Mending Broken Britain? Education’s Response

September 28, 2012 in Blog, Lectures, Speeches

Last February, Professor Gus John delivered a keynote address at the “Mending Broken Britain? Education’s Response” Conference, which was organised by Curriculum Enrichment for the Common Era (CE4CE) and sponsored by Birmingham City University.

Against the background of the riots that spread across Britain in August 2011, this national conference aimed to unpick something of the complex causes of the unrest and analyse the crucial role of education in addressing these profound issues. The output of the conference has now been turned into a report that you can read here. Read the rest of this entry →

Supporting our future leaders

August 5, 2012 in Blog

Over 200 people gathered at the London South Bank University’s Nelson Hayden Lecture Theatre on July 21st for the 100 Black Men of London’s 10th Annual Community Mentoring Programme Graduation Ceremony. 

Honorary Member Professor Gus John attended the event. On a keynote address, he praised the work promoted by 100 Black Men of London and he also urged the audience to support the young graduates in their future efforts, so that they can become role models in their own communities.

Blogger “Tiemotalk” was also there and wrote a very kind post about the whole event.

Picture: Print screen from “Tiemo Talk of the Town

Media coverage of 2011 riots ‘was disgraceful’

June 11, 2012 in Gus in the Media, Print

Media Coverage Of 2011 Riots 'Was Disgraceful' (The Voice)

The following article was published by The Voice on June 10th, 2012.

MEDIA COVERAGE of last summer’s riots has been heavily criticised in a damning new report seen exclusively by The Voice.

The weighty 10,000-word draft report, called Media and the Riots: A Call for Action, was written by top academic Dr Leah Bassel, a social scientist at the University of Leicester, for the Citizen Journalism Educational Trust and The-Latest.com.

The report draws on a special conference organised by The-Latest.com in November.

Professor Gus John, who was a keynote speaker at the event said much of the reporting of the disturbances was “simply disgraceful” and appeared to take the form of a “moral crusade” which was not colour-blind.

Civil unrest started in Tottenham, north London, last August after the fatal shooting of Mark Duggan, a young black man, by police officers. Read the rest of this entry →

Gus John pays tribute to Gerry German

May 3, 2012 in Blog

It is with deep, deep sadness that I inform you of Gerry German‘s passing.  He died at 03.00 this morning of a heart attack at home.  I am sure that, like me, you will be shocked at the suddenness of his death.

Gerry was a life-long campaigner for children’s education rights and an unwavering supporter of all our struggles.  Having been a former headteacher and Principal Education Officer at the Community Relations Commission/Commission for Race Equality, he helped to establish the Working Group Against Racism in Children’s Resources and 13 years ago invited me and a couple others to join him in setting up the Communities Empowerment Network (CEN).

Over those 13 years, CEN has dealt with an average of 1,000 school exclusion cases per year, providing advocacy to school students and their parents and representing them at School Governors Disciplinary Committees and at Independent Appeals Panels.  Each year, we have taken some deserving cases to Judicial Review and won most of them.  Gerry remained the main case worker for CEN and its unpaid Director until yesterday.  I am currently Chair of CEN for the second time, having been its Founding Chair.On Monday 30 April, Gerry introduced and made the closing remarks at a session at Lambeth Town Hall:  The Power of Love  –  Spiritual Leader Dadi Janki (age 96) of the Brahma Kumaris in Conversation with Professor Gus John.

He was 84.

We give thanks for his extraordinary life and his giving and compassionate spirit.

Peace and Hope!

A tribute on Facebook

Picture (homepage):

Yellow Blooms” by Creativity+ Timothy K Hamilton (Flickr)

Comment: Boris Johnson and youth violence in London

April 24, 2012 in Blog

"Stop n Search at Notting Hill Carnival 2011", by belkus (Flickr)

On April 23rd, The Guardian published an article entitled “Boris Johnson ‘has done virtually nothing to tackle youth violence’“. Professor Gus John commented on the news story, saying:

Ron Belgrave is finally lifting the lid on the sham that passed as Boris Johnson’s engagement with the issue of serious youth violence in London and in particular the relentless spate of killings of young black people by their peers.  The ‘Time for Action’ strategy had a grand title but was never going to deliver very much because the Mayor was clearly committed to two courses of action that are typical of the political class, irrespective of the colour of their rosettes.

The first was to treat young black people’s involvement in knife and gun enabled crime as if it arose from their congenital propensity to evil and had nothing to do with the state of Britian and the material conditions and structural marginalisation in which that generation and their fathers before them were nurtured and continue to exist.  The second was to indulge in a crude form of benign racism by attaching to himself a black special adviser who had already been publicly discredited and made to resign his post as Deputy Mayor, someone who had no proven expertise to match the complexities of the task facing any Mayor in getting to grips with the scandalous number of murders of black young men and the similarly troubling number of their assailants being given life sentences for those murders.  Read the rest of this entry →