Clio in Year 12 Showing Racism the Red Card

Posted on: 16/07/2021

Clio, Year 12: Group Winner of the multimedia category ‘Show Racism the Rad Card’ Competition

Earlier this academic year, students from across the school had the opportunity to enter one of the largest equalities art competitions in the country. Beating over 23,000 entries, Clio’s spoken word video impressed the judges: you can watch her eloquent entry ‘The Journey’ here:

Clio’s fantastic accomplishments will be recognised in two ceremonies this week, with special guests including Mike Freer, MP for Finchley and Golders Green, and representatives from the organisation Show Racism the Red Card visiting the school to award Clio her prizes.

We caught up with Clio ahead of the celebrations – you can read her interview below:

Congratulations! You are a group winner in the national competition, beating over 23,000 entries – how does it feel?

It feels great to know that I’ve been acknowledged and also really overwhelming because of the amazing talent that I was up against in the competition. I also feel really happy knowing that I’ve been heard and issues might now be addressed. I’ve been really supported too – by my teachers, the organisation – even people outside of the organisation and other young people - it has been amazing.

Talk to me about your spoken word entry – how did you create it?

I called it ‘The Journey’ – I wanted to show that despite the fact that we’ve come a long way in terms of racial equality it doesn’t mean that we’ve reached our destination yet and we still have a long way to go. I wanted to portray some of the misunderstandings from those both within and outside of the black community and I wanted the challenge the concept that black people are seen as less in some way – I feel that this is a belief held by many, even within the black community

This piece was sparked from my own experiences and some of the ongoing conversations surrounding critical race theory in the media which I feel are currently still greatly misunderstood. I wanted to emphasise that the idea that is sometimes enforced within the black community: that we are seen as less and therefore have to work harder – I don’t think that’s right.

Why is your message so important now? What should we be doing about this issue, as a society?

Racism is still prevalent and these misunderstandings – although sometimes veiled as something else – cause some people to become numb to the issue in the sense that a lot of people have lost hope that things can change and are accepting of the fact that they think they have to work harder. Many black people feel that they are not compatible with some industries, spaces or even professions and I think this has been reinforced by lots of the misunderstandings, critical race theory and the subsequent lack of hope felt by black communities.

At the end of my spoken word, I am acknowledging how necessary it is to face these issues head on; I appreciate that there isn’t a magic wand that can fix these things however all communities need to acknowledge the issues surrounding inequality and be active in solving them and not accept them. It’s down to everyone, not just those who are labelled as ‘privileged.’

Have you created any other spoken word pieces before? Are you planning any future pieces?

I love Drama, theatre and acting so it’s definitely always been an interest of mine; this is something I want to develop in the future. I am really interested in social studies and see myself in a career which involves some kind of public speaking – like journalism – in the future

What would your advice be to young people who want to make a difference?

To be intentional in whatever the matter is and ensure that your message does not, sometimes unintentionally, create more division. You need to recognise that we are the future, even though we are young, and we are all an important part of the ‘journey’ and key assets to the society that we live in now. Lastly, you need to invest time into educating yourself and those around you.

Written by Ms Walker-Nolan