‘Beyond Racism’Publicity Campaign Launched

Councillors, community groups and people from Black and Ethnic Minority communities attended a special launch event today (27th May) in Bagenal’s Castle to celebrate the launch of the third Racism is Wrong awareness campaign, lead by the PRACE III Southern Partnership’s Challenge of Change Priority.

Funded through the European Union’s PEACE III Programme managed by the Special EU Programmes Body, Challenge of Change is to facilitate greater involvement of people from Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) communities in civic, community and political life and increase community cohesion and the Racism is Wrong project is part of their activities.

Challenge of Change has overseen two previous Racism is Wrong campaigns which have had a positive impact the on BME groups and local communities and the third campaign will see local people feature in billboard, radio, social media and local press adverts across the Southern Cluster area which includes Banbridge, Armagh, Craigavon and Newry and Mourne. The theme of the campaign this year urges people to think ‘Beyond Racism’ and embrace diversity.

Speaking at the event Mayor of Newry and Mourne District Council Michael Ruane commented; “Our communities are richer for the diverse mix of people we have living and working here and positively contributing to our local communities. Newry is a key example of that and I’m proud that our City and our Council is building a strong network of support services for our new residents and is developing programmes which help us understand and value all members of our growing communities.”

Joint Chair of the Southern PEACE III Partnership Dr James McCammick said : “Racist incidents reported to police have increased by a third in the past year- so this awareness campaign is essential in getting the message across that Racism is Wrong. This year our campaign promotes the positive message for the BME communities that diversity is valuable and BME members contribute to our communities. I’d personally thank Artur Kmiecik, Anna Stachura, Alla Bagrianiceva and Taucher Murphy for kindly volunteering to be the faces of the 2014 Racism is Wrong campaign which urges people to think Beyond Racism.”