I have been a trustee of the Anthony Walker Foundation for several years, an organisation established by Anthony’s family following his racially-motivated murder in July 2005.
The mission of the Foundation is to promote equality and diversity through education, sport and arts events and to support law enforcement agencies and local communities to reduce hate crime and build safe cohesive communities.
To mark the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, the AWF released the following statement:
The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is observed annually on 21st March. It marks the anniversary of the Sharpeville Massacre in South Africa 1960, when police opened fire on unarmed demonstrators opposing the apartheid ‘pass laws’. We have seen locally and globally, marked increase in race hate crimes.
From the harassment and name-calling that can make life so unbearable for many children and their families, businesses and communities; to the most heinous murders driven by hate. Our thoughts are with the families of the adults and children who have been murdered in France this month in what are being described as ‘racist and anti-semitic attacks’.
A recent UK study found that almost 40% of polled British National Party supporters believe that armed conflict between ethnic, racial or religious groups could be justifiable. We work to help our young people to see through the messages of hate wrapped up in seemingly justifiable talk of immigration, terrorism and unemployment.
In the UK over one million young people are unemployed and recent estimates are that 55% of young Black men are out of work.
The riots last year hardened media portrayals and gave credence to beliefs that young people, particularly those from inner cities were ‘feral’ criminals. We heard and saw the racial stereotypes in media coverage regarding young people’s involvement in these riots and disturbances. What AWF heard and witnessed was also targeted abuse of black and minority ethnic communities both with words and with actions during this time.
This day set aside by the United Nations, provides a focus for people all around the globe to take collective responsibility to work to eradicate all forms of racial discrimination.
It brings the work of the Anthony Walker Foundation into sharp focus. We are challenging racial discrimination alongside all other forms of prejudice to make our communities and our society a better and stronger one; not only for our generation but for all generations to come.
Join us in our pledge to challenge racial discrimination, no matter how big or how small - do something, say something.
The Anthony Walker Foundation and the Greenhouse Project are joining forces to bring a surprise flash mob to Liverpool One Shopping District (Paradise Street) at some point between 12 and 12.15 Wednesday 21st March.
Listen out for the music and get your dancing shoes ready...
Not sure I will be able to make it but if I was there I would give it a try!
Bye for now