Home Children and Young People Merseyside Police launch school competition to celebrate Black History Month
children drawing at school desk

Merseyside Police launch school competition to celebrate Black History Month

by Alison Cornmell

Knowsley’s primary schools have been invited to take part in Merseyside Police’s art competition which celebrates Black History Month – an annual and international event that takes place throughout the month of October.

Key Stage 2 children across Knowsley and the wider Merseyside region are invited to get creative and submit an artwork, with the winners’ work being branded on police vehicles across Merseyside.

Primary schools across the county can showcase the creativity of their pupils with the submission of three pieces of art per school, which can be either from the whole of Key Stage 2, one class or one pupil.

Children are asked to design a poster celebrating Black History Month and ‘making a difference’ based on figures who have made a difference from the past, present or their own communities.

The winning artwork will be judged by senior officers in Merseyside Police, partners from the councils and International Slavery Museum, the winning school from each the five boroughs across Merseyside will be announced in the first half of the autumn term.

The winners will not only see their school’s artwork branded on police vehicles in their borough but also one class from each of the winning schools will receive a guided tour at the International Slavery Museum in Liverpool. Depending on Covid-19, this will either be a physical or virtual visit.

Sgt Azizur Rahman, who is organising the art competition, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for pupils and their schools to learn about Black History Month and to celebrate and understand the impact of black heritage and culture.

“Black History Month recognises the contribution and achievements of those with African or Caribbean heritage and enables people to learn more about the effects of racism as well as how to challenge negative stereotypes so we can make a positive and potentially life-changing impact within our communities.

“We are really excited to be working with schools and local authorities on this really important issue and can’t wait to see the artwork the children create.”

John Au from the Anthony Walker Foundation added: “It’s vital, particularly with so much attention and many questions raised from events of the past year and way before then, that we all recognise the significant contributions of people of African and African-Caribbean heritage.

“The celebration and awareness arising from Black History Month enables us to reflect on and appreciate how diversity has a positive impact and enriches the quality of life for us all.

“This art competition engaging young people from local schools plays a key part in our collective responsibility to understand why Black History is so important and like our colleagues and partners we will be anticipating  fantastic entries arising from this competition.”

In a joint statement Cllr Margaret Harvey, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services and Cllr Shelley Powell, Cabinet Member for Communities and Neighbourhoods said: “As well as offering children an opportunity to get creative it also encourages discussion, learning and celebration of black heritage and culture. At Knowsley Council we are dedicated to addressing global issues of inequality and discrimination and we look forward to seeing the submissions from our school children and celebrating their contribution to this important competition.”

The competition closes on Friday, July 9th 2021. For more information and to submit your entry email crimebeat@merseyside.police.uk