Our modern Magna Carta

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Events to mark 800th anniversary of world famous document

The International Slavery Museum will commemorate the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta by working with young people on the issue of modern democracy.

During 2015, activities at the International Slavery Museum will include:

• ‘Teach the Teacher’ study day in partnership with the University of Liverpool.
• The launch and creation of a young people’s ‘Our Modern Magna Carta’ displayed at The International Slavery Museum’s Dr Martin Luther King, Jr. building.
• A Liverpool Schools’ Parliament debate as part of National Parliament Week in November.

National Museums Liverpool is delighted to have received a grant of £10k from the Magna Carta 800th Anniversary Committee to deliver a series of events to mark the anniversary.

The first of these events, the ‘Teach the Teacher study day – approaches to teaching slavery’ is a free event on 25 March 2015 that will offer teachers the opportunity to increase their awareness, knowledge and confidence in the teaching of the history of transatlantic slavery, the enslavement of African people and its legacies, and issues around contemporary slavery.

Claire Benjamin, Deputy Director, Education and Visitors at National Museums Liverpool, said:

“The International Slavery Museum aims to get to the heart of what democracy means for young people living in today’s globalised world. Through this project we wish to help participants and visitors understand how the Magna Carta was used in the abolition of slavery and explore its relevance today.

“The project aims to foster a greater understanding of our global community for young people by focusing on critical and real life issues such as human rights.”

Magna Carta, meaning ‘The Great Charter’, is one of the most famous documents in the world. Originally issued by King John of England in 1215, it established the principle that everybody, including the king, was subject to the law.

The Magna Carta stated:


“No free man shall be seized or imprisoned, or stripped of his rights or possessions, or outlawed or exiled, or deprived of his standing in any other way, nor will we proceed with force against him, or send others to do so, except by the lawful judgement of his equals or by the law of the land. To no one will we sell, to no one deny or delay right or justice.”

Claire Benjamin added:


“Our project will bring together young people to explore issues around freedom, democracy, and liberty. It will provide opportunities for civic engagement. We want to encourage young people as decision makers and take action at both an individual and community level.
“The project will help build their confidence so they have a voice to influence local and national government policy.”

The ‘Teach the Teacher’ study day, will take place on 25 March from 9:15am – 4:30pm at the International Slavery Museum. The day will offer teachers the opportunity to increase their awareness, knowledge and confidence in teaching the history of transatlantic slavery, the enslavement of African people, its legacies, and issues around contemporary slavery.

Places are free but limited, please ring 0151 478 4456 to reserve one or email vikky.evans-hubbard@liverpoolmuseums.org.uk

The Magna Carta Trust’s 800th Anniversary Commemoration Committee is charged by the Magna Carta Trust to co-ordinate activities, raise the profile of the anniversary and deliver a number of key national and international aspirations.

For more information visit: www.magnacarta800th.com

About Teach the teacher study day - approaches to teaching slavery
25 March 2015, 9.15am to 4.30pm
International Slavery Museum, Albert Dock, Liverpool Waterfront, L3 4AQ

The day will touch on themes addressed in the National Curriculum at Key Stage 3: life in West Africa, prior to transatlantic slavery, the middle passage and enslavement, life in the Americas, abolition, resistance and the legacies of transatlantic slavery. It will also support teaching in the subject areas of history, citizenship and sociology.

For further information, visit http://www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/ism/learning/

About the International Slavery Museum
The International Slavery Museum opened in August 2007. It is situated on the third floor of the Merseyside Maritime Museum at the Albert Dock. It is the only national museum in the world to cover transatlantic slavery and its legacies as well as contemporary forms of slavery and enslavement. It is also an international hub for resources on human rights issues and campaigning.

About National Museums Liverpool
National Museums Liverpool comprises eight venues. Our collections are among the most important and varied in Europe and contain everything from Impressionist paintings and rare beetles to a lifejacket from the Titanic. We attract more than 2.7m visitors every year. Our venues are the Museum of Liverpool, World Museum, the Walker Art Gallery, Merseyside Maritime Museum, International Slavery Museum, Border Force National Museum, Sudley House and the Lady Lever Art Gallery.