AN ORGANISATION which aims to ‘identify tackle and end racism in Cumbria’ has launched its very first campaign.

Anti Racist Cumbria has invited the heads of more than 370 Cumbrian schools and educational institutions to a unique online event next month where they will hear from speakers including Lavinya Stennett, CEO of The Black Curriculum, and Dr Adam Elliott Cooper of University of Greenwich, as well as Cumbrian pupils both past and present.

The event’s aim is to engage schools in discussion and create a platform from which ongoing training, resources and support can be provided to help schools be actively anti-racist.

The group has warned that racism is still an issue in the county, reporting that more than 30 pupils were excluded for racist behaviour last year.

They added that far more behaviours are unchallenged and shared some of the shocking stories of racism experienced by past and present Cumbrian pupils.

Anti Racist Cumbria told of an eight-year-old black pupil who had spoken about how they have been left out and pushed in the playground specifically because of the colour of their skin and another young black pupil being called racist names and being told they were being over-sensitive when they became upset.

Anti Racist Cumbria has urged parents to ask the heads of their children’s schools to attend the October 22 event and to sign a petition that supports the letter and invitation sent to schools.

Chair of Anti Racist Cumbria Janett Walker said: “The response has been phenomenal already, it’s apparent that schools need and want this support. However there are still a number of schools who have not yet signed up and we urge them to do so.”