An activity pack for schools and youth workers
RAISING AWARENESS OF DIVERSITY AND RACISM
This activity pack has been produced by the National Consultative Committee on Racism and Interculturalism (NCCRI) in the Republic of Ireland in partnership with the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland. It is intended to be a first stage awareness raising initiative developed in advance of the United Nations World Conference on Racism in Durban, South Africa, in September 2001. In particular, however, the pack has been developed for the International Day Against Racism on March 21st 2001 and the European Week Against March - March 19th - 25th although it can, of course be used as a resource at any time.
This activity pack aims to provide a range of ideas for those working with young people in schools or more informal education settings who are interested in exploring cultural diversity and raising awareness about racism. The pack is consistent with the preparations for forthcoming public awareness programmes to highlight racism in Ireland.
This pack is being produced in an accessible format so that those who use it will be able to add their own materials and resources. The pack will be up dated from time to time. The pack and updates will be available through the websites of the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland and the NCCRI.
The pack contains the following:
There is an increasing awareness of cultural diversity in Ireland, North and South. The largest minority ethnic group overall is the Irish Traveller community with an estimated population of 22,000 in the South and 1,600 in the North. The largest minority ethnic group in Northern Ireland is the Chinese community with an estimated 8,000 people. There is a long established Indian community in the North and a Jewish community as well as growing Islamic, Afro-Caribbean, African and Asian communities in both jurisdictions.
In recent years cultural diversity has been particularly highlighted by an increase in the number of asylum seekers seeking refuge on the island of Ireland and the increased number of migrant workers from non-EU countries who are meeting the skills shortages caused by the rapid economic growth particularly in the South.
There is also an increasing awareness of racism in Ireland, North and South, and a recognition that racism takes different forms, including:
March 21st- United Nations Day Against Racism
March 21st was designated as the international day against racism by the United Nations as a day to focus on tacking racism across the world. The date marks the anniversary of the Sharpeville massacre in 1960 when 69 people were killed and 400 injured in an anti-apartheid demonstration in a suburb of Johannesburg, South Africa. Across Europe activities take place during the week of March 21st to highlight opposition to racism. Many countries have a particular focus on education and young people in tackling racism.
European Week Against Racism
The period of March 19th - March 25th, which takes in the United Nations Day Against Racism gives people across Europe the opportunity to undertake a variety of activities to highlight the problem of racism and share information and ideas with others on ways in which to work toward the eradication of racism and the promotion of a more inclusive intercultural society.
The World Conference on Racism
In response to concerns about racism, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson, has been co-ordinating a world conference on racism that will take place in September 2001 in Durban, South Africa. The conference will aim to strengthen policies and practices to address racism at both an international and member state level. See http://www.unhchr.ch/
IDEAS AND ACTIVITIES
The following are a range of ideas and activities that teachers and youth leaders can undertake with young people to raise issues of diversity, exclusion and racism. Many can be adapted for use with different age groups and can be used as a one-off activity or as a range of activities that might lead to a particular project such as a School Charter (see Section 5). The activities can be undertaken under a ran