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Are actions more impactful than words?

30th September - 7th October 2022

Back to results overview

47420

Total votes

13606

5-11 votes

33814

11-18 votes

Time for change: actions not words

To mark Black History Month in the UK, our voters explored this year’s theme of “Time for change: actions not words”. They considered the role of words and actions in the context of tackling racism and discussed how significant a part each plays in the fight for equality.

The debate bought up many impassionaed responses from young people and even prompted students from Casterton College, Rutland to write an article about allyship for Black History Month.

Student voice

Primary school

Hertfordshire

"If we relied on words to solve problems we wouldn't come as far as we have."

Secondary school

Kent

“Both actions and words are impactful but consistently trying to make a change using actions is important.”

College

West Yorkshire

"Words are more specific and directed whereas actions can sometimes be misinterpreted."

This week's results

Age 5-11

  • Our youngest pupils had the highest percentage of 'No' votes this week, although these were still in the minority.
  • Some pupils thought that words offered more clarity and were the root point of most actions.
  • "I think words are better than actions because there are so many powerful speeches whereas actions are not always clear."
  • "No because all actions come from words."

Age 11-16

  • Our Secondary students decided that actions have more impact, however they still acknowledge the significance of both.
  • “It is not just positive action that can have an impact it is also negative action. - Trying harder to be heard and make a change. History shows that our greatest changes were ultimately achieved through actions and actions show that you are keeping your promises to be an ally - You can say black lives matter but if you do not show that you really mean it it does not make a difference.”
  • "I think it depends on who the words come from. If it came from someone in a position of power then it will have more impact."

Age 16+

  • Proprotionately, our College students were most in agreement that actions have more impact than words.
  • Despite this, the comments we received showed a less decisive view.
  • "Though actions are more impactful, words are needed in order to make them happen."

You spoke...they listened...

"History shows us that it is the actions and words of ordinary people that produce change in society and in the wider world. In that sense we are the makers of history and the agents of change. By acting and speaking as one we can bring about all the changes that are necessary, make sure that we become the decision-makers and take control of our future."

Professor Hakim Adi

University of Chichester

You spoke...they listened...

"The pupils went for actions over words and this links directly into Black history. It was the actions of people like Rosa Parks in America which led to the successful Bus Boycott in 1955. Paul Stephenson an Ex RAF veteran did the same thing with his bus boycott action in Bristol, England in 1963. Words can be manipulated to claim one thing but it's what people actually do that shows their intent."

Dawn Marine

Black History Walks

Black History Month 2021

#ProudToBe

In October 2021, young people shared their opinions and thoughts on whether our differences are celebrated enough. 38,595 young people all over the UK took the opportunity to have their voices heard!

Do we celebrate our differences enough?

Our age 11-18 voters were clear that we should be celebrating our differences more often and, in particular outside of Black History Month.

Amongst our age 5-11 voters, most agreed that we should be doing more but they were also quicker to acknowledge the positive things we already do to acknowledge and celebrate our differences.

Both last year and this year, young people acknowledged the importance of regular action.

Last week's VoteTopic

Last week, our students explored the fast fashion industry and its environmental impact.