The Catholic Association for Racial Justice (CARJ) work for the support and empowerment of black and minority ethnic Catholics and give them an effective voice within the Church and wider society.
A group of 9 students from St John Rigby College have been working with CARJ on a project aiming to pave the way for leaders of the future to have a grounding in anti-racism and become ethical leaders.
The project, which began in September 2021, required the students to attend a series of lectures and be coached towards the planning and execution of a speech on the theme of racial justice. In addition to these coaching sessions, the group met with Parliament UK highlighting campaigning and the lobbying process. This aspect of the programme culminated with a tour of the Houses of Parliament and the Palace of Westminster in London.
This overall programme attempted to highlight and address the social and emotional aspects of learning. In addition to the core theme of racial justice, the course was designed to build self-confidence, self-esteem, high aspiration, teamwork, speaking and listening skills, the ability to manage behaviour and an awareness of world citizenship.
The project culminated with a Presentation Evening attended by students, parents, trustees from CARJ Liverpool, including the Chair of CARJ Liverpool, Professor Bill Chambers and Liverpool Archdiocese Auxiliary Bishop Tom Neylon, in addition to St John Rigby College Principal, Peter McGhee.
St John Rigby College Principal, Peter McGhee said, “This project offers young people opportunities to engage with others in their reflection on public issues and consider actions which can bring about change. The aim of the project was to raise young people’s awareness of how their faith relates to justice, equality, cohesion and related issues. Each of the students has been on their own journey through this project and I have been amazed at the quality and insight provided by each and every one of them within their closing speeches.”
St John Rigby College Project Lead, Charlotte Garnett commented “The group of students were amazing! The whole experience has been incredibly enriching and will provide firm foundations for each of them as they move forward into future leadership roles.”