Positive association between trade union and charity continues with fringe meeting and stall at national conference.
"The role of anti-oppressive education is pivotal in the fight against racism. Young people and adults need to have a safe environment to think about how we are manipulated to believe in myths that reinforce our prejudices."
Laura Pidcock, Education Worker, Show Racism the Red Card
Show Racism the Red Card attended The Unite the Union National Policy Conference 2014, held at Liverpool’s ACC between 30 June to 4 July.
The bi-annual conference brings Unite members, nominated by their fellow members, together to make the policy of the union.
The conference featured guest speakers including Unite General Secretary Len McCluskey, Writer and political commentator Owen Jones, MP Ian Lavery and actor and campaigner Ricky Tomlinson.
Show Racism the Red Card also held a fringe meeting on Tuesday 1st July attended by approximately 50 delegates and both our sponsor Thompsons Solicitors and Unite the Union have since fed back to us that they were very pleased with the meeting.
Paul Kearns chaired the meeting and gave an overview on the work of the campaign and educational programmes that the financial support from the union enables us to deliver throughout the UK.
General Secretary of Unite the Union Len McCluskey then spoke of the importance of the link between the union and SRtRC. Len spoke effusively on the impact of our work and further pledged Unite the Union support for the campaign, both financially and in terms of union members getting more involved. Len spoke knowledgably about the work that we undertake and finished with an appeal to branches and regions to take out standing orders and to align themselves more closely with our campaign.
Stephen Cavalier from Thompson’s Solicitors spoke about challenging racism in the workplace and the success of the SRtRC model using ex and current professional footballers to engage young people and adults on the issue of racism.
From SRtRC, ex professionals Howard Gayle and Leroy Rosenior both gave personal testimonies about their personal experiences of racism both in football and society and how the campaign can help to change attitudes.
Laura Pidcock then spoke passionately about immigration, fear and the complex reasons which propelled 4.3 million people to vote for UKIP in the recent elections.
Laura stressed that the role of anti-oppressive education is pivotal in the fight against racism. Young people and adults need to have a safe environment to think about how we are manipulated to believe in myths that reinforce our prejudices.
We then held a short Q & A session with Laura, Howard, Leroy and Stephen all taking questions and exploring important issues such a homophobia in football, under representation of minority communities attending football matches and the difficulties with racism directed at Spurs fans and the reclamation/ use of the ‘Y’ word. The feedback from delegates at the meeting was really good and many delegates then visited to the stall to continue the conversation.
The week-long presence of a SRtRC stall during the conference attracted a large number of delegates keen to show their support and to find out more about the work of the anti-racism educational charity.
Once again, the campaign’s football club posters proved incredibly popular, with over 1000 posters, notably the Liverpool FC and Everton FC posters distributed across the week.
A range of merchandise including SRtRC t-shirts, wristbands and badges were also available for sale to raise money to support the campaign’s anti-racism education work in schools, and in total almost £200 was raised to this end.
Fresh from speaking at the fringe meeting, SRtRC patron and Liverpool FC legend Howard Gayle took time out to help staff the stall; talking to delegates about his own experiences of racism and his involvement with the charity.
Show Racism the Red Card would like to thank everyone at Unite the Union for their continued sponsorship and support for the campaign. A big thank you also goes to all those who attended the fringe meeting and all of the delegates who paid SRtRC staff a visit at the stall.
Continued thanks from all at the campaign goes to Thompsons Solicitors who sponsored SRtRC's appearance at this conference, as well as contributing to the campaign's entire conference programme.
Show Racism the Red Card is extremely proud of its association with Unite and would like to congratulate everyone on a hugely successful and important conference.