25th May saw StopWatch Youth Group members, Monique and Louis, attend a young people's consultation event with the newly formed Race Equality Coalition.
Just as it was explained to us on the day, the Race Equality Coalition is a group of well-known organisations that address matters relating to race equality and racial disparity across different social issues.
Having been given an introduction to the Coalition and what its objectives are, myself and Monique were called to make a presentation which introduced other delegates to the work of StopWatch and its impact. We also shared some stop and search statistics in order to give people a picture of the problems we are trying to resolve.
The presentation went really well; people seemed to take a lot from it, their interest in StopWatch increased and they were keen to find out more from us.
The next, and main, part of the day was made up of small group discussions with feedback from the whole group. These discussions centred on different topics where clear racial inequality is seen, such as education, employment, poverty and criminal justice.
This part of the session was very dynamic and made me realise just how passionate and forward thinking all of the young people in the group really are.
After the break which followed we looked at what impact the coalition should aim to have and how they might go about achieving this. Many interesting and exciting ideas came from these discussions such as setting up a young people's steering group - possibly being made up of us. Its purpose would be to ensure that young people remain on the Coalition’s agenda and their voices and opinions are constantly accessed.
Overall the day was a huge success; I'm glad we were able to take part and will ensure that StopWatch remains involved with the Coalition’s work.
Find out more about the day’s events here: http://www.voice4change-england.co.uk/content/youngsters-voluntary-community-sector-vcs-share-views-race-equality
By Louis Howell
StopWatch Youth Group