A STUDENT who called for education on diversity and racism to be added to the curriculum has been nominated for an award.

In the aftermath of the George Floyd protests in the summer, Cynthia Muthoni created a petition stating that classes about racism and diversity should be mandatory.

The petition, submitted to Parliament, attracted 89,497 signatures in the six months it was live.

Miss Muthoni, from Oxford, has now been nominated for the inaugural Petition Campaign of the Year Award at the Your UK Parliament Awards.

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The 23-year-old, a student at the University of East Anglia, said: “I’ve always been involved in politics, and studied it at undergraduate level.

“The George Floyd protests were the catalyst for the petition and I thought about how we wanted to make this awareness constant.

“The most immediate thing is to tell people about the problem, but education is really important.

“If you can start by educating people, then you can be more aware of these issues and combat them.

“By educating younger people, the whole next generation can be better prepared.”

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Miss Muthoni said she was surprised by how many people signed the petition, but warned there has not been enough change with regards to tackling racism in the UK.

“The numbers the petition got were amazing, seeing it get shared and people gravitate towards the message made me happy,” she said.

“In the summer, social media became a sort of schooling for people and a place for education.

“Being nominated came as a shock to me, and even if we don’t go on to win, it’s still an honour to be recognised.

“In terms of attitudes to racism, people are a lot more willing to accept that racism is present in the UK.

“In terms of change though, we haven’t seen any legislative change that will help the lives of black people.”

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Miss Muthoni is joined on the shortlist by footballer Marcus Rashford, following his child food poverty campaign.

MP Catherine McKinnell, chair of the Petitions Committee, said: “These campaigns are a testament to the power of petitions to raise awareness of issues that might otherwise struggle to be heard in Parliament.

“The nominees have each shown how to organise a successful campaign, building on their petitions by gathering support from the wider public, charities and others who share their concerns.

“I have been so impressed by our nominees’ passion, determination, and ideas for how to tackle the problems they’ve set their minds to, and congratulate them on their achievements.”

The Petitions Committee was set up to look at e-petitions and public petitions.

The committee puts forward petitions for debate in the House of Commons, and can ask another parliamentary committee to look into a topic raised by a petition.