‘Celebrating diversity and recognising similarities’
I am You is a Street Law project whereby Queen Mary undergraduate Law students work in groups to deliver bespoke interactive workshops to year 4 or 5 classes. These free workshops are based around the protected characteristics within the Equality Act 2010. Our students will lead sessions and encourage the school children to question their own views and preconceptions. The lessons deliver relevant and meaningful content through play and interactive activities. The project will promote and celebrate diversity, and recognise similarities within seemingly different groups in society. All pupils will receive a learning workbook that will aid them throughout the sessions and provide fun tasks to test their knowledge. We work with the school to learn what outputs they would like from the sessions, and bespoke each set of workshops for the school and students we are working with.
The workshop consists of four, one hour lessons, which will run consecutively across four weeks. The sessions cover the following for concepts.
Lesson one focusses on what makes students special, and explores wider issues around careers and associated equality issues. It teaches students that we can all have unique identities but no one of us is better than the other. We ask the children to pick out what they think makes others special as well as exploring who they are.
Lesson two incorporates the idea of discrimination and stereotypes, why this is wrong and how we can challenge our own preconceptions. In this session we will explore the different protected characteristics and discuss how members of the community can be discriminated against and how this can make them feel. We use examples to show that the very thing people may discriminate against, could be what makes them special. For example, using clips of Dumbo or learning about brilliant Paralympian’s and their achievements.
There is no such thing as a boy or girls job. The penultimate lesson tackles this issue and touches on the gender pay gap. The activities will show that both men and women can be successful in a variety of roles. We use play and activities to highlight that the same work should result in the same pay. This task always generates great reactions and discussions. It also allows the students to explore jobs and opportunities that they may not have thought were open to them.
The final lesson focusses on community and the different types of communities that students belong to. It encourages student to consider the different members of our communities and society in general. We discuss why this is important and why difference is not a bad thing. We also look at how to make the community more accepting and compassionate.
All Queen Mary University of London undergraduate law students participating on this project will have an up to date DBS check and will be supervised at all times by the Legal Advice Centre Project Coordinator (also DBS checked).