SSLP summer social 2015
Fifty lawyers, students, activists and young people attended SSLP's first summer social earlier this month (July) to hear what we've been up to over the last year and how to get involved in the future as SSLP looks to widen its reach in helping young people better deal with stop-and-search.
The audience also had a chance to see one of our workshops in action as well as hear the latest on stop-and-search policy and its shortfalls.
Oxford University researcher Adam Elliot-Cooper opened the event explaining the negative impact of stop-and-search on young people, but how workshops such as ours can act as a tool to engage with and empower young people to debate and act on the many issues they face.
SSLP's Cecilia Goodwin went on to explain how SSLP came about after the riots in 2011 where the misuse of stop-and-search was found to be a contributory factor, and the killing of black teenager Trayvon Martin in the US. She reported since its inception in 2012 SSLP has delivered workshops to around a 1,000 young people.
The audience was then given a taste of the SSLP workshop starting off with our presentation on what to expect, our rights and how best to deal with officers followed by a specially adapted version of our role play with members of the audience playing officers and young people between fits of laughter.
Former youth commissioners Lakeisha Kayoka and Sarah Hack, who advised the police on youth issues, gave firsthand accounts of the difficulties young black people face when dealing with officers on the streets and how education and workshops can help address them.
Sarah reported how a black friend was handcuffed by officers while trying to defuse an argument in a town centre ignoring his white friends and the instigators of the row. Thanks to her training she had the confidence to talk to the officers, defuse the situation and get her friend released, she said.
With attendees now in no doubt of the importance of our work, SSLP Trustee Charlotte Gerada invited them to get involved by signing up to help deliver workshops, inform teachers and youth leaders of them or suggest new ideas as to how to broaden our reach. And we thank the dozens of people who signed up and offered their services.
The evening was finished off with a discussion on stop-and-search policies, their failings and what needs to happen to limit the misuse and abuse of the controversial tactic before drinks, snacks and networking.
More pics of the evening..
Post-event drinks and discussion..