Liverpool Against Racism festival empowers city’s youth

World boxing champion Natasha Jonas led an ‘In Conversation’ session at a special Youth EMPOWER Conference.

Teenagers from across Liverpool have come together to creatively explore what racism means to them.

As part of the week-long Liverpool Against Racism festival, the Youth EMPOWER Conference saw 60 young adults from schools across the Liverpool City Region engage in honest and frank discussions on the topic of discrimination.

World boxing champion Natasha Jonas led an 'In Conversation' session sharing her experiences, following which a series of creative masterclasses took place.

‘I’m the kid from Toxteth’

WBO champion Natasha said: "I'm the kid from Toxteth. I've had different opportunities and made a different path but I'm no different from anybody else.

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“It's important to break down those barriers and to know that we're both from the same place. You can all be successful. You can all have an input.

“For me personally if you've got a platform I think you should use it positively to influence change on what you believe in a topic that you believe in."

Sessions were facilitated by Mentivity – the inspirational mentoring organisation and alternative education provision.

‘We can break down those barriers’

Sayce Holmes-Lewis, Founder and CEO of Mentivity.

Sayce Holmes-Lewis, Founder and CEO of Mentivity said: "To be honest it's just really about planting seeds in young peoples minds and allowing them to think outside of their own experiences and to be more empathetic with other people.

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“I think the lack of empathy in society, when we link it to racial prejudice and racism is a very major issue, and with that empathy, we can break down those barriers, and it's not really about lecturing people. It's about planting those seeds and allowing them to grow at their own pace."

The event was delivered in partnership with the Anthony Walker Foundation and Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) in collaboration with their Equality and Outreach Team.

Watch the video at the top of the page for more from the Youth EMPOWER Conference.