Anti-racism charity partnership

Anti-racism charity partnership

Published on 14 September 2020

We are delighted to announce that we are working in partnership with Intercultural Youth Scotland to provide an anti-racism education programme for our Senior 5 and Senior 6 pupils. 

Former pupil, and the face of our No Limits campaign, Amy Allard-Dunbar (Class of 2015) is involved with the charity and has been selected as the educator assigned to us. She is delivering a special interest class entitled, ‘Dismantling Racism’.

Amy will also mentor two anti-racist youth ambassadors who will lead a lunchtime club and help to develop an anti-racism policy. 

She said: “As a former pupil, beginning this movement feels incredibly powerful and necessary. 

“My time at George Watson’s College was a time of great joy and enrichment educationally, but personal pride for my own racial identity and culture did not prosper in a white-dominated institution. 

“My hope is that with the first steps in bringing anti-racism work to Watson’s, it will allow for current and future generations to experience this institution and benefit from its incredible education whilst also having pride in their racial and cultural identities. 

“The first workshop this session was incredibly successful and valuable. I am thankful to all that attended.”

Principal, Melvyn Roffe said: “I’m so pleased that Amy is coming back to help make Watson’s feel a genuinely more inclusive place for everyone. 

"Her input will help us all make our aspirations to be an anti-racist school a reality.

"These anti-racism workshops are one of the first practical steps in a programme I set out earlier in the year to address the problematic aspects of our heritage and work towards an environment where people of diverse backgrounds feel more included, supported, and celebrated.”

We recognise that this is not easy work, and that change does not happen overnight, but we are dedicated to becoming effective and genuine allies in the fight against discrimination and racism.”

In the first of these sessions, pupils established a safe space so questions could be asked without fear of judgment. The group also explored problematic terminology and the historical context and connotations of those words. 

Pupils will take part in activities and tasks to explore their own identities and how this shapes the way they see themselves and people of other races.

An understanding of the racial discrimination that people face, fits with the priorities of Project 810 and our school’s dedication to taking ‘action for fairer communities’ and developing ‘global understanding’.

Emilie Robinson, Director of Project 810, said: “I hope this partnership will lead to our school being a place where all pupils feel equally at home, and where those who are privileged not to experience racial prejudice are aware and confident enough to challenge injustices whenever they come across them.

“It is not simply for Watson’s, but for a fairer society once our pupils leave us.”