Three major groups to stage the first ever anti-racism youth-led summit in Cork
YOUTH organisations are to spearhead an anti-racism fightback amid mounting concerns over the growth of the far right in Ireland and the targeting of asylum seeker centres.
Three major groups will stage the first ever anti-racism summit in Cork in a bid to highlight the scale of racism in Ireland, the threat posed by extremist groups on the far right and what State and voluntary organisations can do to promote equality and understanding in society.
The Cork Migrant Centre (CMC), the Children and Young People Services Committee (CYPSC) and the Traveller Visibility Group (TVG) will host an anti-racism youth-led summit in City Hall on Friday, May 26.
It aims to highlight the experiences of racism in modern Ireland, outline strategies to tackle discrimination and programmes to promote an inclusive, fair and multi-cultural society.
While organised by the youth committees of the three bodies, the summit will be attended by politicians, policy makers and other voluntary organisations in a bid to promote a national conversation on racism.
"The goal is to bring together people from all walks of life including front-line service providers, service users, policymakers, and politicians, to have a conversation about positive change," a summit spokesperson said.
"The young organisers will not only share their experiences of racism through the creative medium of music, spoken word, and drama but will also facilitate shared discussions on how to collaborate on strategies for creating an anti-racist society."
"Our summit comes at a time when we are seeing the rise of the far right, culminating in protests towards migrants and those living in Direct Provision. Anti-Traveller sentiment and discrimination towards Travellers have also long been experienced by this community."
The summit was organised as a follow-up to a 2020 webinar on racism which was launched in the wake of the George Floyd murder and the Black Lives Matter movement.
It is funded by the Government’s International Protection Integration Fund and part-funded by CYPSC, Cork City Council Social Inclusion Office and the National Youth Council.
Cork Migrant Centre said the voices of those who have suffered from racism need to be heard.
"We are one, colour means nothing - the blood we shed, it has the same colour. That is what matters," a CMC official stressed.
The Traveller Visibility Group (TVG) warned that racism and discrimination is sadly nothing new to Ireland.
“Together with all young people who get discriminated against, we should show the Government we are collectively coming together on the day to show them we are good young people who have bright futures."
Organisations collaborating with the anti-racism summit include Cork City Council, Cork Migrant Centre, Cork’s Mexican Community, the HSE, Nano Nagle Place, National Youth Council, Cork’s Roma Community, TUSLA, Traveller Visibility Group, UCC, YMCA and many others.
"We are demonstrating that it takes a concerted, collaborative, system-wide effort and commitment to generate the necessary momentum to make Cork an anti-racist county," a summit spokesperson said.