Schools to celebrate equality in song

Equality Song for Birmingham will debut at Schools Showcase in LGBT History Month.

An open invitation has bnne issued to hear the result of a Birmingham schools competition to compose an Equality Song for Birmingham on 2nd February 2016. The eight songs will be performed at a Schools Showcase organised by Educate & Celebrate, the UK charity that makes schools and organisations LGBT+Friendly.

Birmingham City Council has worked in partnership with Educate & Celebrate for four years. The showcase will demonstrate a number of exciting and innovative approaches being used in schools to eradicate discrimination.

Primary schools, secondary schools, colleges and Universities will showcase their LGBT+Inclusive performances to highlight the ground-breaking inclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity in the curriculum. Performances will include speeches, dances, songs, readings, two Equality plays for Birmingham devised by students with Round Midnight Theatre Company and highlights from PRIDE Youth Network campaigns.

The audience will be asked to vote for their favourite from the eight Equality Songs debuted at the showcase with a further chance to vote through the Birmingham City Council and Educate & Celebrate websites. There will also be keynote speeches from members of the council, Colin Diamond the Executive Director of Education for Birmingham City, the LGBT community and allies.

Cllr Brigid Jones, cabinet member for children’s services, said: “The work of Educate & Celebrate with schools has been inspiring and is changing the lives of children across our city. I look forward to hearing the winning song and congratulate everyone who took part.”

Elly Barnes, organiser of the showcase and CEO of Educate & Celebrate, added: “Our Showcases are always uplifting and The Midlands Schools Showcase will be no exception! We hold the showcases to celebrate Vix Perks to highlight the hugely positive work being carried out in our schools with regards to gender identity and sexual orientation. Birmingham has the honour of kick-starting the first of our six national showcases. So far we have nine secondary schools, seven primary schools as well as a number of local colleges performing. All the acts will celebrate the diversity that is Birmingham! The event is free; just book a ticket in advance via our website.”

Singer-Songwriter Vix Perks is leading the Equality Song for Birmingham competition and is helping organise the event. As a patron of Educate & Celebrate, Vix has composed original songs to accompany children’s books with an LGBT+Friendly theme to help schools celebrate differences.

Vix explained why she is involved: “As a Brummie born and bred, I am extremely proud to be part of a wonderfully diverse community that celebrates difference. This Educate & Celebrate Schools Showcase will be so inspiring as we help pupils use their creative talents to say no to discrimination, yes to equality. I’ve really enjoyed leading the Birmingham Equality Song project and I can’t wait for you to hear the entries, everyone must come along to vote!”

A student from the region who participated in a previous Educate & Celebrate showcase said: “We learnt about being proud to be yourself! Having the chance to speak openly and honestly in front of such a diverse and energetic crowd meant a lot to me and I shall never forget that moment.”

The event is free to attend and will be held on Tuesday 2nd February 18.00 – 20.00 at the Birmingham Metropolitan University, Matthew Boulton Campus, B4 7PS. Seats should be reserved in advance via Eventbrite at: