PEACE III“Racism is Wrong” Campaign Kick-Starts Race Equality Month

Racism is Wrong Campaign Launch

Eugene Yanushkevich, one of the “faces” of the Racism is Wrong campaign, Cllr. Charlie Casey, Joint Chair of the Southern Partnership, one of the campaign’s Champions, Pamela Ballantine, Eva Grosman from the “Unite Against Hate” campaign, Frank Fleming from the Equality Commission and another “face” of the campaign, Gloria da Rocha.

An anti-racism campaign – “Racism is Wrong” – which stretches across six council areas, North and South, was launched today, November 1st, in Newry.

The “Racism is Wrong” Campaign is the brain-child of the PEACE III Southern Partnership, which covers the council areas of Armagh, Banbridge, Craigavon, Newry and Mourne, Louth and Monaghan. The campaign is being delivered by the Challenge of Change priority and is part-financed by the European Union’s European Regional Development Fund through the EU Programme for Peace and Reconciliation managed by the Special EU Programmes Body.

“Racism is Wrong” is endorsed by high-profile local champions such as Pamela Ballentine, Shane Horgan from Ireland Rugby and Benny Coulter from the Co. Down team that reached this year’s All-Ireland final.

The campaign has established its own website and will publicise the “Racism Is Wrong” message through billboard and newspaper advertising and by organising a series of events during November, which is the Equality Commission’s Race Equality Month.

The official launch of the “Racism Is Wrong” campaign was a “Let’s Talk” style event in the Sean Hollywood Arts Centre in Newry. The invited audience had the opportunity to ask the impressive line-up of panellists searching questions on racism in Ireland.

Calling for people to support the “Racism is Wrong” Campaign, Joint Chairs of the Southern Partnership Dr James McCammick and Cllr Charlie Casey said: “Racism is still an issue in the Southern Partnership area, as recent research commissioned by us has shown. This campaign has a clear message that “Racism is Wrong” and we are calling on people to support the campaign by visiting the website and clicking on the “Register your support here” button”.

Deputy Chief Commissioner of the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland, Jane Morrice, welcomed the initiative, commenting: “This is the opening event of Race Equality Month.  The Commission is here to challenge racism wherever it occurs – in the workplace or in private life.  Today’s event is a chance for local people to ask panellists about the work that their organisations are doing to defeat race discrimination. There will be dozens of events all over Northern Ireland during this month, all with one message – racism has no place in our society.”

Eva Grosman from Unite Against Hate also endorsed the campaign saying: “We are delighted that the Challenge of Change is taking the lead in delivering the “Racism is Wrong” Campaign within Southern Partnership. All forms of hate crime are unacceptable and must be challenged whenever they surface. We must show support to those who suffer as a result of prejudice and demonstrate that there is no room in Northern Ireland for racism and discrimination. The “Racism is Wrong” Campaign is something that we should all embrace and endorse.”