Why people are wearing red today

19th October 2018

Show Racism the Red Card, a long-running UK charity, is encouraging everyone to wear red today, Friday 19 October, in order to facilitate the delivery of anti-racism education in schools. This day of action encourages schools, businesses and individuals to take part by wearing something red and donating at least £1 to help tackle the issue of racism among young people. More than 1,300 organisations are expected to take part.

It costs just £5 to educate a young person about the impacts of racism in their school, meaning the substantial amount Show Racism the Red Card hopes to raise today will enable them to provide lots of anti-racism education. By wearing red, you’re showing your support for Show Racism the Red Card, visibly demonstrating your opposition to racism and showing solidarity with all those who have experienced racism, prejudice or discrimination.

“In a global society, particular groups, communities and individuals have become targets for racism,” James Knight, North East education team manager at Show Racism the Red Card, says. “By participating, schools, businesses and individuals can overtly demonstrate that not only are they, themselves, committed to equality and treating people equally, irrespective of their skin colour, nationality, religion or culture, but that they will challenge racism and discrimination as an upstander — sending a message to everyone that racism will not be tolerated or excused.”

Despite significant social advances in recent decades, racism is still a significant issue in the UK. The number of hate crimes reported to the police has consistently risen over the last few years. In just 2016/17, there were a recorded 62,685 race-related hate crimes in the UK, and a great many also went unreported. The vast majority of these were called as public order or violent offences. On the whole, the number of hate crimes has nearly doubled since 2012/13.

Research carried out by Citizens UK in conjunction with Nottingham University found that at least three in five Muslims in Nottingham had been the victim of a hate crime. In addition to this, they discovered 62% of young people surveyed experienced hate crimes in schools and colleges, which were consistently related to race.

We are predicting record support for this day of action

Tell Mama, an organisation which monitors hate crimes against Muslims in Britain, recorded a 30% rise in street incidents in 2017, with more than 1,200 incidents reported. More worrying still was the observation made by the organisation that more and more anti-Muslim sentiment manifests in serious, offline incidents, rather than online abuse. They also noted that an increased number of younger people aged between 13 and 18 were involved in these incidents.

Set up in 1996, Show Racism the Red Card has provided anti-racism education to over 50,000 students all over Britain and has even trained teachers on the issue. This is the fourth annual Wear Red Day and currently the event has shown to be a success. “We are predicting record support for this day of action on Friday, with a huge number of schools, businesses and individuals already committed to taking part,” says Knight.

“Across the UK, a number of local landmarks will also be lit red as a show of solidarity, including Alnwick Gardens, Foundation of Light, Sunderland Liver Building, Liverpool and Nottingham University Trent building.”

Professional footballer turned coach Thierry Henry is a patron of Show Racism the Red Card

The campaign has been publicised by high status footballer players in the past. This year, a brand new educational film has been developed featuring appearances from a selection of footballers including Harry Kane, Dele Ali, Kieran Trippier, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Harry Maguire. It also includes contributions from Show Racism the Red Card patrons Ryan Giggs and Thierry Henry, who share their experiences of racism alongside a wide range of non-footballing individuals who have experienced racism in other parts of society.

It’s not too late for you to get involved — the campaign wants you to come up with new and exciting ways of raising money. To get involved, go online, register and download your information pack now. You can also use the #WRD18 to share your pictures of the day and the charity will like and share their favourite.

Remember to wear red, make a donation and stand against racism in all its forms — help be the change that you want to see in the world and support Show Racism the Red Card to continue the delivery of its vitally important work.

For more information visit the Show Racism the Red Card website.

19th October 2018