London’s Living Room, City Hall, London, Thursday 11th September
“Show Racism the Red Card are doing fantastic, phenomenal work day in day out. Whether there is a scandal in the newspapers or not, whether at the forefront of your thoughts or not, Ged and his team are working tirelessly behind the scenes to go and educate the next generation.”
Thanks to the support of London Assembly Member Murad Qureshi, Show Racism the Red Card (SRtRC) was able to hold a showcase event and comedy night at one of the most amazing venues in the capital. Organised by the SRtRC Southern Region team, supporters of the campaign and guests from the region were able to come to ‘London’s Living Room’ on the top floor of City Hall, London to hear about all aspects of the campaign’s work.
Ardent supporters of SRtRC spoke at the event, reaffirming their support and highlighting the work of the campaign from their perspectives. Speakers on the night included Murad Qureshi, Len McCluskey, Clarke Carlisle, Marc Elliott, Christine Blower and SRtRC Chief Executive, Ged Grebby. Southern Region Education Workers Manisha Tailor and Osei Sankofa gave a presentation about the work in schools and the evening was hosted by Southern Region manager, Steve Goodsell.
Murad Qureshi AM opened the event with words of welcome and told the audience, “I regularly support and sponsor Show Racism the Red Card for a number of reasons. Firstly racism is a constant. It’s there and prevalent certainly since I was growing up in central London. Secondly, whilst it is a constant it also changes its forms.
“When I was growing up people asked me where I was from and I was happy to say Paddington, knowing full well what they were trying to ask. In more recent times, people are more likely to ask me if I’m a Muslim or not. That shows to me how political issues can change their form.”
Len McCluskey, General Secretary of Unite, was next to speak in support of the campaign. He told the assembled guests “My support for this organisation is borne out of the practical experiences I’ve had watch them portray the issue of racism and tackle racism with our young children. If you ever get the chance to attend one of their events please do so because they are incredible.”
Clarke Carlisle, former professional footballer and SRtRC Hall of Fame member gave a personal testimony of his experience of engaging with the campaign. “Show Racism the Red Card are doing fantastic, phenomenal work day in day out. Whether there is a scandal in the newspapers or not, whether at the forefront of your thoughts or not, Ged and his team are working tirelessly behind the scenes to go and educate the next generation.”
Marc Elliott, Millwall for All Development Manager gave his view on working with SRtRC over the last seven years following a screening of footage from the most recent educational event with the club in March. Talking about SRtRC educational events, Marc said “Every young person left there understanding what racism meant, how to tackle racism and how to report racism if it happened in their schools.”
Manisha Tailor and Osei Sankofa delivered an overview of the kinds of activities SRtRC deliver in schools. They also talked about the impact this work has on young people and their personal experiences of delivery. As part of their presentation two films were screened, one showed SRtRC staff delivering in a school in the region and the second was the winning entry from the 2013 School Competition.
Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers spoke of the union’s ongoing support for the campaign. “We are immensely proud in the National Union of Teachers to be a big funder and a huge supporter of Show Racism the Red Card. Let me also say though, I’m not proud of the fact that we have to do this work.
“The fact that we have young people coming in to schools every day bringing attitudes that they’ve picked up from home, from people who’ve previously went through our education system, you know I can’t tell you that there are no racist teachers in the entire country. What I can tell you is that any attitudes of that kind are unacceptable in the NUT and that’s why I’m delighted to work with the (SRtRC) education team.”
Ged Grebby closed the formal part of the evening’s proceedings with thanks after first inviting SRtRC Hall of Fame member Chris Hughton to the stage to induct the newest member into the Hall of Fame.
Ian Holloway, manager of Millwall FC, was recognised for his support of the campaign with the Hall of Fame award. Ian gave a heartfelt and impromptu acceptance speech.
Kingfisher beer sponsored the event and guests were able to partake in some refreshments and bowl food while enjoying the stunning views of London from the balcony during an intermission.
The second part of the programme saw stand up performances from Marlon Davis, Prince Abdi and SRtRC Hall of Fame member, Ava Vidal, who also compered this part of the event.
Huge thanks to Ava, Marlon and Prince for their support and performances. And to Patrick Monahan too, who was due to perform but due to some delays and an earlier than anticipated venue closure arrived just as the event had to close. The campaign looks forward to the next Stand Up Against Racism show, more details of which will be announced over the coming months.
Show Racism the Red Card would like to thank everyone who attended this event and all of the guest speakers for their words of support and commitment to challenging racism in the UK. Special thanks are reserved for Murad Qureshi, Nikki Salih and City Hall staff for making the event possible and Kingfisher for their sponsorship.
You can view a gallery of images from the event here.