Racism and its presence in today's society continues to attract attention. But whilst many of us may settle for sweeping statements associating racism with the shift of right wing sentiments into the centre stage of global politics, very little research has been undertaken into the presence of racism in local communities.
On Friday 5th May, SRtRC hosted an important and insightful event to present the findings from students who have conducted research into racist attitudes in their respective local communities. The Year 13 pupils from Fitzalan Comprehensive, Cardiff, and Treorchy Comprehensive, Rhondda Cynon Taf, produced surveys to collect the data for their research. This project was led by Andrea Williams, a Project Coordinator for People & Work.
Both groups of students presented their research findings with clarity and confidence. It was interesting to hear the different approaches the two groups had taken; the pupils from Treorchy considered the impact of age on racist attitudes whilst the Fitzalan pupils presented incidents of racial abuse their fellow students have faced in the local community.
Despite these differing approaches, both groups were in agreement in terms of their recommendations for change. 47% of those surveyed by the Treorchy students thought that education and workshops were important to stop racism, which was also a key recommendation from the Fitzalan pupils.
"47% surveyed thought education and workshops were important to stop racism"
The event was also an opportunity for SRtRC Wales to discuss the challenges it faces in terms of racism within schools. Campaign Manager Sunil Patel and Education Worker Noam Devey conducted presentations at the event, including the findings from the charity’s 2016 report which can be found here.
It was excellent to see so many people present from the local councils, Welsh government, unions, Estyn and the third sector. These guests were not merely there to listen. After the presentations they were encouraged to make a personal pledge to work to prevent racism. Each guest will be contacted six months after the event to follow up on their pledge.
Thank you to Andrea Williams for conducting this fascinating and poignant research with the young people from both schools. Andrea’s report is expected to be released this summer.
Thank you to Rhondda Cynon Taf and Cardiff Council for continuing to support SRtRC’s work in their respective local authorities in addition to attending the event.