The Frensham Heights School in Farnham recently hosted a powerful anti-racism workshop for Year 9 and 10 students.
The workshop aimed to provide students with a deeper understanding of discrimination and racism, explore everyday forms of racism, and equip them with the knowledge and tools to challenge racism in their lives. Led by Paul Hill education coordinator for the south and former professional footballer Ken Monkou, the workshop proved to be an enlightening and impactful experience for the students.
The day began by defining discrimination and racism, setting the foundation for the students’ learning journey. Students were encouraged to critically examine prejudice in British society, recognizing its presence and impact. The workshop highlighted how global events such as terrorist attacks or refugee crises, political events such as Brexit and pandemics can lead to spikes in hate crimes.
One crucial aspect of the workshop focused on understanding microaggressions and their profound effects on an individual’s mental well-being. Students were provided with real-life examples to comprehend the subtle ways in which discrimination can manifest in their daily lives. Moreover, the session explored the fine line between banter and bullying, helping students recognize when seemingly harmless jokes cross the boundaries of respect and become harmful.
A significant portion of the workshop was dedicated to fostering accurate terminology when describing people of different ethnic backgrounds. The students were educated about the appropriateness of terms such as “Black,” “Asian,” and “East Asian.” This segment aimed to dispel any misconceptions surrounding the use of such terminology and promote respectful communication.
Furthermore, the workshop delved into the topics of unconscious bias and privilege. By engaging with the students in group activities and discussions, the educators encouraged self-reflection and introspection. The aim was to create awareness about the subconscious bias’s individuals may possess and how privilege can shape one’s experiences and opportunities in society.
The workshop concluded by providing students with guidance on becoming allies and safely challenging racism. Students were empowered with strategies and techniques to actively support those facing discrimination and address racist behaviour when they encounter it.
The students who participated in the anti-racism workshop at Frensham Heights School expressed overwhelmingly positive sentiments about the sessions, the educators, and the knowledge they gained. Here are some quotes reflecting their thoughts:
“The workshop was incredibly eye-opening, and it helped me understand the various forms of racism we encounter in our daily lives. I feel more prepared to challenge it now The educators were fantastic! They created a safe space for discussion and encouraged us to question our own biases. It was an engaging and thought-provoking experience.” – Will, Year 10 student.
Education Coordinator, Paul Hill added, “The anti-racism workshop conducted at Frensham Heights School proved to be an invaluable educational experience for Year 9 and 10 students. By exploring the various facets of discrimination and racism, addressing everyday forms of racism, and empowering students to be allies, the workshop fostered a deeper understanding and a commitment to challenge racism in their lives. Thank you to the students and the staff for an incredibly positive day!”