Sophie Lancaster Foundation talk

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We are pleased to welcome the Sophie Lancaster Foundation to UCLan

About this event

The Sophie Lancaster Foundation was set up in 2007, following the brutal murder of Sophie Lancaster. Sophie was a goth and was attacked simply for the way she looked; the judge at her murder trial recognised the vicious and violent assault as a hate crime - equal to all other strands of hate. However, technically and legally, currently there are only five ‘protected characteristics’ in England and Wales: Race, Religion, Sexual Orientation, Disability and Transgender. The Law Commission is currently considering extending the protected characteristics.

Since Sophie’s death, the charity works tirelessly to challenge prejudice and hate in all its forms and increase tolerance and respect for others. The Joseph Rowntree report 'The Search for Tolerance', advocates educational approaches that engender an empathetic response as the most effective in challenging prejudice and changing attitudes.

Audiences listening to Sophie's story engage with the tragedy of a young life lost to violence and react with disbelief that difference was the trigger to such a vicious attack. This reaction is key to participants being able to honestly explore their responses to people who are different from them and from this development in critical thinking, move to a more tolerant position.

The Foundation is based in Lancashire and frequently works in conflicted communities where the economic downturn and the lack of opportunity and meaningful integration has fuelled divisions. The charity plays a vital role in countering divisive polemic and giving another perspective. The Foundation’s challenging outreach work is delivered to diverse communities right across the country and this work sadly seems more necessary than ever; with the Coronavirus pandemic resulting in a sharp spike in reported hate crime and unleashing what United Nations chief António Guterres called a “tsunami of hate and xenophobia, scapegoating and scaremongering”.

The Foundation will continue its mission to build stronger, connected, integrated communities, where we can see and value difference and not perceive it as a threat because of fear or ignorance.

Our work begins with the story of Sophie and the lessons that can be learned from her short life and tragic and pointless death. This gives our work an honesty and integrity that is the basis of all that we do.

A crucial part of the Foundation’s outreach work is in delivering presentations which are delivered by Sylvia Lancaster, Sophie’s Mum, or by her brother Adam. They each speak from a completely personal perspective about Sophie’s murder, the trial and the work of the Foundation that was established in Sophie’s name.

The topic is dealt with sensitively but with honesty and makes a deep impact on those present.

The presentation is followed by an opportunity for questions.

We are pleased to have Detective Chief Superintendent Sue Clarke Head of Lancashire Violence Reduction Network open the seminar.

The event is open to all but delegates must preregister on eventbrite. A link to the online event will be sent on the day.

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Organiser UCLan CJP and UCLan Equality and Diversity

Organiser of Sophie Lancaster Foundation talk

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