We were really impressed by the energy and enthusiasm of participants of our #YOYP Equality Conference on Thursday 8 November 2018.
We started off dropping our labels by being Human Pizzas (click here to find out more) and then we got stuck in more serious discussions around equality and privilege.
Pizza game Young people and equalities
This 4 minute long video went viral in America last year, it explains the impact of discrimination on young people’s life chances. At FCE, we think it is relevant for us to think about barriers to equality we all face today in Fife and Scotland:
Working with Representatives
Ewan Masson from the Scotish Parliament Outreach Team gave us an insight of how the political system works and how we can make sure participants have their voice heard on the right platform:
Vote of Hands: What matters (now)?
To gauge what was the most important topics that should be dealt with, we held a vote of hands at the start over the long-term inequality issues identified at local, national and international level (see Equality in Fife, Is Scotland Fairer and Scotland’s Sustainable Development Goals).
The highest priority topics were voted as being Poverty and wealth inequality; Migration, Refugees and Displaced people; Climate Change; Hate Crimes due to protected characteristics of Disability, Ethnic Minority, LGBT and poverty; and lack of access to Mental Health services.
Groupwork: what could we do to lead progress in equality?
In groups we discussed what would what should be done and why it matters. The challenge was to come up with ideas that were fair, inclusive and sustainable so that not one group would come out as more disadvantaged than another through the proposal.
We narrowed those down to 3 proposals in a short time – it was not easy and we all agreed that having some practice and training in pitching ideas would be beneficial.
Discussions underway on priorities of issues to take forward collectively at
@FCE_team #yoyp2018 equality conference @KirkcaldyHigh @whocaresscot @LGBTYS @ENABLEScotland
The groups came up with 5 proposals that were pitched, and debated across all participants in regards to why they mattered and how fair they were. Key points in those are summarised below:
- Inequality of opportunity by treatment
Increasing awareness of barriers faced my minority groups in key areas of life access to employment and access to education) and resulting poverty.
- Mental Health Education
This involves increasing awareness of mental health, as well as increasing safe spaces, support for families and individuals via mental health first aiders and peer educators.
- Transition across education
To address the issue of people being segregated in education through early tests that do not take into account circumstances and this persisting afterwards (primary, secondary, and tertiary/college).
This involves increasing education on LGBTQ* (with links to TIE – Time for Inclusive Education) and aiming for increased awareness, less discrimination, fair judgement, getting rid of labels and increase use and number of safe spaces.
- Teacher Training
Involves increasing mental health awareness and training, and support in addressing bullying; this could be facilitted through peer educators.
The floor was then open for proposals and we voted on those using the Scottish Single Transferrable Vote system. There were several overlaps in the proposal across Mental Health Education and several ideas for Teacher Training, this came through clearly in the ballots with Mental Health Education in the clear leads at 53.8% in the first round.
Call to Action and Next steps: Equality Collective
As a follow up from this event, we are now moving to plan a young-person led event on Saturday 15 December to improve equality in Mental Health Education. Our planning group is meeting on Friday 23 November. If you want to find out more, get involved, get in touch and be part of our Equality Collective!
Equality and Mental Health
Mental health is area that spans across the protected characteristics such as ages, disabilities, genders, racial and cultural backgrounds, religious beliefs and sexual orientations. Those characteristics give rise to alternative ways of perceiving, thinking and acting that can increase and enrich our understanding of mental health and recovery.
One of the possible outcomes from the December event is to gain better understandings of the common root causes and enabling young people to take the lead in tackling those.
Funded by BEMIS Scotland via the Year of Young People 2018. This is a partnership between BEMIS Scotland and the Scottish Government to facilitate diverse, multicultural celebrations.