Equality for All Campaign 2009/2010
This is a generic campaign developed to promote ´Equality for All´, which was the key theme of the ECNI Corporate Plan 2006-2009 and continues to underpin the 2009/2012 Corporate Plan, ´Reaching out to the Whole Community´. The campaign was initiated in 2007 to coincide with the European Year of Equal Opportunities for All and is now in its third year.
The objectives of the campaign are to promote greater public understanding of the equality legislation, across all of the grounds covered, and to publicise the role and the work of the Equality Commission. There is also a specific focus on raising awareness of rights amongst groups at risk of discrimination and on promoting understanding of equality and diversity issues amongst young people.
The campaign also aims to increase access to the Commission´s services by raising general awareness of rights and responsibilities in relation to equality across the whole community.
The key messages of the campaign are:
- Everyone has the right to enjoy equal treatment and a life free from discrimination.
- The equality legislation protects all of us from discrimination across a range of protected grounds (age, colour, race, nationality, ethnic or national origin-including being an Irish Traveller, religion or belief, political opinion, sex, married status, pregnancy/maternity, dependants, equal pay, gender reassignment, sexual orientation and disability).
- The laws cover many aspects of our daily lives such as employment, training, education, housing, the delivery of goods, facilities and services and the impact of policies of public sector organisations.
- The Equality Commission for Northern Ireland has overall responsibility for the legislation and has a wide range of functions including the provision of information, advice and assistance to people who they believe they may have been discriminated against.
- While discrimination has a negative impact on individuals and groups within our society, there are many benefits to be gained by a society that respects difference and welcomes diversity.
General awareness raisingA range of media are being used to promote public awareness of the Commission and the equality legislation:
- A mixed-media advertising campaign will run throughout the year and include
- Bus advertising
- Newspapers, magazines, e-zine
- Promotional materials etc.
- A series of Information Roadshows are being held at shopping centres throughout Northern Ireland. Staff will be available at these venues to provide information on the equality legislation and the Commission´s services.
- Rushmere, Craigavon - 11 June 2009
- Fairhill, Ballymena - 12 June 2009
- Erneside, Enniskillen - 18/19 June 2009
- Foyleside, Derry - 23 June 2009
- The Quays, Newry - 17 February 2010
- The Ards Shopping Centre, Newtownards - 18 February 2010
- Bow St. Mall, Lisburn - 24 February 2010
- "Know Your Rights"- a short leaflet outlining individuals´ rights under the equality legislation has been translated into a number of languages (Polish, Lithuanian, Slovakian, Chinese and Portuguese) and is now available to download from the Commission´s website.
Stakeholder engagementThroughout the year we will be supporting and participating in a range of events and initiatives across the community. These include:
- International Women´s day 2010 - We are supporting two events to mark this year´s International Women´s Day. The first is a conference entitled "Are We There Yet?" organised in partnership with the Northern Ireland Rural Women´s Network and the Women´s Resource and Development Agency. The Conference took place at the Dunsilly Hotel, Antrim. Jane Morrice, Deputy Chief Commissioner spoke at this event. For more information click here.
Jane Morrice addressing an audience of 200 delegates at this year´s International Women´s Day conference.
Panel of speakers - Letitia Fitzpatrick, Helen Crickard (WOMEN´STEC), Jane Morrice(ECNI) and Joan McCool(Chair of NIRWIN).
The second is a series of activities organised by Beyond Skin, which are taking place in the Ulster Hall and Ormeau Bath´s Gallery. The events include musical performances, a Women into Business Seminar, brooch-making (a tradition carried on in many Eastern European countries on IWD), the launch of a photographic exhibition and much more. For further details click here.
- An exhibition of photographs entitled ´Home Places-A portrait of ten women who have come from other parts of the world to make their home in Northern Ireland´ was commissioned to mark IWD 2009. To date the exhibition has been displayed at a number of locations including conferences organised by the Women´s Information Group and the Northern Ireland Rural Women´s Network, Belfast Central Library, the VSB Gallery, Connswater Shopping Centre and the Ormeau Library Belfast. It is currently touring a number of libraries in the Northern Ireland Education and Library Board areas (Ballymena, Portrush, Coleraine, Limavady, Shantallow, Strabane and Larne). The exhibition is portable and is available free of charge to any interested organisations or groups.
- ARC (NI) Conference, "The Road Less Travelled", Burrendale Hotel , Newcastle, 16/17 June 2009.
- Belfast and Foyle Pride Events:
- NASUWT Conference "Teaching with Pride", Black Box, Belfast, 28 July
Party in the Square, Custom House Square, Belfast, 1 August
- Foyle Pride Launch Event, Derry, 26 August
- NASUWT Conference "Teaching with Pride", Black Box, Belfast, 28 July
- "Our Shared History" - event organised by VSB to explore and celebrate the contribution that ethnic communities have made to life in Belfast/Northern Ireland, 1 October 2009, Indian Community Centre, Belfast.
- Kropka PL - Launch of new Polish community magazine for Northern Ireland, 16 October 2009, Golden Thread Gallery, Belfast.
- Anti-Homophobia Week (2 - 8 November 2009) - supporting local campaign with mobile billboard travelling across Northern Ireland to promote the key message - ´Lesbian, gay, bisexual or straight - we are all people - homophobia has no place in a civilised society´. The campaign includes publicity events at Belfast City Hall on Tuesday 3 November, Parliament Buildings, Stormont on Wednesday, 4 November, Derry City Council and the Derry/Londonderry and Strabane campuses of North West Regional College on Thursday 5 November. The Commission is also participating in a workshop for a newly formed support group in the North West on Saturday 7 November. The session is designed to raise awareness of rights and responsibilities under the Sexual Orientation Regulations.
- Bob Collins, Chief Commissioner ECNI with Mirjam Bader, Director, Rainbow Project and Keith Johnston, PSNI at the launch of Anti-Homophobia Week at Belfast City Hall.
- ´Visible Women´ Conference - jointly organised by Ards and North Down Borough Councils - an annual event celebrating the achievements of local women, 27 November 2009, Clandeboye Lodge Hotel, Bangor.
- Men´s Health Seminar - event held by Ards Borough Council as part of their Good Relations Strategy, Strangford Arms Hotel, 28 January 2010.
- Lyric Theatre, Belfast - supporting production of ´In the Absence of Women´, a play by Owen McCafferty, which looks at homophobia in our society.
- Carers NI/ Equality Commission Booklet – The Commission has been working with Carers NI to produce a publication which profiles the role of carers by telling the stories of eight unique individuals who undertake a range of different caring responsibilities. The aim of the publication is to encourage recognition of the significant contribution that carers make within our society and to support and promote their rights. The booklet is to be launched during Carers’ Week in June.
- We will also be contacting voluntary/community sector groups in the coming months to offer information sessions on the work of the Commission and the services available. If you are interested in taking up this opportunity please get in touch to discuss what we can offer.
Focus on young peopleThe Commission will be participating in a range of events and projects designed to promote understanding of equality issues and the work of the Commission amongst young people:
- Schools´ Art Competition - Following the success of last year´s competition for primary and special school pupils, the Commission is using the winning artwork for its 2010 calendar. Details of this year´s School´s Competition can be accessed by clicking here.
- South West College, Omagh Campus - Information Day, 28 April 2009
- Northern Regional College, Information Days:
- Newtownabbey Campus, 30 April 2009
- Ballymena Campus, 9 September 2009
- Coleraine Campus, 15 September 2009
- Belfast Metropolitan College - Information Day, Freshers Week, 7 October 2009
- Opportunity Europe Fair and Exhibition - St George´s Market , Belfast, 20-21 October 2009. Event organised by the European Commission and Belfast City Council, designed to raise awareness of European issues amongst secondary level pupils.
- South East Regional College (SERC) - Students’ Union World Without Labels Week – Information stands at the following campuses:
- Monday 16th November - Bangor and Lisburn
- Tuesday 17th November – Newtownards and Downpatrick.
A number of other events and initiatives are planned and will be publicised on the website in the coming weeks. If you require more information or would like an input into an event you are planning to hold please contact the Promotion and Education Division - see details below