SRtRC teamed up with the NUT and Love Music, Hate Racism for a fantastic event in Burnley
Pictured: KOF entertains the audience with call and response - "Love Music..." "HATE RACISM!"
Show Racism the Red Card returned to Burnley for the second time this season, following a successful event earlier in the year at Burnley FC.
The Lancashire division of the National Union of Teachers (Lancashire NUT) organised an "Anti-Racism Day" and invited Show Racism the Red Card to work with them, along with members of Love Music, Hate Racism.
150 young people from 6 local high schools attended the event at Towneley Park, Burnley CLC, and took part in a series of workshops. These were delivered by SRtRC staff and NUT learning reps, as well as a session by the LMHR team.
The young people had the opportunity to learn and explore the impacts of racism and were empowered to see their role in working to put a stop to racism. SRtRC staff were impressed by how engaged the young people were with the subject - we enjoyed a number of lively discussions. The session topics included "What is Racism?" which helped to define racism and its impact and "Islamophobia" which featured a screening of our Islamophobia DVD and a discussion of the key messages.
The afternoon saw the main hall transformed into a gig venue! The young people were hugely excited to welcome KOF, who quickly persuaded his audience to leave their seats and move to surround the stage. Soon their arms were up in the air and everyone was hooked and dancing away to his set. KOF had huge levels of energy, really engaged with the crowd (despite the unconventional setting!) and conveyed a fantastic anti-racism message through his music, even featuring a song in tribute to Anthony Walker. Check out his mixtape, free to download here.
As if the afternoon couldn't get any better, KOF was then joined by Burnley FC stars: Clarke Carlisle, PFA Chairman and Patron of SRtRC, and Graham Alexander, Club Captain, for the final part of the event. They took questions from the young people about racism, sharing their experiences and giving advice to the audience. They handled some fantastic questions before signing posters for all of the audience members.
Graham shared his experiences of playing at international level for Scotland: "I was born in England but my Dad is Scottish. When I started playing for Scotland, I actually received abuse from both Scottish and English fans. It was hard for me to deal with, but playing for Scotland was a really important thing for me and a personal decision."
"I've got to be honest, I came here today thinking I didn't really have any stories to tell but thinking about it now, it was definately racism that I received... I suppose people can think [racism] is just about skin colour, but nationality definately comes into it. I am proud of my heritage - at school I always thought it was great that my Dad was Scottish and my Mum was Irish, it was something that was really positive and an important part of my identity."
Clarke said he fully supported campaigns such as Show Racism the Red Card: "It is great to work with young people as you are the next generation. If we are able to talk to you about racism and help you understand how harmful it is, then we are hopefully able to get rid of racism all together!"
Huge thanks to Lancashire NUT for inviting SRtRC to take part in this event and to all who attended and made it such a success!