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Student Commission on Racial Justice

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The Student Commission on Racial Justice is a national student-led project that will give thousands of young people across the country a voice on racial justice. Leaders Unlocked is bringing together students from nine partnering colleges to form the Student Commission.

The partnering colleges are:

  • Barnsley College
  • Birmingham Metropolitan College
  • Kirklees College
  • Leyton Sixth Form College
  • London South East Colleges
  • Long Road Sixth Form College
  • New City College
  • The Sheffield College
  • York College


Young people across the country have told Leaders Unlocked that Black Lives Matter is one of the most important issues for their generation.[1] Young people are keen to speak out and be heard on issues of systemic racism and racial disparities across different areas of society including policing, criminal justice, education, economy and health. The Student Commission on Racial Justice reflects the motivation of both students and colleges to support student-led social action in response to the Black Lives Matter movement.

The Commission will give college students a platform to have a collective voice on racial justice, share their views and experiences, and to make recommendations for government, education and other sectors to take account of. Using innovative co-creation methods, peer-to-peer engagement and role models, the project will move beyond traditional top-down educational approaches.

Leaders Unlocked is a social enterprise that works across education, policing, health and justice to help organisations involve the people who matter and shape decision-making for the better.

For more information about the Student Commission on Racial Justice please contact Project Director Alev:

Twitter: @LeadersUnlocked

Instagram: @leadersunlocked



“We hope that the impact (of the project) within college will be one where our students and staff , especially our BAME students and staff, can create space for exchange of ideas and experiences that will strengthen their sense of pride and self-esteem and that they value learning and working in a truly diverse and anti-racist college.  More widely that they take their knowledge and skills out into community engagement in Birmingham and beyond.”

Cliff Hall, Principal & CEO Birmingham Metropolitan College


The Student Commission offers a unique opportunity to tackle racial disparities by enabling our students to be part of a wider partnership across the FE sector. As a college we believe that racism, oppression, discrimination, and all other forms of inequality simply must be eliminated.  We also want to build a legacy of hope and empower our students, staff, and wider communities to help make change we want, and need, to see.”

David Lambert, Deputy CEO and Principal at London South East Colleges


“This vitally important initiative will support our students to learn the skills and strategies to become the change makers we need right now and for the future. We are really excited to work with participating students and to share our learning across the college with students, staff and our wider community.”

Yolanda Botham, Principal Long Road Sixth Form College


“We feel passionately that the time for change is right now, we can help to achieve positive change through the Student Commission. The impact that we want the project to make is that students in this college realise that their voice, on big issues can really make a difference.”

Paul Wakeling, Group Deputy Principal New City College & Principal of the Havering Colleges.

[1] Policing the Pandemic: Exploring Young People’s Experiences and Solutions, Leaders Unlocked May 2020