Show Racism the Red Card Day to help mark Hate Crime Awareness Week and Black History Month in Shropshire
As part of national Black History Month, Shropshire Council will mark Wear Red Day on Friday 20 October 2023, to show racism the red card in Shropshire.
This will be achieved through staff sending in photos during the week of themselves in red or with red items in the background, to form a visual gallery of support on staff computer screens, with a special design for the day on the screen.
The council works with the national charity Show Racism the Red Card on this initiative every year, along with partner organisations including local unions and the NHS.
This week leading up to Friday is also Hate Crime Awareness Week: a national week of action to encourage communities affected by hate crime, councils, police forces and other key partners to work together to tackle local hate crime issues.
Cecilia Motley, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for adult social care, public health and communities, said:-
“Shropshire Councillors and staff across our rural county are Showing Racism the Red Card from wherever they live or work, through sharing photographs of themselves with red props such as flowers, toys, and backgrounds to build up a lockscreen collage of commitment over this week. I am delighted to join with Cabinet members and the executive team in our own show of support for efforts we must continue to make to tackle racism and other forms of discrimination, harassment and victimisation.
Racism is a form of hate crime, and we also take this opportunity to re-emphasise that, here in Shropshire, we will not condone any hate crime in any form. We therefore condemn recent leafleting of some houses in Shrewsbury with material that is anti-immigration, as this is directly opposed to our stance as a council to welcome refugees to our county. We have shared this with the police, who were able to advise that they are already aware of the matter, and we will continue to liaise with them on tackling hate crime.
There are many positive and courageous actions that people have made in the past in Shropshire, in standing up against inequalities in society, including towards people of colour. National Black History Month gives us a very timely opportunity to find out more about our local history. In so doing we can reach a fuller collective understanding of the contributions that people of colour have made to life in Shropshire, as well as moving forward together to help Shropshire to be a welcoming county, to and for everyone.“
Ash Silverstone, UNISON Branch Secretary, and Member of UNISON’s National Executive Council representing black members, said:-
“UNISON is wholeheartedly committed to rooting out the scourge of racism and all other forms of discrimination wherever it exists. This is why UNISON took the decision to make 2023 the Year of Black Workers.
“It has long been understood that there is far more that unites us than divides us, and I am confident that Shropshire Council, in liaison with UNISON, will continue to play its part through Show Racism the Red Card Day and other initiatives, to reinforce the council’s commitment to joining the growing coalition of conscience across our country to challenge the status quo, push back against the tide of racism and bigotry, and support all of Shropshire’s communities to take the next step on our journey towards justice.
“One of the key ways in which the union is seeking to work with councils and other organisations is through the UNISON Anti-Racism Charter, recently adopted by Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service. We are delighted that Shropshire Council has also signed this Charter today.”
The anti-racism educational charity Show Racism the Red Card was established in January 1996, thanks in part to a donation by then Newcastle United goalkeeper Shaka Hislop.
In 1990s Newcastle, Shaka was at a petrol station near St James’ Park when he was confronted with a group of young people shouting racist abuse at him. After one of the group realised that they had been shouting at Shaka Hislop, the Newcastle United football player, they came over to ask for an autograph.
It was from this experience that Shaka realised he could harness his status as a professional player to make a difference. Coupled with the power of football and his status as a role model, Shaka thought education could be an effective strategy in challenging racism in society. To this day Show Racism the Red Card continues to utilise the high-profile status of football and football players to help tackle racism in society, and has also expanded into other sports. The majority of the campaign’s work involves the delivery of educational workshops to young people and adults in schools, workplaces and at events held in football stadiums. Across the UK, Show Racism the Red Card provides educational sessions to more than 50,000 individuals per year.
In UNISON, black is used to indicate people with a shared history. Black with a capital ‘B’ is used in its broad political and inclusive sense to describe people in Britain that have suffered colonialism and enslavement in the past and continue to experience racism and diminished opportunities in today’s society.
Black History Month was originally founded around 30 years ago to recognise the contributions that people of African and Caribbean backgrounds have made to the UK over many generations. Now, Black History Month has expanded to include the history of not just African and Caribbean people but black people in general.
It is held to highlight and celebrate the achievements and contributions of the black community in the UK. Throughout history, black people have made huge contributions to society in the fields of art, music, science, literature and many more areas.
Shropshire Archives operates across Shropshire and Telford and Wrekin. It aims to collect material which relates to the whole community of Shropshire past and present. We are aware that the collections don’t always reflect this fully and the service would be grateful for any help which enables us to build a more complete picture of life in Shropshire.
Many people take the time to do research into their backgrounds or find out more about black people who have made a difference to the UK. In so doing, you could be helping us all to recognise and celebrate the richness and diversity of our collective history.
If people would like to share their knowledge and perspectives about their families, or look into the archives to find out more, the archives service would be delighted to hear from them and to assist them. Please contact email@example.com
Hate Crime Awareness Week is a national week of action to encourage communities affected by hate crime, councils, police forces and other key partners to work together to tackle local hate crime issues. The core value of the week is to stand in solidarity with those affected by hate crime, to remember those we have lost, and support those who need ongoing support. Hate Crime Awareness Week is Saturday 14 October – Saturday 21 October 2023.