Liverpool Against Racism EMPOWERS city’s teens

Teenagers from across Liverpool will come together to creatively explore what racism means to them.

As part of the Liverpool Against Racism festival, the Youth EMPOWER Conference takes place on Friday 29 April and will see 60 young adults from schools across the city region engage in honest and frank discussions on the topic of discrimination.

Professional boxing champion Natasha Jonas will lead an ‘In Conversation’ session sharing her experiences, following which a series of creative masterclasses will take place which will be facilitated by experts from the world of music, fashion, drama and journalism.

These experts include:

  • Laura Brosnan – Music journalist and Executive Editor of TRENCH magazine.
  • Andrew Ibi – Creative visual designer and the co-founder of FACE (Fashion Academics Creating Equality).
  • Keith Saha – Writer and Co-CE/Artistic Director of 20 Stories High Theatre Company.
  • Ngunan Adamu – BBC producer and presenter.
  • Tee – An acclaimed spoken word artist, music director and graduate of LIPA and the award-winning LIMF Academy.
Natasha Jonas, Credit: www.fotopiaimages.com

There will also be a number of sessions facilitated by the Anthony Walker Foundation and Mentivity – the inspirational mentoring organisation and alternative education provision.

It will be hosted by actress Paislie Reid who has appeared in BAFTA nominated drama I’m a Juvenile Delinquent – Jail Me! and worked with the Royal Shakespeare Company.

The event will be delivered in partnership with the Anthony Walker Foundation and Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) in collaboration with their Equality and Outreach Team.

There are a small number of places are still available for the free event. Any school which would like to be part of the unique summit should email cultureliverpool@liverpool.gov.uk

Creative Consultant Yaw Owusu said, “It’s a sad reality that hate and discrimination are clear to see in so many aspects of everyday life and young people are experiencing unprecedented exposure to discrimination.

“As a father, I can see first-hand the impact this can have and the importance of having open and honest conversations with youngsters, and laying the foundations for how they respond to racism and how they can be, and promote, active Anti-racism.

“The Youth EMPOWER conference gives teenagers the opportunity to really think about what racism means to them, and in exploring that they will work with experts to help them articulate their thoughts and stance in a creative way – whether that’s through writing, song, design or performance.

“Hearing from Olympian Natasha, will be a huge moment and without a doubt it’s going to be an inspirational and impactful day.

“I’d like to take this opportunity to say a huge thanks to the Anthony Walker Foundation who are committed to building safer, stronger communities and LJMU who have helped make this important event possible.”

Dominique Walker, Chair of the Anthony Walker Foundation, said, “As the partner for the youth conference, we at the Anthony Walker Foundation, felt it was timely for us to develop transformative spaces for young people to discuss and develop solutions to racism in society.

“The foundation challenges racism, hate crime and discrimination through education, training, victim support services and community initiatives, so working with Liverpool Against Racism and the young people of the city, creating this anti-racist space, will help us to build safer, stronger, and thriving communities for all.”

What else is happening during Liverpool Against Racism

Liverpool Against Racism runs from Sunday 24 to Saturday 30 April.

Events include the Music Day which will take over the Baltic and see acts like The Christians, MiC Lowry, The Farm, Låpsley and Zuzu perform. Tickets cost £5+ booking fee per venue.

A major conference will take place at The Spine on Tuesday 26 April and will see local, national and international contributors address racial and social inequalities and debate what meaningful change looks like. Historian and presenter David Olusoga OBE will give the keynote speech and will be joined by ITV News anchor and Loose Women Presenter Charlene White, and internationally renowned activist and writer Kevin Powell. Tickets cost £20+ booking fee per person.

Throughout the week, cultural organisations from across the city will stage their own activities to mark the event. These include:

  • Hip-hop trailblazers and two-time Grammy-winning group Arrested Development will perform for their first time in the city on Tuesday 26 April courtesy of 24 Kitchen Street and No Fakin.
  • A fascinating walking tour courtesy of Writing on the Wall will take place on Sunday 24 April and will look at the 1919 anti-black riots in Liverpool.
  • Throughout the week, Bluecoat will stage a special exhibition called Colonial Legacies which looks at the past of the historic building.
  • The 2-Step Collective will host a 5k run at 6.30pm on Wednesday 27 April.
  • On Thursday 28 April, Milap – the UK’s leading Indian arts and culture company – will relaunch its music for the mind and soul concert series.

The whole programme has been curated by Creative Consultant Yaw Owusu.

For the latest event and line-up information, or to purchase tickets, head to www.cultureliverpool.co.uk/liverpool-against-racism

Anyone looking for somewhere to stay during the Liverpool Against Racism festival, can use the accommodation booking service through the Liverpool Convention Bureau. This is an online service which allows you to book accommodation to suit your needs and budget. For more information and to book accommodation click here

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