Over 60 young people from schools across Croydon take part in a range of anti-racism workshops at Selhurst Park
Show Racism the Red Card (SRtRC) held its annual anti-racism education event with Crystal Palace FC; building on years of partnership work between the anti-racism charity and the club.
The event, which was organised in partnership with the Study Centre at Crystal Palace, was opened by Cllr. Hamida Ali of event sponsors Croydon Council.
Cllr. Ali explained to attendees the work of the council to promote equality throughout Croydon and described her own motivation for getting involved in the fight against racism.
Young people from years 4 & 5 from Cypress School, Broadmead Primary, Beulah Primary and Oasis Ryelands Primary took part in anti racism workshops delivered by former Palace youth team player and SRtRC educator Steven Kabba. During the session the young people were encouraged to examine where stereotypes come from and look at the role that they can play in judging people. This, along with some of the other foundations for the development of potentially damaging behaviour was explored in an engaging way through a series of educational activities.
Shaun Campbell, Crystal Palace ambassador and founder of the Arthur Wharton Foundation also delivered a workshop which explored the story of Arthur Wharton; the award winning footballer, cricketer, sprinter and cyclist whose achievements have been largely forgotten by history. The workshops are part of a programme of activity that the foundation have been engaged in to help tell Arthur’s story; culminating in the installation of a monument to the pioneer and role model at the FA’s headquarter at St Gorges Park.
Members of staff from the Crystal Palace Foundation also led ground tour of Palace’s famous stadium, Selhurst Park.
In the afternoon, the young people took on the role of journalists for the day in preparation for a special ‘press conference’ where they had the opportunity to ask questions about the issue of racism. They researched the topic and built upon the learning from the morning’s workshops by watching the SRtRC educational film which features professional footballers and young people discussing racism and their role in stopping it.
The subjects of the afternoon’s press conference were then welcomed to the stage. Cllr Hamida Ali of Croydon Council was joined by Shaun Campbell of the Arthur Wharton foundation and former Sheffield United and Watford striker Steven Kabba. The trio were further supported by three members of the Crystal Palace under 18s squad; defenders Jahmal Howlett-Mundle & Oliver O'Dwyer and striker Hussein Mohammed who took time out after training to describe their experiences to the young people.
The press conference generated some incredibly mature and insightful discussions which included mention of anti racism campaigners like Nelson Mandela, as well as Stephen Lawrence, the teenager murdered in a racist attack over 20 years ago. The panel shared their own experiences of racism and encouraged the young people in attendance to be the change that they want to see in the world by standing up for one another and insisting that everyone be treated equally.
SRtRC would like to thank everyone at Crystal Palace for their ongoing support, especially Safeguarding Manager Susan Biggs who continues to help organise exciting and engaging events.
Thanks too go to Croydon Council for their generous sponsorship of this season’s event and to Shaun Campbell; both for his contribution to the day and his tireless efforts in raising the profile of Arthur Wharton and re-writing the wrongs of history.
A special thanks goes to Jahmal Howlett-Mundle, Oliver O'Dwyer and Hussein Mohammed who represented the club fantastically despite this being thier first involvement in this type of event.