By Leah Conway –
Yorkshire-based charity, Holocaust Survivors’ Friendship Association (HSFA) aims to tackle the prejudices and intolerances prevalent across our local communities by launching a new series of ‘Changing Perspectives’ events.
The events highlight how historical atrocities, such as The Holocaust, are relevant to societal issues we face today. The talks are aimed to educate all who attend, from individuals and people working within education.
The series of events will explore topics such as far-right extremism, racism, radicalisation, discrimination and hate crime. The talks will tackle how individuals can make a difference and push for change.
The events will be supported and run by The Holocaust Exhibition and Learning Centre in Huddersfield – set up in 2018 by HSFA in partnership with the University of Huddersfield. The learning centre’s mission is to tell global history through local stories. Their work highlights the damage preconceived personal opinions & prejudice can have on society.
“Start to stamp out prejudice, hatred and intolerance.”
Launching the new series will be an event on hate crime in the north. Well-known public figures including, Dr Sylvia Lancaster OBE, mother of murdered Sophie Lancaster and advisor for the Government’s Independent Advisory Group for Hate Crime, will join the first event, which explores how Sophie’s murder led to political and social change.
Dr Sylvia Lancaster OBE commented: “Confronting our own prejudices is a vital step to effecting real societal change. The Sophie Lancaster Foundation was set up to raise awareness of the nature of intolerance and hate we have in society against individuals just for being different from us and the devastating impact this can have. Events like this are so important to raise awareness and educate how we can start to stamp out prejudice, hatred and intolerance”.
Hannah Randall, Producer of Learning and Events at The Holocaust Exhibition and Learning Centre, developed the idea of the ‘changing Perspectives’ events and will run the events alongside Dr Alesssandro Bucci, Director of HSFA.
Hannah, who is a qualified teacher and recently completed a Masters in Education alongside her work at the centre, added: “A lot of the education surrounding The Holocaust doesn’t highlight the build-up to how it happened or link to how it relates to ongoing issues today – so people still don’t grasp the impact intolerances have until something awful happens, but better education could help combat certain issues and behaviours in our society.”
Nazir Afzal OBE will also attend the event. Mr Afzal was the Chief Crown Prosecutor for the North West of England who has prosecuted and advised on some of the most high-profile and ground-breaking cases in the UK, including the ‘Rochdale Grooming Gang’. His work has helped change the landscape of child protection in the UK and led legislative change on several topics, including violence against women and girls, child sexual abuse, and honour-based violence.
The ‘Changing Perspectives’ events will run over the coming year; they are free events to attend and are held via Zoom.
The first event focusing on hate crime in the north and Sophie Lancaster’s legacy will run on 13 October at 5pm BST. You can book on the Holocaust Learning Centre’s website.