand tall we rise up to be counted
We climb mountains

We are shaking and waking and breaking indifference
We are quaking and taking and making a difference 

Find out more about our university-wide commitment to social responsibility

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