Student Commission on Racial Justice: A Platform for Young People’s Voices on Racial Justice Final Report October 2022
A report highlighting racial injustices currently experienced by young people from minoritised ethnic groups was launched across the country in October by the social enterprise Leaders Unlocked (www.leaders-unlocked.org).
The Student Commission on Racial Justice is a student-led initiative which aims to generate insights and solutions to challenge racial injustice in England. Leaders Unlocked has brought together a partnership of 11 leading colleges and over 40 of their students from across England to form The Student Commission on Racial Justice.
Now in its third year, the Student Commission has explored racial disparities across four key areas of society; Education, Employment, Health and Policing and Justice, and using the evidence gathered from over 2,500 young people aged 16-25, Commissioners have developed national recommendations for change which will help create a more racially just society. To view the report, click: http://leaders-unlocked.org/publications/
Some of the key messages in the report are:
Education: Young people feel there is a double standard in treatment and negative stereotyping from staff. 9% of respondents from minoritised ethnic groups feel that they can’t be themselves and must act differently in school, college or university because of their ethnicity or race.
Employment: Young people feel that not all career paths are open to them. 47% of respondents from minoritised ethnic groups believe that the types of jobs and industries that are open to them are affected by their ethnicity or race.
Health: News coverage of racially led attacks around the world is affecting young people in England. 26% of respondents felt that in the last 12 months, media coverage of race-related news had negatively impacted their mental health. For respondents from minoritised ethnic groups, this rose to 38%.
Policing and Justice: Young Black and Asian people get searched because their skin colour ‘fits the description’. 57% of respondents from minoritised ethnic groups believe that they are more likely to be targeted by the police because of their ethnicity or race.
Young people’s voices need to be heard and they must be part of the solution to racial injustice in England. On June 23rd, Commissioners presented their key findings and recommendations to over 60 professionals from education, employment, health and policing and justice. They pledged to support their work and take action.
Quotes from Commissioners:
Hammad, 17, said: “As a young Muslim, I am very aware of racial injustice. I wanted to join the Student Commission so I can voice my concerns and work with others to raise awareness.”
Mapuchi, 17, said: “As a first-generation Black British person, I have not only experienced racial injustice but have been taught and prepared to expect it. I want to change this.”
Quotes from College Partners:
“I am pleased students at BMet have been part of the Student Commission on Racial Justice and that the work of the Commission has helped to shape what we do to address students concerns on racial equality and ultimately raise the potential of all our students.”
Pat Carvalho, Principal BMet College
“We believe that our students are powerful agents of change and that the Student Commission on Racial Justice will provide them with further opportunities to have their voices heard and acted upon.”
Gill Burbridge, Principal Leyton Sixth Form College
“The Student Commission offers a unique opportunity to tackle racial disparities by enabling our students to be part of a wider partnership across the FE sector. As a college we believe that racism, oppression, discrimination, and all other forms of
inequality simply must be eliminated. We also want to build a legacy of hope and empower our students, staff, and wider communities to help make change we want, and need, to see.”
David Lambert, Deputy CEO and Principal at London South East Colleges
“Racial justice is one of the most important issues of our time. At Long Road, we want to take part in the Student Commission on Racial Justice because it provides a powerful platform for collective thought and action.”
Yolanda Botham, Principal Long Road Sixth Form
TWITTER HANDLES OF PARTNERS
Barnsley College @barnsleycollege
Bedford College @bedfordcollege
Birmingham Metropolitan College @BMetC
City College Norwich @norwichcollege
DN Colleges Group @DNColleges
Kirklees College @kirkleescollege
Leyton Sixth Form College @Leyton6thForm
Long Road Sixth Form @LR6FC
New City College @NewCityCol
The Sheffield College @sheffcol