West Yorkshire Racial Justice Programme

The Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust

THE CHALLENGE

To enable young people to successfully challenge prejudice and racism in their communities in West Yorkshire.

THE RESPONSE

With support from the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, we tailored our 10 month social action programme to give young people the skills and confidence to create projects that tackle racism and prejudice and build community cohesion.

Through this programme we specifically targeted young people who were concerned about racial justice either because they had been a victim of racism and discrimination themselves or because they felt it was a problem in their schools and communities. We brought our expertise in coaching and facilitation together with other organisations that specialised in racial justice to support young people to develop meaningful youth-led projects.

THE RESULT

Over three years we supported 185 young people to create projects tackling racism in their communities. Projects examples include creating a community music video singing popular Black-Eyed Peas song One Tribe which received over 1,000 views on Youtube and organising a multicultural event with poetry, music, dance and comedy which articulated people’s experiences of discrimination but also celebrated diversity. 

Each year we organised regional events which brought together young people from across Leeds to speak with community leaders about their experiences of prejudice and racial discrimination. At the Amazing Race event in April 2013, 45 young people and 28 adults met to discuss racial justice issues with panellists including Ranjit Uppal, President of Huddersfield Law Society; Tony Stanley, Director of Equality Leeds; and Chib Chilaka, footballer for Harrogate Town.

Participants met new people from different cultures and backgrounds through the project and all of them felt more likely to take action to make a positive different in the future. One programme participant said, “I’ve learnt that it doesn’t matter if you’re not in a high role, you can still voice your opinion and speak out if you see something that is wrong."

In Numbers

99% of young people said they now felt more motivated to take action on the issues affecting their communities in the future.

Client Benefit

Empowering teenagers to take youth-led action on racism and prejudice.