Young people will stand up against prejudice, intolerance and bigotry on Monday (October 30 th) at the largest Hate Crime event ever to be held in Wigan Borough.
Several youth groups will come together to share their experiences of hate crime at the ‘Witness This’ conference, in a bid to raise awareness about all forms of discrimination.
The Wigan Council Children & Young People’s Services (CYPS) event, to be held at Lowton Civic Hall, will feature powerful drama performances, poetry readings, rap music and short videos tackling bullying, racism, homophobia and other Hate Crimes.
Several youth groups will take part including the B.yoU Project for lesbian, gay or bisexual young people and Rafiki / Mostwako, an educational and social group for black young people and young asylum seekers.
B.yoU group member Jay Bailey said:
“We are going to perform an adaptation of Shakespeare called Romeo and Julian, which we premiered at the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester last year.
“It is important for us to bring the play to Wigan as many of us were subject to prejudice growing up here and we want to educate our families, friends and communities about the issues we face.”
The conference will also include speeches from leaders of the key agencies fighting Hate Crime in Wigan Borough, including Elliot Brown (Wigan Council Hate Crime Co-ordinator), Rodney Hill (Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust Chief Executive) and Ged Rowney (Wigan Council CYPS Director).
The ‘Witness This’ dramas will also be performed in schools during Hate Crime Awareness Week next year.
Elliot Brown said:
“More often than not young people are the most reluctant to report bullying and prejudice when they are victims of it. The experience of Hate Crime is compounded and more damaging when you are dealing with it yourself.
“The young people putting on this conference have gone to great lengths to make it a reality. Hopefully, it will give them and other young people the confidence not to suffer in silence.”
Wigan Council and Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust staff will attend the afternoon conference between 1pm and 4.30pm. The drama performances will be repeated in the evening at the same venue for family and friends.
Notes to Editors
- Members of the press are invited to photograph / interview the young people taking part in ‘Witness This’ on Monday October 30th between 12.30pm and 12.45pm at Lowton Civic Hall.
- For further information please contact Kennedy Stewart, Wigan Leisure & Culture Trust’s Young People’s Press Officer, on (01942) 486927.