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Tuesday, 21 September 2021

University ‘Changemakers’ to host Black youth justice event


University of Bedfordshire’s virtual event is part of Black History Month

Academics and community guests will be taking part in a virtual event on 30 October as part of the University of Bedfordshire’s Black History Month activities.

Hosted by the School of Applied Social Sciences (SASS), academic speakers will include Dr Suzella Palmer, senior lecturer in Criminology, and Dr Tim Bateman, reader in Youth Justice at the University’s Institute of Applied Social Research.

They will also be joined by a representative of Bedfordshire Police Constabulary and Pat Jennings, head of Bedfordshire Youth Offending Service.

Dr Fiona Factor, principal lecturer in Applied Social Studies, was the driving force behind this event. She said:

“At the end of September I watched my colleague, Dr Suzella Palmer, deliver an excellent contribution to the Annual Scarman Lecture on policing race and criminology in the UK.

“I wanted to find a way to share her contributions with our students as part of our #SASS Changemaker event series – and as it was Black History Month it felt appropriate to bring the two together.

“I’m so grateful that Bedfordshire Police and Youth Offending Service are also contributing alongside our own University experts. The relevance of the issues this event will raise and discuss cannot be overstated. It is for all of us to ensure we use our energy to challenge racism in whatever guise it appears.”

The event will take place between 11am-3pm, and the guests will be asking the question – “Do young Black Lives Matter in the criminal justice system?

During the live-streamed event, Dr Suzella Palmer will be reflecting on her academic and political journey with questions from Hafijur Shuvu, Beds SU’s Vice President of Equality.

Pat Jennings will be discussing disproportionality in youth offending and the service response, and Dr Tim Bateman will be talking about his latest report, The State of Youth Justice.

Detective Inspector Mark Pugh from the Boson team (guns and gangs) at Bedfordshire Police will be discussing the local police response. Students from the University’s School of Applied Social Sciences, including policing students, will also be contributing their thoughts and findings.

The University’s Black History Month event is free but attendees are required to register in advance via Eventbrite.

This is the first #SASS Changemaker event of 2020/21 and is designed to honour Black History Month. The #SASS Changemaker initiative, launched by Dr Fiona Factor in 2019, is a series of extra-curricular seminars held regularly to help develop students’ learning and awareness of topical and current social issues.

To learn more about research and study opportunities with the School of Applied Social Sciences, visit: www.beds.ac.uk/howtoapply/departments/appliedsocialstudies.

John Guinn
I am the editor of The Flitwick Chronicle. This is an independent, local news service based in Bedfordshire. The Chronicle provides local news that is investigative, inclusive and relevant to the residents of Flitwick.

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