Ex pro footballer & honorary president of SRtRC discusses his perspective on a range of issues from across the globe
"The movements brought to the forefront an issue that had long lingered in the shadows of justice, got people talking, discussing and dissecting, all in an effort to change our futures."
Shaka Hislop, SRtRC Honorary President
"It seems simply amazing that in January SRtRC will be entering its 20th year. Where has the time gone? Even more amazing is the way the world has changed around us, and how quickly we’ve evolved with it. Without question, the biggest and most impactful of those changes has been not just the advent of social media, but the continued harnessing of its power. A power that can be as playful as the fad of players taking ‘selfies’ after memorable wins, or as powerful as harnessing a momentum for social responsibility and change.
"Here in the U.S. 2015 saw just how single, and seemingly unrelated incidents, can highlight social injustices and spark a collective effort to change. Since I last wrote there has been little that has done as much as #BlackLivesMatter, and then #AllLivesMatter, to highlight their concerns and motivate groups to demand their right to equality from a system they believed was failing them. The movements brought to the forefront an issue that had long lingered in the shadows of justice, got people talking, discussing and dissecting, all in an effort to change our futures.
"The movement in the U.S. coincided with an immigration “crisis” across Europe. With over 2000 deaths, and 15,000 people being rescued at sea, the scale of the problem is unprecedented. As is the desperation of those fleeing poverty, war and persecution. In shaping your own response I’ll ask only one thing- let your own morality be your guide, don’t let the rhetoric of the far right, which all too often dominates tabloid headlines, define your own sense of right and wrong, or have you believe there’s an inequality in the value of life. 20 years has taught us so much more.
"As usual I’ll close by thanking the participants, supporters, parents and staff who’ve again made 2015 a year that all of us at SRtRC can be proud of. Yes there were hurdles, some of which remain, but as you look around imagine the world you are helping to shape, a world where social movements and hashtags may no longer be needed. Now if that doesn’t deserve a slice of birthday cake I don’t know what does."