Youngsters from Croydon have recently made a film promoting respect for the community and have released it to the public as a response to the viral video showing racism on a Croydon tram last month.
Fifty young people aged between the ages of 13 and 18 produced the video, titled “Route to Respect”. It focuses on generating a positive relationship between different sections of the community, particularly when using public transport.
They interviewed a range of local figures on the topic of respect, including Gavin Barwell, MP for Croydon Central, and Adrian Roberts, Borough Commander for Croydon Metropolitan Police.
They also learnt filming and animation skills with the help of Mediabox, the charity who funded the project. This allowed them to direct, film and produce the video themselves.
The project was run by the Croydon Supplementary Education Project (CSEP), an organisation which runs out-of-school educational programmes for Black and Ethnic Minority children in the borough.
Project Leader at CSEP, Sasha Rhoden, said: “Young people today are either at home with their families and friends or at school with their teachers and classmates. The only time they interact with the public is on their journey to school. Bus drivers stop them and make them late, they are pushed and prodded and stereotyped as ‘hoodies’. Actually they themselves are quite frightened.”
The footage was filmed last year, but the children decided to release it on YouTube as an antidote to the videos taken on public transport that have emerged in the wake of the video taken on the Croydon tram.
Rhoden added: “An image of someone being very disrespectful in Croydon has just gone viral. This makes our film so much more relevant; it’s about being constructive rather than destructive and encouraging community cohesion. We want to show that young people sometimes do have the solutions rather than being the problem”
The video is being used by police officers visiting Croydon schools to encourage respect for others on public transport.
CSEP want to make a sequel in light of the recent videos called “Route to Respect 2”, but the project has been put on hold whilst CSEP seek the necessary funds.
An additional setback to this is the fact that the centre’s film and video equipment was stolen in a break-in earlier this year.
CSEP is an organisation running Saturday schools and other community events and training programmes for the BME community in Croydon. To sign up for the Saturday school, or for more information on CSEP projects, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.