This event was the very first ‘Peace-Jam-Slam’ to be organised in a Bradford school and it was great to get the support of St Benedict’s 6th form learners which helped to make this innovative and creative event a real success. Mr Walker, GlobaI Scholars co-ordinator says:
“I have no doubt that this event was not only a lot of fun for our students but that it enabled them to take a lot away to think about and help them become more conscious global citizens.”
As part of the St Bede’s and St Joseph’s Catholic College, Global Scholars programme we want to develop our young people to become globally conscious citizens who will one day be in a position of influence and power to bring about positive change for the communities in which they live and serve.
This process is known as making young people – GLOCALLY – aware. This word, simply means, making them conscious of how global events on the world stage effect and affect people locally.
For the past six months, our learners have raised their awareness about the importance of integration in society as well as examining how they can combat hate-crime. Going forward, led by global justice coordinators at Ardor and Ignis, a programme entitled ‘Compassion in Action’ will promote the principles of peace, equality and democracy.
In May, the learners will attend Bradford Peace Museum to learn how to spread peace not hate. The Peace Jam and Peace Slam conferences have acted as a way for the learners to meet like-minded individuals who see the world in the same way they do: a world that has a need for peace to be created, a world that should be above social prejudice.
At the Peace Slam our learners performed a spoken piece based around the stories and stereotypes that members of the public hold above teenage heads, before highlighting the way they would prefer to be viewed by their unfair critics. Their presentation was well received by the adults in attendance. Learners also took part in a Holocaust Awareness session where they learned of the horrors of war.
The learners are now exploring different ways that certain groups of people have been targeted for abuse in Bradford and the reasoning behind the Bradford riots of 2001. They will be meeting senior police officers who worked on Operation Wheel, the police inquiry into the disturbances in Bradford and the learners will also be able to take part in a short story competition where they will write and deliver a 10-minute short story on the positive, peaceable aspects of living in a city like Bradford where 85 cultures live closely together.
All these activities will help to make them become better citizens of Bradford and consciously active global citizens as well. Our learners currently meet weekly in B3 at Ardor and Room 9 at Ignis where they follow the Compassion in Action programme and discuss ways to promote inclusion, respect and diversity amongst the chaos that certain issues have caused across the globe in the past year.
The end goal is for the learners to become peace mentors for other learners in school. It is a huge responsibility that they have all taken on and they deserve credit for their representation of St Bede’s and St Joseph’s Catholic College on the Bradford Peace Programme.
Report by Mr T Walker