On Thursday 16th October 2018, Show Racism the Red Card (SRtRC) held an educational event at St Andrews, home of Birmingham City Football Club (BCFC). The campaign worked in partnership with BCFC to educate local young people about the dangers of racism. 80 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 ‘Press Conference’ with a panel of special guests.
Young people from local schools arrived at St Andrews and headed to the Wiseman Suite 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, define racism, 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 brand new 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.
Gav Sutherland, Campaign Coordinator for SRtRC, sat on the panel to answer questions from the audience. Joining Gav was Lee Wiggets-Clinton, Lee is a long-time supporter of SRtRC and oversees all SRtRC activity through his role with Unite the Union. Lucy Quin, who plays at Birmingham City Ladies Football Club, also joined the panel to help answer questions from the young people. And finally, first team players Michael Morrison and Josh -Dacres-Cogley, took the time out of their day to attend the educational event and take part in the ‘press conference’.
Young people from each school put forward a variety of questions to the panel regarding racism. Why does racism happen? Is it true that some people leave their country because of racism? If you don’t report racism what can happen? What would happen if racism carried on? These 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 additional prizes of a signed pedant and match tickets for the three best questions asked to the panel. The club also gave every young person in attendance a match ticket for the upcoming Birmingham City Ladies FC match versus Chelsea FC.
Show Racism the Red Card would like to thank everyone at Birmingham City Football Club for their support in organising the event and a special thank you to Claire Boden and Sam Taylor who made the event possible. The power of role-models to educate young people should never be underestimated, therefore, a massive thank you to Gav, Lee, Lucy, Michael and Josh. 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.