The whole of year 11 took part in an interactive anti-racism workshop before putting their questions on racism to a panel of guests
180 young people from Sandwell Academy took part in this year’s Show Racism the Red Card (SRtRC) anti-racism education event with West Bromwich Albion FC.
Campaign workers from the charity lead a workshop designed to stimulate discussion about thoughts and attitudes towards certain groups in society and challenged the young people to consider where their views came from and how they have been constructed.
The debate was passionate and fast moving, with the young people describing their perceptions of society in 2014 and admitting some discomfort with issues including immigration.
The young people were encouraged to take notes to support the development of a newspaper-style write up of the event which would also form a competition entry. The writer of the best article as selected by SRtRC will have the opportunity to meet and interview a first team player from West Bromwich Albion as part of the club’s ongoing support for the charity.
The subject of stereotypes and the media’s role in perpetuating myths about particular groups and cultures was raised and debated intensely and the participants were challenged to deconstruct information from a variety of sources in an attempt to get closer to a balanced point of view.
Following the conclusion of the workshop, the audience watched the Show Racism the Red Card education film which features professional footballers and young people discussing the issue of racism and sharing their own experiences and advice.
The event closed with an interactive Q + A session in which participants had the opportunity to ask questions on the subject of racism to a panel of special guests. The Albion Foundation was represented by Harry Salter, who described his own experiences growing up in a rural, monocultural setting and explained the work of the foundation to combat prejudice.
Labour Councillor for Bromsgrove South Chris Bloore provided a local perspective on the issue of hate crime and drew on his past experience working with Show Racism the Red Card to answer some challenging questions.
The special guest for the day was Sporting Club Albion player and former Sandwell Academy pupil Mai Butler. The defender, who is currently nursing an injury spoke about the inclusive power of sport and shared her view that there was room within football to accommodate all religious beliefs including the wearing of specific clothing.
Prizes were handed out for the three best questions as selected by the panel of guests and included Show Racism the Red Card T-shirts and pair of match tickets for WBA’s home game with Newcastle United which were generously donated by the Albion Foundation. Students have until the middle of October to submit their articles for the chance to win an opportunity to meet and interview a first team player from the Baggies.
Show Racism the Red Card would like to thank all year 11 students from Sandwell Academy for their honesty and enthusiasm in taking part in the workshop activities. Special thanks go to teacher Amandip Lally for his role in organising the event.
SRtRC are grateful for continued support from West Bromwich Albion FC and The Albion Foundation and would like to thank Harry, Ben and Education & Inclusion manager Allison Tripney in particular.
The event was made possible by generous sponsorship from Sandwell Council.
Final thanks go to special guests Cllr. Chris Bloore and Sporting Club Albion defender Mai Butler for giving up their time so generously.