How our Foundation marked Black History Month

Tuesday 01 November 2022 10:15

Manchester United Foundation marked Black History Month by hosting a series of workshops for young people across its schools and projects, to educate and celebrate this important topic.

Black History Month is recognised globally in October each year, and Foundation staff delivered sessions in partnership with Kick It Out across the month, plus a full day's workshop with Show Racism the Red Card, and incorporating educational activities into our Street Reds football sessions.

The workshops with anti-discrimination organisation Kick It Out (KIO) took place at eight Foundation partner schools, engaging over 2,800 pupils. The aim of the workshops was to educate young people and empower them to have a voice in their communities.

The KIO workshops were developed following the Black Lives Matter movement in 2020, during which United donated money to KIO for any shirts printed with the slogan. The workshops were developed in partnership between the Foundation and KIO, trialled across local schools and are now part of the educational offer to all Foundation partner schools.

Students from the Foundation's partner schools take part in a workshop at Old Trafford.
Towards the end of the month, the Foundation hosted an educational event in partnership with anti-racism organisation Show Racism the Red Card. Supported by ex-Reds striker Fraizer Campbell, the event took place at Old Trafford and was attended by 70 students from seven Foundation partner schools.

The students took part in various workshops to discuss the history of racism and racism in sport and were also tasked with a social action project to devise ways in which they could encourage change in their schools and communities.

“It’s vitally important to get young people talking about things that are happening in their communities,” said Campbell.

“There are lots of kids here from different backgrounds and they’re all having discussions about things that have affected them or their families. It’s great to see the kids learning and help encourage them to spread a positive message.”
Muhammed, 13, from Royton and Crompton E-act Academy in Oldham, said: “We learned about different cultures and how it doesn’t matter where you are from or what colour your skin is – you can be whatever you want to be. It’s 2022 and nobody should be able to stop from doing what you want to do.”

An impressive 97% of students stated that the Show Racism the Red Card event made them feel like they were part of a community, whilst 88% of students reported that the event improved their knowledge of racism.

Additional Black History Month activities took place at Street Reds on Monday evening, when Academy programme advisor and ex-Manchester United player Tony Whelan joined the project at Dixon Brooklands Academy, just a stone’s throw from where he grew up in Wythenshawe, South Manchester.
Academy advisor Tony Whelan talks to young participants in a Street Reds project.
Young players from the girls, boys and inclusion teams took part in fun activities, during which they had to answer questions about and identify iconic black players from United’s history. To the children’s delight, one of the answers was in fact their special guest Tony, as one of the first black players to represent the Reds in the 1960s.

Ryan, nine, who attends the weekly football sessions, was very excited to meet a pioneering footballer. “Tonight was all about passion, and working together as a team,” he said. “It was amazing to have an ex-United player come to see us and talk to us about Black History – there should be no racism in football.

Tony said: “It’s very important to educate young people at this age and for them to understand the history of black people in our country. It was great to see them get involved in the game about black footballers, including myself! It’s really important to make it fun for the youngsters too – very impressive.
“It’s just great to see the Foundation put these sessions on, especially in areas like this, for boys and girls, of all colours and backgrounds, and just see them having a great time together.”

Tony attended the Street Reds event following his recognition at the recent Football Black List awards, where he received an accolade alongside Andrew Lawler, a Foundation coach, for services to football.

Manchester United Foundation is proud to promote equality across its projects in line with the club’s United Against Racism initiative. For more information about all Foundation projects visit

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