Stand Up! Education Against Discrimination’ is an interfaith programme managed by Streetwise and supported by Tell MAMA. Stand Up! aims to empower young people in mainstream schools to learn about and act against discrimination, racism, antisemitism and anti-Muslim hate, whilst developing their social responsibility in the community.

Since its launch in January 2017, Stand Up! has delivered sessions to over 1000 young people in 15 schools, enhancing their understanding and empowering students to become active citizens. The support Tell Mama provides is invaluable, students have benefitted vastly from its resources, video materials and insightful research on the effects of hate crime incidents on young Muslim people.

This interfaith partnership has flourished in the opening months, receiving overwhelmingly positive feedback from students, who have been drawn into the workshops regardless of their religious identity and beliefs. Building an open and resilient society, which promotes respecting the differences between human beings, can only be achieved through education. The feedback students provide Stand Up! allows the project to fulfil their questions and queries as well as improve the sessions.

Whilst Stand Up! provides a specific, unique take on tackling discrimination, the focus on antisemitism and anti-Muslim hate does not restrict its relevance for students of different or no religious beliefs; a student said, “I am not Jewish or Muslim but I know where to report now”. Reporting is fundamental to our work; the Stand Up! project educates young people on the importance of reporting to Tell Mama any form of anti-Muslim hate [and other types of hate crime to other partners in the project], they are a victim of or witness to.

Through social media, school students are increasingly exposed to online hate and discrimination; representations of the Muslim community are often derogatory and harmful, thus it is vital to ensure young people are able to question what they see and experience online. The Stand Up! project discusses these issues in a wide context: “They [Stand Up!’ facilitators] really brought the class together and discuss sensitive topic in a sensible way”.

Tell Mama’s support of the Stand Up! project will have both short term and long term benefits; in the short term, young people are learning about discrimination and the importance of reporting. In the long term, the aim is to build a society which challenges stereotypes, raising awareness and guiding young people on embracing our British values and becoming Upstanders in society.

Stand Up! sessions are delivered free of charge, to any year 9, 10 or 11 in secondary schools across the country. For more information about the project and to book a session please email info@standupeducation.org

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