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Activism

Here are the UK anti-racism charities leading the fight against racist abuse

There are a number of charities in the UK that work to root out racism both on the football pitch and on social media.

Cricketer Azeem Rafiq’s testimony on racism in cricket exposed painful truths about discrimination within Yorkshire County Cricket Club and the wider sport. The England and Yorkshire player was moved to tears when describing his experiences to the a parliamentary committee, telling MPs: “I lost my career to racism”.

And while Rafiq’s case highlights the urgent need for action within sport, and for those in positions of power to make meaningful change, there are positive steps anyone can take to address racism in the UK: by supporting anti-racism charities who take the fight to racist abuse every day.

Racism is an age-old issue. Simply getting angry on social media doesn’t make a lot of difference. There are a number of anti-racism charities in the UK that work to root out racism both on the football pitch and on social media. By joining their campaigns and donating, it makes a real difference to people’s lives.

Kick It Out

Working through football, education and community sectors, the charity aims to challenge discrimination and encourage positive change. It’s at the heart of the fight against discrimination for everyone who takes part in football  — in every way possible.

There are many campaigns to tackle racism, such as the ‘Let’s Kick Racism Out of Football’, which was created in 1993 to tackle racist attitudes existing within the game. It aims to cover all aspects of discrimination, inequality and exclusion within football.  

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Another initiative is #TakeAStand, which is a digital first campaign driven largely through social media channels. Many organisations have partnered with #TakeAStand such as Facebook, The Football Association and Twitter. The aim is to motivate people across the football community to take action or make a pledge in the fight against discrimination within football. Anyone can #TakeAStand by just using the hashtag.

Show Racism The Red Card

Show Racism The Red Card is the UK’s largest anti-racism educational charity, established in 1996 thanks in part to a donation by then Newcastle United goalkeeper Shaka Hislop. He was inspired to challenge racism in society through education after an incident in the 1990s, when the goalkeeper faced racial abuse at a petrol station.

The majority of the campaign’s work involves the delivery of educational workshops to young people and adults in schools, workplaces and at events held in football stadiums. Across the UK, SRtRC provides educational sessions to more than 50,000 individuals per year. Many high-profile footballers are involved with the charity, including Harry Kane, Harry Maguire and Dele Ali alongside Gareth Southgate and Ryan Giggs.                      

Stand against Racism & Inequality

This charity provides support for victims of any sort of hate crime – including transphobia, racism, religious hate, homophobia and gender-based discrimination. It works through a variety of ways from Cultural Awareness Tours to Education and Training. SaRI also employs trained caseworks to help clients with the emotional, physical and mental trauma caused by hate crime and takes on cases to help take action. The service is completely free and confidential too.

Runnymede Trust

Runnymede Trust is the UK’s leading independent race equality think tank — generating intelligence to challenge race inequality in Britain through policy engagement, network building and research. It works to overcome racial inequality in British society by research-based interventions in social policy and practice — assisting policy makers, practitioners and citizens to reduce racism and discrimination. 

Race on the Agenda

Originally set-up in 1984, Race on the Agenda is a charity which works with communities impacted by systemic racism to help create policies and practices to tackle inequality. As a BAME-led organisation, the charity works on the principle that those with “direct experience of inequality should be central to solutions to address it.

Some of their campaigns include the Education Project and the REACT Project  — which aims to counter hate crimes and other forms of intolerance through improving media literacy. There are many ways to get involved — from volunteering to supporting the charity via donations. 

Stephen Lawrence Foundation

The Stephen Lawrence Foundation was set up in the midst of unprecedented growing global awareness of racial inequality. It aims to inspire a more equal, inclusive society and to create opportunities for marginalised young people in the UK.

Stephen Lawrence was murdered in 1993 in an unprovoked racist attack and after years of the family raising awareness about racism — particularly institutional racism —  the two men who murdered Stephen Laurence were found guilty. In 2019, prime minister Theresa May announced a National Day to commemorate Stephen Lawrence’s life: April 22.

Stand Up To Racism

While Stand Up To Racism has been protesting in support of Azeem Rafiq, the group also campaigns against racism in all forms in society. It has local groups and holds an annual conference – MPs Diane Abbott and Dawn Butler spoke at the most recent event in October.

The group accepts one-off donations or longer-term membership fees.

Facing History and Ourselves UK

This country has a complicated relationship with our past – debates over statues and decolonised reading lists continue to ignite controversy. Facing History and Ourselves is a charity which works in schools to teach people about the past in order to confront bigotry and hate in the present.

It hopes to engage young people and give them the tools to challenge inequality, and accepts donations in several ways.

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