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This paper will explore young people’s perspectives of the teaching of decolonised histories in schools. It will focus on testimonies gathered for the Roots and Futures project; a place-based heritage project funded by the AHRC and co-produced with communities and organisations across the city of Sheffield. Through local intergenerational consultation work, the project aims to empower underserved communities to share their stories and histories of the city, and seeks to embed those perspectives in Sheffield’s heritage strategy and policy. A recurring issue identified through consultation work with young people in a local school, a youth group, and community-run spaces is the exclusion of histories representing their cultures and heritages. The young people who participated in the project spoke to their feelings of anger and disappointment as a result, but viewed the teaching of their histories as important opportunities to enhance understanding, tolerance, and recognition that could not only improve their engagement with their studies, but their sense of belonging to Sheffield. This paper will speak to some of the possibilities and barriers to exploring new ways of teaching history and making young people’s voices heard.

All welcome- this seminar is free to attend but registration is required.