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Week long ‘Liverpool Against Racism’ event launched

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Week long ‘Liverpool Against Racism’ event launched

The North West LAR offers impactful, thought-provoking, entertaining and creative events.

A new UK festival invites musicians, artists, actors, athletes, historians, media personalities, politicians and activists to unite in Liverpool for a week-long series of impactful, thought-provoking, entertaining and creative events. Liverpool Against Racism (LAR) is a unique festival that doesn’t shy away from shining a spotlight on the subject of the prejudice endemic in today’s society.

Mayor of Liverpool, Joanne Anderson:

“I have been committed to tackling social injustice my whole working life. When I became Mayor I wanted to use that position of power to make a positive change and tackle prejudice and hate acts in Liverpool. The events of the past two years, particularly the death of George Floyd, have given me additional momentum – the world responded and demanded that something has to change. People of all races stood together to demand an end to the racist behaviour we are surrounded by on a daily basis.

“Many organisations made anti-racist statements and pledges. Liverpool Against Racism is a cultural response and an opportunity for our cultural organisations in the city, and the wider region, to share with us what action they have taken in recent years.

Thought to be the first of its kind in the UK and the brainchild of Liverpool’s Mayor Joanne Anderson, LAR takes place Sunday 24 to Saturday 30 April with live talks and debates as well as music and cultural events taking place across the city.

On Sunday 24 April
the programme kicks off with an impressive one-day music showcase which will take over venues in the Baltic area of the city and will play host to an entire Liverpool-centric lineup including Rebecca Ferguson, The Christians, The Farm, Låpsley, John Power, Sense of Sound, MiC Lowry, Jetta, Amina Atiq and Greg Wilson all forming part of the 50+ strong line-up.

A BAFTA-winning film-maker and historian, an ITV News anchor, a former professional boxer and a critically acclaimed American author are just some of the people coming together to address the issue of racism at a sold-out boundary-pushing in-person conference on Tuesday 26 April. They will passionately share their thoughts, experiences and advice in addressing racial and social inequalities, and debate what meaningful change really looks like.

British historian David Olusoga OBE, leading diversity and inclusion consultant and BBC’s Head of Creative Diversity  Dr Joanna Abeyie MBE and American author and journalist Kevin Powell will join Mayor Joanne Anderson as the day’s keynote speakers.

Mayor of Liverpool, Joanne Anderson:

 “The festival is part of the ongoing debate we have about racism, how it impacts and look at what meaningful change really means. All people of all backgrounds are welcome to join in and participate.

“Shining a spotlight on the topic may well be uncomfortable and, for some, upsetting, but it is also empowering, thought-provoking, ambitious, impactful and quite simply, essential. I couldn’t be more proud that Liverpool is hosting this unique event which is of huge cultural importance – once again, we’re leading the way and speaking out against social injustice and taking positive action.”

‘In Conversation’ sessions, workshops and presentations will be led by contributors such as TV presenter Charlene White discussing Representation in the Media, and former boxing champion Anthony Bellew on Sports for Social Change.

On Friday 29 April the focus shifts to young people, and in partnership with the Anthony Walker Foundation and Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU), the Youth EMPOWER conference will take place at LJMU Student Union across the day. Teenagers from schools across the city will be encouraged to explore what racism means to them. Inspirational figures such as champion boxer Natasha Jonas will share their inspiring stories with attendees.

Cultural organisations are supporting the week of events by staging their own activities – which range from walking tours and poetry workshops right through to skating festivals and talks around understanding the city’s role in the transatlantic slave trade.

Creative Consultant Yaw Owusu:

“It is set to be a fearless, frank and meaningful week which will raise awareness which can create a path to change… When Mayor Joanne approached me last year to curate Liverpool Against Racism I didn’t need time to think about it. It’s one of the most important projects I’ve worked on for years, and doing justice to the myriad of topics which are intrinsically linked with the subject of racism is at the forefront of my mind day and night.”

“The reaction we received from the musicians and speakers we approached to be part of LAR spoke volumes about the importance and uniqueness of this event. And of course, the line-up is significant in its multiculturalism – racism isn’t just an issue for one sector of society – it’s for us all to acknowledge and address.

“It is set to be a fearless, frank and meaningful week which will raise awareness which can create a path to change.”


For the latest event and line-up information, or to purchase tickets, head to www.cultureliverpool.co.uk/liverpool-against-racism

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