Striker Dexter Blackstock shared a strong anti-racism message with local school children
Young people from Lady Bay Primary, Kimberley Primary and Abbey Hill Primary schools enjoyed an afternoon of anti-racism activities at The City Ground. They were delighted to be joined by Forest striker Dexter Blackstock, who shared his experiences of racism and helped to educate the young people about the dangers of racism.
Trev Benjamin, former professional footballer and now coach at Show Racism the Red Card delivered an educational session alongside Campaign Worker Jo Wallis. The workshop helped young people to explore the idea of stereotypes and how this can lead to judging people. They were united in sharing the saying, "Don't judge a book by its cover!"
The young people thought about the definition of racism and all of the ways in which racism can damage people. They put their definition into action by participating in a "Racist or Not Racist" scenario game. The pupils engaged in lively discussions and demonstrated a real understanding of the issues and a commitment to the anti-racism message.
Following a screening of Show Racism the Red Card's DVD, Dexter Blackstock was welcomed to the event - to rapturous applause! Dexter joined Trevor Benjamin and Sarah Lee, Team Manager for Achievement and Equality at Nottinghamshire County Council to take questions from the audience members.
The young people asked challenging and insightful questions, leading the panellists to share their own experiences of racism and offering advice to young people about how to deal with racism - encouraging them to take action if they ever see, hear or experience it.
Ella from Kimberley Primary school asked Dexter, "What's the worst sort of racism a player can experience?" Blackstock responded with the simple message that "all forms of racism are bad and you should never put up with it. Racism can have a really damaging impact on you so I would say you shouldn't try to think which forms of racism are the worst, because all types of racist abuse are very hurtful".
Nottingham Forest FC donated goody bags and match tickets to the young people who asked the best questions of the afternoon - Jade from Abbey Hill was awarded the top prize for her question:
"Where, why and how would you stop racism?"
Trevor turned the question back to the audience - who responded enthusiastically with their own ideas as to how to stop racism. The responsibility lies with all of us to try and stop racism whenever we encounter it.
The event closed with a loud chorus of "SHOW RACISM THE RED CARD!" and the young people collected signed Nottingham Forest posters from Dexter Blackstock.
Show Racism the Red Card would like to thank Ben White and the staff at Nottingham Forest for hosting the event - we look forward to returning to the club next season! Thanks to Dexter Blackstock for joining us and making valuable contributions to the panel. Sarah Lee is a long-standing supporter of Show Racism the Red Card, running our Anti-Racist School Competition with Nottinghamshire. We are grateful for all she has done in support of the campaign.