Across all of our centres, Manchester Young Lives is always astounded by the ability of our children and young people to respond to complex issues, such as hate crime, with maturity and intelligence. This was no different during our series of Hate Crime Awareness workshops at the Addy Young People’s Centre last week.
These workshops, funded by Manchester City Council’s Hate Crime Awareness Funding programme, were expertly delivered by MYL’s Play and Youth team. Information booklets also were made available around the centre, teaching the young people how to report hate crimes, and helping all of us to kick out hate crime for good.
The younger play members who were involved, became inspired by the book ‘And Tango makes Three’, a story about Roy and Silo, two male penguins, who adopt an orphan penguin chick in Central Park Zoo.
These Addy young people were able to explore the themes of love, family and LGBT in the book, by making a model of Roy, Silo and Tango living in their igloo home. They also discussed being different, disability and the ways in which we treat each other.
Later on in the week, the older attendees took part in some discussions based around violent, discriminatory hate crimes, and how they affect young people. From stories about celebrities becoming victims of harassment and hate crime, to the terror attacks which have taken place in Manchester and around the UK, they talked about a wide range of hate crime cases, which have been documented in contemporary news
The young people also responded, with particular sensitivity, to some discussions based around the most extreme outcomes of prolific hate crime, learning about historic anti-Semitism and the atrocities that it enabled.
Inspired by their explorations, they developed their own posters, with a view to promote diversity, inclusivity and acceptance.
The week ended with a live debate where the young people posed scenarios, and then discussed whether the incident should be regarded as a hate crime, or not. The evening was a hit with the Addy youth, who enjoyed the fun and informative atmosphere as much as they enjoyed the sweets, pizza, prizes and refreshments.
We are hoping to host more issue-based workshops in the future, based on all of the positive feedback that we received. Their enthusiasm throughout Hate Crime Awareness week just goes to show that young people are always up to the challenge.