Southend United FC hosted an educational event for young people from local schools on Thursday 19th October which featured first team players answering young people’s questions about racism and hate crime.
Pupils from Prince Avenue and St Mary’s Primary Schools came to Roots Hall to take part in workshops exploring racism and stereotypes and what hate crime is, before Southend United FC manager Phil Brown, and players Harry Kyprianou and Jermaine McGlashan joined the event to take part in a Q&A session.
The event was part of a series of fifteen educational events with football clubs in England to educate about hate crime as part of a project supported by Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), which will also include educational work in schools and teacher training.
In January 2017, Communities Secretary, Sajid Javid announced SRtRC would be one of four projects to offer education to encourage the reporting and prevention of hate crime. Announcing the funding he said “Let me be clear. Hate crime has no place whatsoever in British Society. We will not stand for it. All communities must be able to live their lives free from fear of verbal or physical attack.”
The project will build on the government’s work detailed in the Hate Crime Action Plan to challenge the misperceptions that lead to hate crime and support victims from marginalised communities to stand up and report incidents.
Southend United FC has worked with the campaign consistently over many years to educate about racism.
SRtRC Chief Executive, Ged Grebby, said “SRtRC can now build on our work to educate about Hate Crime with this project and it comes at a time when it is definitely needed. After the EU referendum, many police forces reported a spike in hate crime and hate incidents, a 41% rise in the month following the vote.
“Clubs like Southend United FC are helping us work with young people in a unique setting, listen to their views and educate about prejudice. We want to make sure if a young person experiences or witnesses a hate crime they know who they can turn to, but also to think about how a person could get to the point where they commit a hate crime.”