Show Racism the Red Card invited to speak at UNISON Conference.
SRtRC Education Workers, Kate Hollinshead and Paul Mortimer attended UNISON’s 2012 National Conference in Bournemouth on Thursday 21st June, to take part in a fringe meeting on tackling racism and promoting race equality. The event was very generously sponsored by Thompson's Solicitors and UIA Insurance.
The meeting was opened by Liz Snape, Assistant General Secretary of UNISON, who praised the work of Show Racism the Red Card and the strong and enduring partnership between the organisation and UNISON. There was an extremely good turnout for the meeting with over 40 delegates attending.
After Liz Snape spoke, Kate started the fringe meeting by introducing the campaign and speaking about some of the barriers adults face when trying to engage in tackling racism and promoting race equality. Paul followed Kate, speaking passionately about why the work is so important and sharing some of his experiences of working in the classroom for Show Racism the Red Card.
Paul played for Charlton Athletic, Crystal Palace, Aston Villa and Bristol City and gave a personal testimony of his experiences of racism whilst playing professional football. He explained how Show Racism the Red Card could help the delegates promote equality and tackle racism in their workplaces.
Liz, Kate and Paul were joined by Neville Lawrence, who spoke openly about the racist murder of his son, Stephen Lawrence, and the effects that this has had on his life and his family. This was an incredibly powerful speech and further demonstrated the importance of always trying to effectively challenge prejudicial attitudes and beliefs before lives are lost.
The speeches were met with much enthusiasm and Kate and Paul were asked many questions during the question and answer session that followed. Delegates were very interested to hear of our new initiatives to tackle racism in the workplace, including our up coming work in mental health institutions across England, and whether training could be organised for all UNISON members.
Our work in schools also proved popular with delegates and many personally thanked us for our contribution after the fringe had finished. Posters, workshop flyers, magazines and resource flyers were available to delegates who attended the fringe.
Our thanks to UNISON and our sponsors for their ongoing support and the opportunity to promote the very important work that we undertake around the UK.