So I have survived my first four weeks with SRtRC Wales. What a four weeks it has been! This last month has been thought-provoking, varied and very, very busy. I already feel that I have learnt so much about the organisation and its work- especially as I have been lucky enough to attend some workshops; and yet the time has seemed to race by. It was only through sitting down to write this piece that I have realised just how much has been squeezed into the last four weeks.
When I started with SRtRC I thought I had a good grasp of racism and its presence in today’s society. I had spent a large portion of my degrees looking at how social perceptions of ‘otherness’ has related to ethnicity and culture, in addition to having grown up with racial incidents at school.
But since starting with SRtRC it has become clear how much I have to learn, not only in terms of the scope of racial prejudice, but also how tough the battle to campaign for change can be.
Over these last few weeks I have focussed on the SRtRC workshops delivered in schools and have been able to see this process in full. I have contacted both primary and secondary schools about delivering workshops and sent them their required resources. Discussing our services over the phone is also a significant part of the job, especially when answering the concerns of teachers who are dealing with racial incidents within their school.
I have also had the chance to venture out of the office to see workshops in action. In my second week I attended a full day of workshops at Stanwell Secondary School, in the Vale of Glamorgan. This was a great opportunity to observe some workshops and see each of our Education Workers in action. I learnt a lot about the different styles of each member of staff, in their delivery as well as the workshop’s content. It was fantastic to see their passion for the topic shine through. The experience has given me something to aim towards and has inspired me to lead my own workshops- when the time comes!
Back in the office I have begun to work on what happens after a workshop is delivered. One of my first tasks each morning has been to review our social media pages for photographs posted by Education Workers from the completed workshops. On more days than not I have found words of gratitude from the schools themselves, which has made this an uplifting way to start the day.
I have used these photographs, along with the surveys conducted before and after the workshops to start compiling evidence for our partnerships with the local councils. The feedback from pupils and teachers is incredibly insightful, particularly in instances in which particular trends emerge.
I have also taken to the communications side of our campaign. This has involved publicising our work, the events of our fellow organisations and advertising our recent vacancy- so it looks like I won’t be the newbie for much longer. One of my main aims at the moment is to put together a newsletter of our work and updates- so watch this space.
Attending training events and talks has been another perk of the job. In my first week we visited a local mosque to hear speakers talk about their personal experiences with genocide and the lessons that can be learnt for today's society. I also have had the opportunity to be involved with the judging panel for the Schools Competition for Wales. The judging for the competition was much harder than I had anticipated, with some particularly moving entries for our Special ‘Mo Farah’ Category. With the judging completed, we will be finalising the details for the event at the beginning of May, which is something further to look forwards to.
Now that Easter is almost upon us, things are set to start quietening down in the SRtRC Wales Office. But we have a busy summer term ahead and some time to getting planning for the future. Thank you SRtRC for an inspiring first month, hopefully it is the first of many more to come.