Standing up against prejudice and discrimination!
Learn about prejudice and discrimination and discover how you can help challenge it!
At a glance:
- Learn what prejudice and discrimination mean.
- Learn why education and listening to others is important.
- Learn how to challenge prejudiced and discriminatory behaviour.
You will need:
- A piece of Paper.
- A Pen or Pencil.
What does prejudice, discrimination and stereotype mean?
You may hear the words prejudice, discrimination and stereotype often. They are closely related to each other because if someone is acting in a prejudiced or discriminatory way then they are usually basing their behaviour on stereotypes.
Let’s break each of them down.
Prejudice is an idea or opinion someone has about someone else that is not based on evidence or actual experience. When you act based on prejudice, you make up your mind about something and generalise, before fully knowing about it.
Discrimination is the unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people, especially on the grounds of race, age, sex, or disability.
A stereotype is an oversimplified image or idea of a particular type of person or thing.
Some of the reasons that people might be discriminated against or treated unfairly is based on their age, gender, race, disability, religion or sexual orientation and this is because others are making assumptions about these groups and not basing their opinions on the facts or finding out about people’s lived- experiences.
A couple of ways to overcome prejudice and discrimination is through education and listening to others experiences.
- Education about identities, diversity, equality and human rights allows people to learn to respect others and celebrate differences.
- Exploring your own and others identities through talking can help people get to know you and help you get to know other people better.
- Equality is when all people are treated fairly and have the same opportunities. This is what we should aim for.
To get a better understanding of this, we will be drawing a house and answering some simple questions about it.
Draw a medium sized rectangle in the middle of your page. Inside the rectangle draw another rectangle for the door of the house and one rectangle for a window. Add a roof and a chimney.
After you’ve answered these questions, read on.
Q1. What do you think of this house?
Q2. Would you like to live in it?
Drawing continued… I forgot to give you some information about the house. Draw 3 more rectangular windows inside your house. Add a garage to the right, a conservatory on the left and a large garden to the front and back.
Q3. What do you think of the house now?
Q4. Would you live in it?
When someone is acting in a prejudiced way it means that they don’t have the full picture about someone or something. Making sure you find out all of the relevant information about someone or something can help you to see the full picture!
If you or someone you know has been discriminated against then challenging this unfair treatment can sometimes be difficult. If it has happened to you then you may feel hurt and upset and if you’ve witnessed it happening to someone else then you may feel like you don’t know much about the situation or like it’s not your place to say anything. Here’s some advice on how to speak out on issues of concern, how to get help and information about the laws that protect you from discrimination.
Discrimination can happen in person or online.
In either of these situations you should speak to a trusted adult for support and advice.
You can also:
- Raise awareness about discrimination and its effects by talking about it with your friends and family.
- Take part in awareness days.
- Be seen as an ally for those who are experiencing it.
- Hold schools and organisations accountable for discriminatory actions by writing them a letter or email.
- Report it anonymously to the police via a Third Party Reporting Centre or Online here.
Discriminatory behaviour is not only a form of bullying but it’s against the law. The Equality Act, which came into force on 1st October 2010, legally protects people from discrimination in the workplace and in wider society. If discriminatory behaviour is perceived by the victim, or any other person, as being motivated by prejudice or hate in regards of race, sexual orientation, faith, disability, gender identity etc. the incident can become a hate incident or even a hate crime.
This means that it’s important to inform a responsible adult if you witness this type of behaviour.
If you’re in need of any more information or would like some support click here.