Young people from across the West Midlands will gather next week for a groundbreaking youth conference on hate crime.

Final arrangements for the conference are being put in place following a meeting of the campaign organisation West Midlands Together.

The event will take place from 10am to 2pm on Friday February 2 at Birmingham City University's Curzon Building, with participants travelling from schools and colleges across the region.

They will perform dance pieces, music, songs, prose, poetry and sketches which they have created to celebrate mutual respect and racial harmony, and to explore concerns over hate crime.

There is also a competition for the best poster design to promote an anti-hate message.

Louise White, Commissioning Officer for West Mercia's Police and Crime Commissioner, has arranged for a number of people to speak about their personal experience of hate crime.

West Midlands Together is a cross-party campaign launched by regional MEPs Anthea McIntyre and Neena Gill following a sharp increase in incidents of hate crime following the Brexit referendum.

Other organisations taking part will be Hope not Hate, Unite the union which has also sponsored catering, and First Class Legacy which specialises in youth and community engagement.

Miss McIntyre, Conservative MEP for the West Midlands, said: "The response from schools and colleges to our invitation to take part has been phenomenal.

"The youngsters involved have really thrown themselves into preparing their messages and performances and it's going be really exciting when it all comes together."

"We expect it to be colourful, loud, lively and inspirational - everything young people are about - but with a serious message at the heart of things about tolerance, fairness and humanity."

Education establishments taking part will include Smestow School, Wolverhampton; Nishkam High School, Birmingham; Wednesfield High School, Sandwell; Eden Boys School, Aston; Hillcrest Shifnal School, Shropshire; Harborne Academy, Birmingham; South and City College, Birmingham; Bishop Vesey School, Sutton Coldfield; and Shireland College, Smethwick.


There is still time to register if you wish to attend. Go to https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/west-midlands-together-youth-conference-tickets-41281595363