Young champions create their own anti-racism and anti-discrimination Observatory
More than 100 students from the IES Professor Dominguez Ortiz school have committed to establish an Observatory for Equality and Coexistence named "I have a dream" (Yo tengo un sueño). They participated in a special edition of the Master Class Series against Racism and Discrimination organized with the support of the Permanent Delegation of Spain to UNESCO and the Observatorio Español del Racismo y la Xenofobia of the Secretary of State of Migrations, held in Guadalajara (Spain) on 19 March 2021 as part of a week-long celebration of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (21 March).
This school-based Observatory will work in collaboration with the Observatorio Español del Racismo y la Xenofobia. By means of the Observatory, students will conduct training in their schools on how to identify hate speech related to gender, ethnicity, sexual identity and orientation. To encourage participation and further training of other students, the Observatory will create videos to share tips on identifying hate speech in their environment and on social media, and disseminate them widely. In one such video, students will share electronic and physical addresses where any student can report instances of discrimination, which will then be discussed and addressed by the Observatory members in their monthly meetings.
This special edition was opened by Gabriela Ramos (Assistant Director-General for Social and Human Sciences of UNESCO), H.E. Mr Juan Andrés Perello Rodriguez (Ambassador of Spain to UNESCO), and Hana Jalloul Muro (Secretary of State for Migration, Spain), and was moderated by Carmen Girón Tomás. Lectures were given by Professor Eva Martínez Ambite, and Alberto Martínez Centenera, Raffaella Corrales Grande, and Virginia Castro Gonzalo, experts on LGBT rights. Themes that were tackled ranged from Intersectionality to Changing Mindsets, from Fighting Against Discrimination in the Public Space to Racism and Stereotypes in the Media.
In these times of globalized resurgence of discriminatory phenomena, particularly on social networks, this Master Class offered a unique opportunity to raise awareness of these issues among students aged 14 to 18.
Master Classes against Racism and Discrimination serve as dialogue spaces and peer learning forums for young participants, involving experts, resource persons, and invited personalities. The aim is to openly discuss taboos that corrode the social and moral fiber in societies and provide young people with the keys and tools to understand concepts and scientific evidence to decipher racist attitudes and behavior. It also proposes inspiring models to equip the participants to take action at their own level in the fight against racism and discriminations.
The Series is part of the anti-racism roadmap that UNESCO is currently developing, which includes a scanning project to strengthen institutional and legal frameworks against racism and discriminations, affirmative actions in public and private sectors, and anti-biases training.
Each edition culminates in the adoption by the young participants of a set of commitments to design and pursue their own local activities.
In collaboration with member cities of the International Coalition of Inclusive and Sustainable Cities - ICCAR, Master Classes have been planned and organized in all regions throughout 2020-2021.