On Tuesday 26th February, Show Racism the Red Card (SRtRC) held an educational event at Deepdale, home of Preston North End Football Club (PNEFC). The campaign worked in partnership with PNEFC and PNE Community and Education Trust to educate local young people about the dangers of racism. 70 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 11 local schools arrived at Deepdale and headed to the ‘Invincibles 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, 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, identity, and racism. The young people were joined by a very special guest during the workshop as PNE footballer, Daniel Johnson, sat in on the workshop to listen to the young people’s conversations.
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 suspense building among the young people of who might be attending the Q&A it was time to introduce the panel.
Paula Burdess, UNISON Branch Schools Convenor and BAME activist, sat on the panel to answer questions from the audience. Joining Paula was Harriet Creighton-Levis, Harriet is the Head of Education & Health at PNE Community Trust. Former Premier League and Scotland International, Chris Iwelumo, sat on the panel to answer questions from the young people. 1st team players from Preston North End FC, Paul Gallagher and Callum Robinson, took the time our of their day to attend the event and speak to the young people.
Young people from each school put forward a variety of questions to the panel regarding racism. Have you ever suffered racism and how did it feel? Why do people use racism? What does a stereotype mean to you? How did racism become to exist? 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. Preston North End FC kindly donated flags and goalkeeping gloves as additional prizes for the best question asked to the panel.
Show Racism the Red Card would like to thank everyone at Preston North End Football Club for their support in organising the event and a special thank you to Harriet Creighton-Levis and Joe Cooper who made the event possible. The power of role-models to educate young people should never be underestimated, therefore, a massive thank you to Paula, Harriet, Chris, Paul and Callum. 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.