On Tuesday 5th December 2017, Show Racism the Red Card (SRtRC) held an educational event at St Andrew’s Stadium and worked in partnership with Birmingham City Football Club to educate local young people about the dangers of racism. Over 90 young people from local primary schools attended the event which saw the Year 5/6’s take part in an educational workshop, watch the SRtRC educational film and then take part in a Q&A session with a panel of special guests.
Young people from local primary schools arrived at St Andrew’s Stadium in the afternoon and headed to the Legends Lounge where they would spend the remainder of the afternoon. After a quick introduction to the afternoon the young people went into an educational workshop which was conducted by Campaign Worker, Ben Holman, from SRtRC. The workshop made young people explore stereotypes and think critically about the way in which we stereotype. The young people engaged in thoughtful and honest conversation with their peers about the dangers of stereotyping.
The young people further developed their understanding by watching the 22-minute Show Racism the Red Card educational film, which provides an excellent introduction to the subject of racism.
The young people had been asked throughout the afternoon to start thinking of questions that they would like to ask the panel of special guests and with suspicion building among the young people of who might be attending the Q&A it was time to introduce the panel.
First to join the panel was Lee Wiggetts-Clinton, who was representing Unite the Union, Lee is a fantastic supporter of Show Racism the Red Card who carries out some vital work in his local area. Joining Lee was Rachele Johnson, Rachele works as Customer Service & Supporter Liaison Manager at Birmingham City FC. Former Arsenal and Liverpool player, Michael Thomas, took the time out of his day to sit on the panel for the Q&A. Former Footballer, David Kelly, also sat on the panel to answer questions from the young people. First team players from Birmingham City FC, David Davis and Jason Lowe, also attended the event to speak with the young people about racism.
Young people from each school put forward a variety of questions to the panel regarding racism. As a footballer/role model, what advice would you give to a young person who has suffered/seen racism? How can you stop racism? What would happen if someone was racist to your teammate? Has your skin colour ever stopped you from doing well in your career? Were just a few examples of the questions that the panel were taking it in turn to answer. The panel explained to the young people what they should do if they experience racism and who they can report it to. The panel also provided brilliant advice on what each person can do to tackle racism. Prizes were given out to the three best questions asked to the panel. Birmingham City FC kindly donated a pair of match tickets to their upcoming game vs Queens Park Rangers FC for the best question asked to the panel.
Show Racism the Red Card would like to thank everyone at Birmingham City FC for their support in organising the event and a special thank you to Rachele Johnson who made the event possible. The power of role-models to educate young people should never be underestimated, therefore, a massive thank you to Lee, Rachele, Michael, David, David and Jason. A big thank you to the Professional Footballers Association who continue to support the work of Show Racism the Red Card and make events like this possible. And finally, Show Racism the Red Card would like to thank all the young people for their honest engagement from start to finish.