The 13th Alan Senitt Upstanders Leadership Programme graduation ceremony takes place online!
Thursday 15th October, London – On Tuesday 13th October, the 13th Graduation Ceremony of the Alan Senitt Upstanders Leadership Programme saw 100 young participants complete the yearly course, which is facilitated by Maccabi GB’s educational projects, Stand Up! Education Against Discrimination and Streetwise, on behalf of The Alan Senitt Memorial Trust.
The Alan Senitt Upstanders Leadership Programme allows the participants to learn about each other, their different communities, cultures and religions, and at the same time reflect on themselves and their own skills. The participants engage in meaningful discussions and develop the practical tools they need to plan and deliver creative and impactful anti-discrimination community projects.
During the 2019/2020 academic year, the programme increased its reach from eight to ten schools; through interfaith leadership training, one hundred students learnt to create, develop and deliver anti-discrimination social action projects in their schools and local communities.
The Alan Senitt Upstanders Leadership Programme is delivered via four day-long seminars in two parallel tracks, each including five schools, between the months of November and June. Seminars include workshops on community leadership, team building, volunteering, event management and in-depth training on discrimination; from Antisemitism and anti-Muslim hate, to discrimination against LGBT+, disability discrimination, racism in sport as well as online.
The 2019/20 programme was unfortunately interrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic and resulting school closures; as such, the participating students were not able to complete their community projects. During the lockdown period, the education team continued to engage with the participants however, providing them with meaningful exchanges and training opportunities and featuring articles and resources on the ‘Sit down with Stand Up!’ website.
The informal, online ceremony brought together young people, their parents and teachers from the ten participating schools: Barnet Hill Academy, Caterham High School, Guru Nanak Sikh Academy, Hendon School, Immanuel College, JCoss, Kantor King Solomon High School, Nower Hill High School, Watford Boys Grammar School and Yavneh College. During the ceremony, the students presented what they have learnt throughout the programme and were able to showcase their anti-discrimination project ideas.
During the ceremony, students spoke about their experiences on the programme and what it meant to them. Participants at JCoSS commented ‘We joined the programme to make a difference to our local community, to educate students at our school, to improve our leadership and teaching skills and to improve how we work in a team’.
Emma Senitt, Chair of The Alan Senitt Memorial Trust commented ‘It has been, and very much continues to be a very strange time for us all, with so many unknowns. I hope that being part of this programme and thinking about your projects gave you something positive to work on when maybe positive things were hard to find’.
Maccabi GB Head of Education Nathan Servi commented ‘I want to believe that through the Alan Senitt Upstanders Leadership programme, you have gained some of the skills necessary to become the future leaders of our community. That you will be able to take these skills and inspire others, through your passion and commitment. That you will be determined to put your skills into practice this year, and in years to come, and that you will be able to create a better future than the present we currently live in.”
The Alan Senitt Upstanders Leadership programme will start again next academic year, and is looking to engage a growing number of Secondary schools.