Equality for All 08/09
This campaign has been developed to promote ´Equality for All´, which is the key theme of the Commission´s Corporate Plan 2006 - 2009. The campaign was run during 2007 - 2008 to coincide with the European Year of Equal Opportunities for all and has been extended for a further year.
The overall aim is to promote greater public understanding of the equality legislation, across all of the grounds covered, and to publicise the role of the Equality Commission. This year sees the development of a specific focus on raising public awareness of Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act, which allows people the opportunity to have a say in relation to the policies of public authorities.
The campaign will also continue to focus on raising awareness of rights amongst groups at risk of discrimination and promoting a greater understanding of equality and diversity issues within the education sector and amongst young people generally.
The campaign will run until March 2009 and includes a variety of events and activities, outreach and promotional work. The central 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 (race, sex, religious belief, political opinion, sexual orientation, age 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 policies of public authorities.
- 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.
Programme of Activities
General Awareness Raising
A range of media are being used to promote public awareness of the role of the Equality Commission and the law:
- An advertising campaign will run throughout the year and include
- Bus advertising
- Radio advertising
- Promotional materials etc.
- A series of Information Roadshows are being held at shopping centres throughout Northern Ireland:
- Rushmere - Craigavon - 2 and 3 July 2008
- Flagship Centre - Bangor -17 and 18 July
- Buttercrane Centre - Newry - 31 July 2008
- Meadowlane Centre - Magherafelt - 8 August 2008
- The Mall - Armagh - 28 and 29 August 2008
- Castlecourt - Belfast - 18 September 2008
Further venues planned - dates to follow.
- "Know Your Rights" - a short leaflet outlining individuals´ rights under the equality legislation is being translated into a range of different languages (Polish, Lithuanain, Slovakian,Chinese and Portuguese) and will be available to download from the Commission´s website shortly.
- Equality Commission Alphabet - The Commission has recently developed its own alphabet, one of ten being produced as part of the Community Alphabet Initiative, in partnership with the Naughton Gallery at Queens. The alphabet was created by artist Terry Gravett in collaberation with staff and aims to reflect the mission, values and work of the Commission. All ten alphabets, along with an interpretative booklet, will be launched at a special exhibiton at the Naughton Gallery on October 28th during the Belfast Festival at Queens. Alphabet posters will be distributed to secondary schools throughout Northern Ireland following this event. Copies of the Commission´s alphabet will be available on request.
The campaign aims to raise awareness of equality rights amongst key stakeholder groups by supporting and participating in a range of initiatives and events throughout the community. These include:
- International Women´s Day 8th March 2009 - A series of photographs has been produced to mark this year´s international Women´s Day. The exhibition is entitled "Home Places - A portrait of ten women who have come from other parts of the world to make their home in Northern Ireland".
The photographs will be on display at a number of events to mark IWD and will also be exhibited in Belfast Central Library later this month . The exhibition is available free of charge to any interested groups. Click here to view. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
- Migrant Workers Information Evening - 9 April 2008, St George´s Market Belfast. Event organised by Belfast City Council.
- Launch of L+ - Older people´s LGBT network - 17 May 2008, Black Box , Belfast.
- Disability Action Exhibition - 6 and 7 June 2008, Lisburn Leisure Centre.
- NI Workplace Health Network Conference - 11 June 2008, Seagoe Hotel, Portadown.
- Migrant Worker Information Evening - 12 June 2008 organised by Willowfield Parish Community Centre, Befast.
- Belfast and Foyle Pride Events - August 2008.
- Age Awareness Week - 29 September - 3 October 2008.
- CACDP (Advancing Communication between Deaf and Hearing People) Northern Ireland Fair on the theme "Communication For All"- 11 October, 2008, Wellington Park Hotel Belfast.
- Anti-Homophobia Week - 24 November-1 December 2008 - radio advertising during this week to highlight people´s rights and responsibilities under sexual orientation legislation.
- Visible Women Conference, Bangor - 21 November 2008. Event organised by North Down and Ards Borough Councils. .
- NIRWN (Northern Ireland Rural Womens Network) International Women´s Day Conference - "Celebrating Extraordinary Women" - 26 March 2009, Neill Arms Hotel, Toomebridge.
- NIRWN Conference - Beating the Drum for Rural Women - 30 March 2009, Loughry College, Cookstown.
One of the key aims of the campaign is to engage young people in the equality/diversity debate. The Commission will be participating in a range of events with a view to promoting understanding of equality issues and the work of the Commission:
- Opportunity Europe Fair and Exhibition - St George´s Market, Belfast, 21 and 22 October 2008. Event organised by the European Commission and Belfast City Council, designed to raise awareness of European issues amongst secondary level pupils in schools throughout Northern Ireland.
- European Language Day, Strabane 26 September 2008. Event organised for schools in the area by Strabane District Council and Strabane Library.
- NUS/USI Equality Campaign on the theme "Education without Discrimination", October/November, 2008. The Commission is supporting the campaign with information and advice points at Queens University Belfast (11 November) and University of Ulster campuses throughout the week beginning 13th October.
- South West College, Dungannon Campus - Information Day, 17 February 2009.
- South West College, Enniskillen Campus - Information Day, 23 March 2009.
The Commission was delighted with the response to its recent art competition on the theme "Equality for All". The competition, which was open to all children of primary school age in Northern Ireland, invited pupils to create a poster illustrating what equality and diversity means to them in their school, their family and the wider community.
The winners and runners-up in the competition attended a prize-giving ceremony in Equality House on 27th March where they were presented with their prizes of art materials by Chief Executive, Evelyn Collins. The four top designs have been reproduced as posters and used in the Commission´s bus advertising campaign during Spring 2009.
The primary school winners were Emma Robinson, New Row Primary School, Castledawson; Dearbhail McNamee, St Mary´s Primary School, Newtownbutler and Deborah Osborne, Ballykelly Primary School. The special school winner was Eamonn Bradley, Rossmar School, Limavady.
Primary school runners-up were Jaime Fahy-McLear, Forge Integrated Primary, Belfast; Dillon Conway, St Colmcille´s Primary School, Omagh; Emily Rogan, St John´s Primary School, Gilford and Oran Mallon, St Mary´s Primary School, Kircubbin. The special school runner-up was Niamh Morgan, Rathore Special School, Newry.
The successful pupils, along with a number whose work was highly commended by the judging panel, also received framed posters of their artwork.
A number of other projects and events are planned and will be publicised on the website in due course. We will also be offering awareness raising talks to voluntary and community sector groups designed to increase understanding of people´s rights and responsibilities under equality law and the role and work of the Equality Commission. We will try to tailor the sessions to suit the needs of your particular group or organisation.
If you would like more information about any of the above events, or would like an input to an event you are planning to hold please contact the Promotion and Education Division - see contact details below.