Young people from local schools visit Anfield to learn about the issue of racism and ‘show racism the red card’
More than 100 young people from schools across Liverpool visited the club in March to take part in anti-racism education activities and to find out more about the club and the city’s commitment to challenging racism.
The event, which was sponsored by both Liverpool City Council and Sefton Council, involved year five and six pupils from local 12 schools. The young people came to Anfield to find out more about the issue of racism and to better understand their role in stopping it.
Campaign Workers from Show Racism the Red Card ran a workshop aimed at helping the young people to develop the critical thinking skills to challenge prejudice, focusing on the issue of stereotypes and discussing racism in a safe environment. The young people were asked to consider their own experiences of racism and worked towards developing a simple definition of racism to help further their understanding.
The workshop concluded with young people recognising the dangers of stereotyping and receiving advice about what to do if they ever experience racism in their classrooms, homes or local communities.
Following a screen of the Show Racism the Red Card educational film, the 100+ young people became journalists for the afternoon, and had the opportunity to ask questions to a number of high profile guests in a specially arranged ‘press conference’.
Answering the questions were Mark Kitts of Liverpool City Council and Graham Parry of Sefton Council, who were joined by Kim Johnson, chair of the UNISON North West black members group and Steve Rotheram MP.
Also taking part in the Q + A session was Premier League referee Chris Foy who explained to the young people what is being done to challenge racism within the game and encouraged them to tackle racism by standing up for targets of abuse and not behaving in a discriminatory way.
Former Liverpool striker Neil Mellor who scored a crucial goal for the club in the run which saw them secure the Champions League in 2005, also took part in the press conference alongside Liverpool legend and the first black player to represent the club; Howard Gayle. Howard is a long term supporter of SRtRC and an anti-racism trailblazer and champion.
Completing the panel were representatives from the title winning Liverpool Ladies Football Club. Goalkeepers Libby Stout and Danielle Gibbons spoke to the young people about the benefits of working with people of other nationalities, religion and cultures and confirmed the clubs commitment to standing against racism.
The standard of questions from the ‘young journalists’ was exceptional, with prizes awarded for the three best questions of the press conference. Liverpool football club generously provided a shirt signed by the entire first team squad for the best question as selected by the panel.
The event closed with a scramble for autographs and a unique photo opportunity with the Champions League trophy – a fantastic way to end a great event.
Show Racism the Red Card would like to thank everyone at Liverpool Football Club for hosting a brilliant educational event, with special thanks going to Liverpool Woman’s team player Libby Stout and Danielle Gibbons. Thanks also to Liverpool City Council and Sefton Council whose funding enabled young people to leave with wrist bands and copies of the SRtRC magazine, enabling them to continue to broaden their understanding of the issue of racism.
A final thank you to everyone who took part in the ‘press conference’ and to the young people themselves who took part in all of the sessions with maturity, insight and passion.