workshops changing the narrative on racism, power, prejudice

19 07 21
In Schools

How our workshops are changing the narrative on racism, power and prejudice

At the HOPE not hate Education Unit we have a flagship module called Power & Prejudice.

It focuses on some of the more subtle forms of power, especially the idea of “power with”, or collective power. Throw into the mix a bit of “in-group vs out group” theory and you are left with a pretty good model around the unconscious psychology of majority groups (white, British born, etc.).

In order to illustrate our point we look at the murders of Lee Rigby and Joe Cox. If you look into the back story of both perpetrators you find they are quite similar but society’s reaction to the two crimes was very different. We ask the students why.

The discussion this invokes from the students is always very interesting. However, what we have noticed when the conversation leads towards terrorism, which it often does, is that the students are always able to recall a number of terrorist attacks committed by non-white people, including ones that occurred before they were born, but virtually none by white people. Hardly any students can recall Zack Davies or Darren Osbourne – let alone David Copeland.

We observed that too often we are not given the full picture of just how extreme these far-right groups can be, and there is therefore a playing down of their crimes in the public consciousness.

We know about their repugnant racism; but how about the other nasty elements of their ideology? Links to paedophilia, worshipping groups like ISIS and celebrating the Manchester bombing and promoting the use of rape a weapon.

Schools know this, but lack the resources to set it right. Which is why the HOPE not hate Education Unit has developed two videos.

Firstly, we have put together a video for students. This is a rather frank account of Robbie Mullen’s time in National Action, where he talks about how extreme this group was, how he got involved and how it has affected his life now.

Secondly, we have put together a teacher resource. This is very similar to the student video, but here Robbie goes into more detail about the radicalisation process and we also hear from our Head of Intelligence, Matthew Collins (one of the UK’s foremost authorities on the far right). This video is designed with pause points for reflecting and discussion during the video. The session plan for this can be downloaded on the link below.

We hope these videos will be a vital tool to help the education sector towards countering extremism of all forms.

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