Mix-d: Walsall 2010 gave over 50 students from year 8, 9 and 10 from Walsall an opportunity to talk openly and honestly about the topic of mixed-race; without judgement.
The positive atmosphere which ran throughout the day made it easy for the young people to express their views and opinions on being mixed-race and how policies relating to them within their school should be influenced by them.
The conference was a full day educational outing which took place at the County hotel, Walsall, on Tuesday 13th July. The general structure of the day consisted of workshops and activities such as the Mix-d: Quiz. Each workshop was conducted by a Mix-d: Youth Facilitator who, having taken part in previous conferences and training; could empathise and sympathise with the delegates. Moreover, workshop themes were also chosen by these Youth Facilitators and ranged from issues such as terminology, stereotypes, identity and discrimination.
The delegates were eventually put back into their school groups where the discussion became directed towards school life. This rare opportunity to put something back into their school and influence ways that schools can raise awareness and incorporate this subject in the school environment allowed the delegates to produce structured student-lead action plans consisting of teacher training, assemblies and the like.
The importance of providing this platform for the discussion steams from the fact that many young people never have the chance to talk about this subject nor are they asked to contribute to the development of the resources or training that teachers and professionals receive. As with every Young Peoples conference conducted my Mix-d:, the young people involved helped to move this discussion forward from “problematic to modern” to remove the grey areas from a subject which directly affects them whilst also developing school actions plans and influencing the sophistication of this discussion around their school.