Salford and Manchester stand together for peace – Following the Manchester attack in May 2017, many initiatives have been taken to challenge hate, promote diversity and demonstrate that living a peaceful life is the way forward.
In the days and weeks after the attacks, people took to social media with a call #WeStandTogether.
This has now become a standard call following incidents of terrorism, as the public demonstrate actions of solidarity and unity. This shows through vigils, actions (sharing food, opening-up homes, social media activity), flower laying, monetary giving.
However, much of this is short-lived (hours or days) and is not sustained. There is a very stark contrast between the perpetrators of violence and their victims and for obvious reasons news concentrates on the incident. Terrorism is not just a crime against individuals, it is a crime against society and therefore demands a societal response that is apparent in sustainable actions and activities
In Greater Manchester, the Chief Constable, Manchester Evening News Editor, local council lead officers joined together with the Peace Foundation to explore how #WeStandTogether could become a campaign, based on a solid framework, and a call to action to include peace as a core aspect within the education curriculum and society-wide activities to promote community cohesion.
We brought together a number of representatives from Greater Manchester schools and the result has become an award-winning campaign* that seeks to celebrate community activists and organisations, promoting their work, and encouraging others to get involved.
Youth Peace Forum 2018
Two teachers, Hannah Whiteside from Clarendon Primary School, Eccles in the Salford area, and Stacey Copeland from Parrswood School, Manchester (assisted by Emma Woodward) decided to take on their own challenge to bring children from across the Greater Manchester primary and secondary schools together to pursue #WeStandTogether by organising a peace conference
The Peace Foundation joined the team to support the event as part of the #WeStandTogether campaign. The event supported peace in the education curriculum at the primary and secondary school level and supported the personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) subject area.
Children came together from a number of schools (primary): Clarendon Primary School, Wharton Primary School, St Paul’s Peel Primary, St Andrew’s Methodist Primary, Summerville Primary, Beech Street and Brentnall Primary and (secondary): Parrs Wood High School, Abraham Moss, Harrop Fold, Dean’s Trust Ardwick and Manchester Cooperative Academy.
The event was made possible with the help of many people and a special mention for Auto Trader for the use of Auto Trader Offices in Tony Wilson Place, Manchester
Salford and Manchester #WeStandTogether
* #WeStand Together – British Society of Editors Regional Campaign of the Year 2017
#WeStandTogether is an initiative curated by the Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Peace Foundation. The hashtag is often used by people to show solidarity after a terrorist event and in the recovery to bring people together to celebrate our collective human values. The Foundation delivers a portfolio of programmes to prevent violent extremism through education and promotes all its participants to become PEACE BUILDERS and to take actions to promote peace in their own lives, in their homes, in their schools and in their communities. #WeStandTogether allows us to share and promote such actions. PLEASE SHARE AND TAKE ACTION #ForPeace