LONDON SCHOOLS ‘EDUCATE AND CELEBRATE’ SHOWCASE AT THE EMIRATES
On the 28th February 2013 a ground-breaking event took place at The Emirates stadium. The premiership football club hosted and supported the ‘Educate and Celebrate’ London schools LGBT showcase in celebration of LGBT History Month.
Participating schools were Stoke Newington School and Sixth form, William Patten Primary School, Ackland Burghley School, Regents High School and The Urstwick School.
Click here to see more fantastic images of the event!
Great interviews made by Jemm Radio presenters NDebz
Yvette Cooper Shadow Home Secretary
‘Educate and Celebrate is a really brilliant event, to have so many schools getting involved celebrating LGBT equality, its not just about fighting prejudice its about celebrationWe want as many schools as possible to tackle LGBT equality. We want every student to be proud of who they are.This is 2013, the idea that you could have no openly gay footballers in the premiership, a sport that so many people feel part of, yet still does not have the comfortable environment in which people can be open about their sexuality, that has to change, so it’s really good to see the FA backing this’
William Patten Primary School kicked off the evening with 2 orchestral pieces ‘Country Gardens’ and ‘Star Wars’ and then the choir sang a heartwarming version of ‘We are the champions’ by Queen, all lead by their music teacher Alison Beckett.
Claire Harvey London 2012 Paralympian
‘I was really honoured to be asked to come tonight because I’ve got to captain of the sitting volleyball paralympic team by being who I am. We call it 100% me in the sporting world’
Stoke Newington School provided the audience with lots of opportunities to join in with performances of songs by LGBT artists including ‘Dead End Justice’ by the Runaways, ‘Today I am a boy’ by Antony and the Johnsons. Students also composed their own ‘equality’ songs, as part of an LGBT creative day at Stoke Newington School.
Funke Awoderu FA Equalities manager
‘Homophobia is something that football needs to come out of the closet about. The FA has a responsibility to make sure that football is safe for everyone. It is not something we want in the game’
A year 12 student, Russie from Acland Burghley School wrote and performed her own moving poem exploring her thoughts around family and ‘coming out’
Click on the image below to read this moving poem
Lou Englefield Chair of Pride Sports and director of Football V Homophobia campaign
‘These events are really important, having the backing of a premiership club who have hundreds and thousands of fans all over the world recognizing that they have gay fans and saying ‘we have LGBT people in the community, we really want to welcome them into our club’ sends out a really strong message’
Urswick School year 8 students presented their ‘Alan Turing’ PowerPoint. Bletchley is home of the code breakers where gay mathematician Alan Turing broke the Enigma code in the Second World War. To celebrate our year of STEM (Science, technology, Engineering and Maths) Stoke Newington and Urswick Schools presented about his life and work.
Adriano Music teacher Acland Burghley School
‘It was a great day. To see so many kids, parents and teachers there was quite humbling. It’s a very important event, which shows children that they are not alone and that there is a community supporting and looking out for them. Looking forward to the next one’
Connected LaSwap LGBTQ Alliance showed us their assembly that they delivered to all year groups throughout their LGBT week. They focussed on ‘gender’ using the ‘Genderbread’ person as a stimulus to educate young people about trans identity. https://www.facebook.com/ConnectedLGBT
Julie Bremner Director of Norwich Pride
‘To hear young people talk so positively about LGBT issues was both uplifting and inspiring, something that I could not conceive of taking place when I was at school 25 years ago, and demonstrates the progress being made to tackle homophobia in schools and beyond by challenging prejudice. Elly Barnes was a fantastic compere on the night and is clearly making a difference during LGBT History Month and beyond’‘It was significant that the event happened in the Emirates Stadium close to where Justin Fashanu, the first professional footballer to come out as gay, was born in Hackney. By raising the profile of homophobia in football and discussing how it can be kicked out at all levels of the game, this event took us another step closer to ensuring the beautiful game is also a prejudice free game’
Regents High Scool gave a detailed presentation of how they have made their school LGBT friendly and collectively have created change through studying role models, celebrating LGBT History Month, respecting everyone and becoming a Stonewall Champion School.
Andrew Dobbin Filmmaker
‘I wish Elly Barnes had been around ten years ago to show me that the homophobia that eventually drove me out of teaching can be overcome, Educate and Celebrate proves that homophobic teaching authorities are increasingly out of step with society’
Round Midnight Theatre Company ‘Straight Talking’ Educate and Celebrate has endorsed a new play for schools called ‘Straight Talking’ by Birmingham based Theatre Company ‘Round Midnight’. The company will shortly begin their national tour and are available for all schools to book through their website http://www.roundmidnight.org.uk/
Tony Fenwick Co-Chair of LGBT History Month
‘Showcases like this one and the previous one in Birmingham are essential because they provide a benchmark for schools and demonstrate to parents and teachers what schools can achieve with their pupils when the will to bring about change is there. The wealth of talent from the pupils; the breadth of schools in north London that celebrate LGBT History Month; and the range of ideas they had proved to anyone and everyone who attended that celebrating diversity and making schools safe for our communities can be done’
The Acland Burghley Swing band lead the finale with ‘Soul Finger’ by Bar Kays
Amy McMillan PHD student
‘’I was totally inspired by all the talented performers at the Educate and Celebrate showcase of LGBT work in schools. These young people could (and will) teach many adults a few things about discrimination, equality, diversity and simple human rights – incredible’
All contributors ran on the stage for a powerful performance of Queens ‘Don’t stop me now’, which resulted in the audience spontaneously jumping to their feet! The atmosphere was very moving; we definitely celebrated the last day of LGBT History Month 2013 in style.
Thank you to all volunteers who gave support; the night would not have been so successful without them. Elly Barnes