Jonny Wineberg, Director of Operations at #WeStandTogether gives an overview of the origins of the new #WeStandTogether Anti-discrimination Pack and invites those of interest to utilise the resource in an upcoming event this May, whether that be through a local event or just by #HavingACuppaTogether.
#WeStandTogether has been holding Difficult Dialogue events for the last two years, addressing issues that often either do not get discussed or are prevaricated on by panels with little involvement from an ‘audience’.
#WeStandTogether’s dialogues are an antidote to ‘fake news’ and conflict-speak. Invariably they turn to the causes of inequality, discrimination and division and what we can do to address them.
We may hope that in the 21st Century our society would have moved beyond outdated manifestations of hatred towards disabled people, black people, Christians, Muslims, Jews, gay men, lesbians, different genders, Gypsy people or anyone with an alternative or different lifestyle. Unfortunately we continue to see too many instances of hatred in words and deeds, the latter including atrocities perpetrated at concerts, schools, Mosques, Synagogues, Churches, gay venues and other places in the UK and around the world.
One of our conclusions from such a dialogue was the need to educate both young people and adults about our diverse communities, celebrating their different backgrounds and seeking to prevent discrimination before it takes hold. That led to seeking, and getting, funding to develop a new Anti-discrimination Workshop Pack.
In researching the pack it quickly became apparent that there was a lack of similar resource. Yes, there were separate resources addressing racism, homophobia, disability discrimination and other specific aspects of discrimination but we could find little addressing discrimination across diverse backgrounds.
My colleague, Robert McFarlane, led on developing different workshop ideas and, together, we came up with 20 possibilities for workshop sessions. They are all adaptable depending on the audience but, most importantly, all address the causes of discrimination and look to bring people together and enable positive discussions on equality and diversity.
The Pack is a resource to be used by and with young people and adults, especially in schools, youth and community groups. It meets #WeStandTogether’s agenda of creating opportunities for people to meet with their peers in neighbourhoods, find out about each other and, as well as enjoy areas of agreement, celebrate their differences. Our solution to division is togetherness and dialogue and a belief that building respect and understanding as people connect helps us feel safer and happier.
For those who share this agenda, we would call on you to utilise the Pack in planning a local event for #WeStandTogether month in May. If you want to play an active role towards the deterrence of discrimination today, visit www.westandtogether.org.uk/wstmonth and submit your event that brings together all the diverse people in your local community. You could also decide to keep it simpler and just invite people to #HaveACuppaTogether.
Whatever you decide, we are there to help. Email us on firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll do whatever we can, within our capacity, to help make your event a success.
Director of Operations, #WeStandTogether, Charity No. 1175945
The #WeStandTogether Anti-discrimination Workshop Pack can be downloaded for free from www.westandtogether.org.uk/WSTADP.pdf.