About this project
Outdated masculine stereotypes damage everyone, so we're doing something about it through diverse stories that show humanity is more important than terms like 'man up!'.
Pledge for a copy today and we'll donate one to school or youth organisation.
Being ManKind Volume 1 is a beautiful hardback book with a very special foreword by the World Heavyweight boxing champion, Anthony Joshua MBE. His words are the beginning of 40 inspirational, raw and diverse stories told over 176 pages, accompanied by stunning portrait shots of each storyteller. Not only is this an awesome book for yourself, it's great for teenagers too. We're using these diverse stories from positive male role models to inspire young boys to grow into kind and confident humans. Through these stories, we can show how there is no such thing as 'be a man' - there is very much a thing as 'be a good human'. If we can nurture and inspire boys to have a healthy relationship with themselves and those around them, then kindness, empathy and a road to equality will be paved.
Pledge for our beautiful hardback book and you'll help us with our mission at the same time. For every book you buy, we gift one to a school or youth organisation that we work with.
The whole book took hundreds of interviews and 12 months to produce. We've already printed the first run and now want to print a larger second run (plus expand on our work in schools and get Volume 2 ready for release in January 2018!).
It's an inspiring read for yourself, or for gifting to a loved one. Just imagine how beautiful this will look on your bookshelf or on your coffee table!
Why stories? We don't want a guide book - we don't want a speech - we want stories to be told first-hand, so that they can create ripples. We want our stories to provoke thoughts, spark much-needed conversations, and ultimately - create understanding between people.That's all going to help ensure a kinder and more inclusive world - imagine unleashing that potential! (And yes, this was conceived before Trump somehow took office - so your pledge counts even more now! No pressure.)
Our inspiring stories are told by positive male role models from all walks of life and each story is accompanied by photos that help you get to know the storyteller even more. Each is an honest account of their experiences, ranging from the ordinary to the extraordinary. From one man’s use of comedy to break the stigma around anorexia, to a lawyer who draws on courage and support around him to come out to his parents, to a paratrooper who lost his legs on the battlefield and now rows for Great Britain. We have stories covering all sorts of human challenges. By the end of it, the reader gets to see how there is beauty in being an individual who is kind and through these role models, it's much easier to shun outdated masculinity and the pressures it creates.
Why is this needed for boys? Outdated masculine stereotypes damage everyone - here are some shocking stats to illustrate why we're starting off our mission with work that inspires boys to grow into kind and confident humans.
Although this whole initiative is for people of all ages - we want to get much-needed conversations started earlier - young people are the future. For every book sold, we donate one to a school or youth organisation that we are working with. Any young person can read these stories and see that being human is complex, diverse and should never be constrained by gender stereotypes.
Help us spread the word by creating a debate online and using the hashtag #beingmankind
What will use the funding for? Being ManKind Volume 1 has already been published on a limited print-run and is for sale online on our website (and in some branches of Foyles), but we want to build on what we've achieved to develop a wider outreach programme, get Volume 1 in front of more readers (that means we have to print a larger run and that in turn, will help us drive down our print costs in the medium-to-long run) plus launch Volume 2 too.
To do this, your pledges will help give us the capital to scale all the hard work we've done so far. This is just the beginning - we can take these stories globally, in different languages, different cultures - we just want to do it carefully, one step at a time (but that doesn't stop us dreaming!).
At first, we're telling these stories through the written word but we want to tell them in all mediums and use technology to measure our impact too.
We are also working alongside like-minded organisations to adopt our stories as an important learning resource for promoting diversity among young children, as well as piloting a series of lesson plans for schools based around the stories told.
As World Heavyweight Champion, Anthony Joshua, says in the foreword, "We have the blueprints of those before us to build our own futures".
What are you getting? Being ManKind Volume 1 is a beautiful hardback book (all pledges made for a book (whether Volume 1 or 2, will receive a hardbook book :)) with a special foreword by the World Heavyweight boxing champion, Anthony Joshua MBE. His words are the beginning of 40 inspirational stories told over 176 pages, that have taken hundreds of interviews, photo shoots all over the country, and gigantic amounts of dedication (read that as - very little sleep) to produce.
Whether you pledge for the last few remaining copies of the First edition, pre-buy from the new print run or pledge to help us make Volume 2 - you can see how much effort has gone into it already and the quality you'll be able to get your hands on - it's a perfect gift for you or someone you care about.
We have stories that people are loving and there are many more in the pipeline!
Or how Scott Meenagh pieced his life back together after a promising career in the Parachute Regiment was brought to a dramatic halt in Unconquerable.
Being ManKind - The Track by Emmanuel Speaks
Emmanuel is a talented young role model - who not only has a story featured in Being ManKind Volume 1 but is also on the front cover of the book! We have been working with him to turn our message into something fluid and so, he has kindly taken time out to write this track for us - and you can hear it in the intro video above and even pledge to buy it. Enjoy his powerful words - they sum up exactly what we're trying to get across.
Why is this a great product and mission to back?
You're not just backing a concept - you can receive one of many different levels of rewards in return for your support. What's more, the first edition books are already printed (there are some left) and once the campaign finishes, we will get it straight to the printer - the amazing W.G. Baird, so you're guaranteed to get your copy(ies) as long as our campaign reaches its target. (If it doesn't, Kickstarter will not collect any payments and we'll be really sad).
Beyond that you can also pledge into what we already are making or will be making - here's what you can look forward to:
- MP3 of Being ManKind - The Track by spoken word artist Emmanuel Speaks
- E-Book of the chapter of your choice or the full book
- First edition hardback book of Being ManKind Volume 1
- PDF E-book of Being ManKind Volume 1
- Second edition hardback book of Being ManKind Volume 1
- First edition hardback book signed by contributor and cover boy, spoken word artist Emmanuel Speaks
- Pre-order of Being ManKind Volume 2
- Donate copies to a school of your choice. We already gift a copy to a school or youth organisation for every copy sold, but this is an opportunity to multiply your philanthropy
- As part of the ongoing Being ManKind project, we're making a documentary film based on the stories featured in Volume 1. Donate £2,500 or more to see your name on the credits roll, and be invited to the London screening in 2017
Our ultimate aim is to use the Being ManKind stories to ignite conversations in schools and youth organisations in a creative, engaging and unique way. We have created a series of lesson plans and workshops to accompany the donated books. The plans, for 9-11 years and 11+ years, are perfectly suited for schools (PSHE or registration period), youth organisations and older groups (e.g. prison, PRUs).
Each session addresses a different, thought-provoking topic, such as body image, mental health and relationships. The common thread throughout the series of eight sessions is to inspire young people to be open, honest and individual thinkers. Feedback from students demonstrates the power of using real-life experiences to raise important issues, “I liked reading about other people’s stories, they taught us that we should treat others equally” (Year 8).
When asked about what messages they had learned, one Year 6 student summed it up perfectly “To be proud of who you are and to be an excellent role model to others”. It also reinforced the need to foster these conversations in mixed-sex groups where possible, as we strongly believe that we all have a part to play to make change happen. These amazing young people are the future, and we are driven to spread our stories and resources nationwide and beyond.
"As a teacher of teenage boys, I found the Being Mankind sessions to be particularly compelling and a vital starting point for the boys to discuss issues that relate directly to them.” - Emily Trevitt, Wetherby Prep School“Fun! Innovative! Inspirational! This sums up the PSHE sessions in the classroom through the thought-provoking book - Being ManKind. PSHE lessons have been re-energised with core values which make us human. The children have been thoroughly engaged through stimulating, hands-on activities; from making prototype plans for a toy to team building towers. Lifelong skills which go beyond the classroom.” - Nasima Morshed, Uxendon Manor Primary School (Year 6 teacher)"
We are so excited about where we can take this - already, Being ManKind educational plans are being used to deliver sessions to young people in New Horizon Youth Centre, Uxendon Manor Primary School, Wetherby Preparatory School, Glenbrook Primary School and New Regent’s College (PRU)
We don't want to duplicate work done by amazing individuals and organisations - we want to make sure that we work with them on all our story topics. Over the past year, we have been fortunate to meet many inspiring individuals and organisations working towards a common aim – to better the lives of young people.
We are building a strong community around our work so that we may support one another, and better extend our reach to young people. These include The Great Initiative, CALM, Kidscape, Let Toys be Toys, Safer London, Diversity Role Models, Men and Boys Coalition, and the Prince’s Trust. We have also been fortunate to receive support from inspiring individuals such as Jonny Benjamin MBE and Ben Smith (The 401 Challenge).
We are also proud to announce our collaboration with The Good Lad Initiative, who will be developing scenarios for their workshops using the Being ManKind stories. We are also helping The Mix to source, write, and edit stories for their online case studies, and developing PSHE resources for a new project, ‘Curriculum for Life’ led by Lambeth Youth Council. Furthermore, we are working with Pentonville prison and Young Roots charity to deliver sessions using the Being ManKind stories as the primary focus.
When we printed our first run, it was to test how our approach would resonate - not just for the reader but for the impact it created too. We've had so many happy readers, excited young people, overjoyed parents, and delighted teachers. It's all made us more determined than ever to take this to a whole new level - to not only print many more copies of Volume 1 but to also embark on other volumes and mediums. Here are some thoughts from just a handful of our hundreds of first customers....
"Being Mankind is a wonderfully moving book filled with a wealth of personal experiences as told by a diverse range of inspiring men. It's a must read for teachers and should be shared in schools to effect positive change." - Gemma Curtis, Head of Education, Diversity Role Models
"A pioneering book of monumental importance and relevance in today's day and age, Being Mankind commences a conversation that addresses the much neglected issue of what it truly means to be a man. Concepts of masculinity are explored across cultures and without discriminatory borders, to reveal the true strength of human potential via an anthology of moving male perspectives. This courageous project is a much needed (and giant) leap... for men, for women, for Mankind." - Anusha Kumar, BBC Producer
"Real-life stories, backed up with stunning photographs, inspire positive choices for a kinder future." - Jude Welton, Author
"INCREDIBLY INSPIRATIONAL....The life stories had me in tears from the beginning. I felt the pain of their ordeal and was totally awe struck by how these amazing men turned their lives around. It has certainly helped me to put my life into perspective...." - Bhadresha Assani
"Many of us take fathers, older brothers and Uncles for granted, but some are not furnished with that luxury. Vast amounts of young men today find themselves having to make the transition to adulthood from boyhood by a sequence of trial and error, often turning out pretty well, but often with unsatisfactory working out for themselves and those around them. Yet ‘Being ManKind’, carefully and lovingly brings vignettes of male guidance to those who mightn’t have had any. It’s an ambitious undertaking, not only does it look impressively glossy, but it's done a rare thing – it has allowed men to talk; simply, openly and honestly." - Harry Watkins
"Being Mankind is a book that will make you feel not quite as alone as you may think. For any bloke struggling to feel complete in this chaotic world it always helps to know that you're not the only one. This book proves we are not alone and that honesty will always push us through." - Tim Grayburn, Being ManKind volume 1 writer
Oh and here is awesome rapper and human - Professor Green with his copies!
At Super Being, we use creative strategy and product design to tackle meaningful challenges. We work with charities and companies who want to solve a big hairy problem. Our clients include the likes of The Brilliant Club, Breast Cancer Care, The Cabinet Office, and also even ourselves - we have created a digital platform to support young people called State of Ambition and of course - Being ManKind itself!
Why are the Being ManKind team so passionate about the mission?
Darshan Sanghrajka - Co-Founder & Creative Director of Being ManKind / Founder of Super Being Labs:- "When Mark and I first talked young boys not always having diverse and positive role models - I was overjoyed (and not just because a boring meeting (sorry Mark) had turned into a great conversation!). Many nights were spent on developing the concept, coming up with a brand and the strategy. More people were hired to help bring it to life and already so much has been achieved - I'm not sure where Jenny, Priya and the team get their energy from but it gives me so much confidence to know that they're just as driven to make this work. After seeing the impact that Being ManKind is now having, I'm more determined than ever. Why is this particular project so important to me and Super Being Labs? Well, unfortunately, the world still defines people by their gender, rather than their humanity. These gender stereotypes create expectations that not only damage those who are burdened by them, but they also cause harm to the people around them too. We need to get rid of terms like 'Man Up!'. After all, you can be powerful but compassionate, strong but weak, competitive but giving, courageous but scared...the list goes on. Gender has nothing to do with it. Look around, the world is in a period of rapid flux - we need to help the boys to understand their roles as positive individuals. This is important for themselves and those around them. Without this, we can't ever have an equal and just society...fear and greed will rule, rather than kindness and unlimited potential. We hope you are just as excited about our mission, our creative work and thanks so much for backing us. Jenny, Priya, and the rest of the team are just as determined as I am - we won't let you down!."
Jenny Corrie - Producer: "I'm doing this because I want to encourage people to celebrate their individuality and strive to be the best person they possibly can be, regardless of gender. Our stories demonstrate that we all have the strength and potential within us to achieve anything we want. We all have a part to play to be kind to one another and we should use this to unite us rather than divide us. We hope, through Being ManKind, to provide an opportunity for people to talk openly and honestly. Our stories provide young people with positive role models so that they, in turn, can leave their own legacy and inspire future generations."
Priya Dabasia - Producer & Photographer: "Being brought up in a traditional indian community in London, exposed me from an early age to both the beauty of diversity, and the harm that can be caused by suppressing a person’s individuality. Today, we live in a world where a lack of human connection and empathy for one another is prevalent in our daily news. It is time for change, and I want to be a part of this movement. Being ManKind provides a way for people to unite, engaging all genders to make a positive difference together. Each morning, I walk to work with a spring in my step, swelling with pride to be a part of this groundbreaking."
Joe Byrde - Editor: "We hope you enjoy the stories and back our mission. "Being ManKind has the potential to give a new generation of men the permission to be themselves. That's easier said than done. Boys are subjected to a variety of expectations on them from the earliest age to “man up” and toe the line. Helping boys see an alternative to the conventional rules of manhood will not only enrich their lives, but the lives of everybody they share this world with."
Beez Fédia - Book Design & Layout: "Growing up was tough being every colour but the right colour. The solution is to embrace love and compassion and understand that the world lives through different shades of the same troubles. We are not alone. Being Mankind is here to help us see our connections. It's here to help us understand that we can be individuals whilst embracing the oneness of humanity. It's here to help us make a positive contribution to the world around us. You're 1 in 7 billion, no, you're 1 in 107 billion, the number of people that have ever lived in the world. Together we make up history. Being Mankind helps us embrace our togetherness and, for me, there is no more worthy cause."
Ed Corrie - Social Media & Arts: "I'm doing this because Being Mankind encourages young people to be individuals. To be themselves. To be confident, brave, selfless and wise. To have the strength and courage to question and go against the pack mentality, to stand up for and help those less fortunate, even if it’s just a kind word, and to have the humility to put others first. I can’t think of a worthier or more important campaign to get behind, particularly in today’s climate."
Mark Lazarus - Co-Founder: "As a father of two beautiful young kids, I think this is so extremely important - like so many parents out there, I want to work towards a world that is great for all children. This project is just the start of it all."
If you've got this far down the page or have been a customer or supporter so far, thank you for joining us on this journey - please do keep spreading the word, keep backing our mission and most importantly, have many great conversations as a result of our stories.
Darshan and the Being ManKind team
#beingmankind - carry the conversation on!
Risks and challenges
We've already done so much work to get to this point - hopefully, all of the results so far will show that we are in a strong position to mitigate against any project delays. Here are 6 clear reasons (there are more but 6 is a good number right?) why you can be sure that we will deliver....
1. We have already printed and sold a run of Being ManKind Volume 1 - that's allowed us to learn so much along the way. We can now get a bigger run printed and delivered within 12 weeks of the campaign finishing.
2. We are fully committed to this. We are thankful to Anthony Brandon Bravo for providing us with the initial seed funding to research our idea. Once we knew we were on the right track, we went full steam ahead - our company, Super Being Labs, has financed the production costs, first print run of Being ManKind Volume 1 and our work with schools. We are a team who understands product design, thinks creatively and gets the job done - always!
3.We have our production costs triple-checked plus a printer who we can absolutely trust to deliver on quality and time.
4. We have built up a strong community of support around the project. Every single pledge will add to that and that's what ultimately makes a mission a reality. This campaign is so important to enable that.
5. We are not only looking to scale up but as you can see - this campaign will help us create Volume 2, expand our outreach and start work on other creative avenues like a film. We're ambitious about making a far-reaching impact - take that drive and give yourself some peace of mind :)
6. We know the importance of good communication, and will ensure that we keep all of you backers are kept informed - whether by posting updates or responding to queries in person.
Thanks for your support - we're happy to answer any questions you may have.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Support this project
- (35 days)