Equity for all groups experiencing Racism and Discrimination
Galway’s Civil society is calling for equity for all groups who experience racism and discrimination. A spotlight is being brought on the anti-racism and anti-discrimination work happening in Galway.
Galway Communities Against Racism and Discrimination is a network which was launched on the 20th of March. The network aims to:
- Challenge racism and discrimination in all its forms in Galway promoting the value of Diversity by sharing messages of equality and human rights.
- Take action to build community solidarity in order to challenge racism, discrimination and the spread of division and hate.
To mark this International Week Against Racism, the Galway Communities Against Racism and Discrimination is calling on the Galway community to support them at a rally celebrating the city’s diversity at 2pm on Saturday the 25th of March in Eyre Square in Galway. The network welcomes the launch of the National Action Plan Against Racism. It details commitments from across Government departments and public bodies to address discrimination, tackle structural racism and promote the inclusion of ethnic and racial minorities.
The theme of the UN International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is ‘Voices Against Racism’. This is their rallying call: “By speaking with one voice, a powerful message is sent to demonstrate people’s opposition to racial discrimination and injustice. People are encouraged to tell their stories of discrimination so that others know what is happening and can support them”. Galway Communities Against Racism and Discrimination will be using their voices against racism.
The founding groups of the Network include: Galway City Partnership; Galway City Community Network; Galway Traveller Movement; Galway Council of Trade Unions; Galway Anti-Racism Network; Amach!; LGBTI+ Galway; University of Sanctuary; Community Knowledge Initiative and the University of Galway who have come together to promote inclusion in our wider communities and oppose racism and discrimination in all its forms. They are inviting other community organisations to join the network. They believe that Galway City’s diversity is its strength, and they would like to build on this, and make sure that everyone feels included, welcomed and protected in Galway.
The Galway Communities Against Racism and discrimination network is calling for an end to discourse that is based on a racist, sexist, regressive narrative that is targeting migrant/ refugee communities and hindering the attainment of rights and inclusion for minority communities such as the LGBTI+ communities.
The group is further concerned about the take-up of these views in the general community given the long-standing experience of racism by the Traveller community which is evidence of widespread prejudice established in our communities.
The groups feels that this narrative is hijacking underlying inequalities in the areas of health, mental health, housing, Traveller accommodation, homelessness, education, administration of justice and service provision that is based on failed government policies sowing discord, when the reality is that solidarity is required to tackle the systemic generation of these challenges.
According to Nora Corcoran ‘Coordinator of the Galway Traveller Movement Traveller Homes Now Campaign’ and one of the presenters at the launch
“It is not up to the groups who experience the racism and discrimination to come up with the solutions, but it is up to the majority population to ensure that racism and discrimination is eradicated“.
“Institutional racism and discrimination must end and public bodies must ensure equality outcomes for the 10 groups named under the Equality and Human Rights legislation. We want a campaign to include the 10 groups representing: Gender; Marital status; Family status; Sexual orientation; Religion; Age; Disability, Race. the Traveller community and Socio-economically excluded”.
Islammiyah Saudique Kadejo, CEO of GOCOM radio who co presented at the launch is passionate about challenging racism.
“We all need to understand that implicit bias can form the bedrock of racism so it needs to be named. Anti racism training needs to be mandatory in all workplaces”.
The reality of hate and unacceptable behaviour is the story of Wally Nkikita from The Galway African Diaspora:
“I was abused verbally and physically by my landlord in Galway. He threatened to cut my head off and send me “on a slow boat back to the Congo”.
The network is asking individuals and organisations in Galway City and County to sign a Community Solidarity Pledge. The pledge asks organisations to:
‘Stand against all forms of racism and discrimination, including sexism, homophobia, and transphobia. We want to create a society where all people feel respected, valued and protected. We believe in equality for all and don’t tolerate racism, the spread of hate in our communities, or any form of discrimination’.
Galway Communities Against Racism and Discrimination Network are calling on everyone to a rally to oppose racism and discrimination and show your support for equality for all, demonstrating solidarity for all our communities. We are calling on the state to invest in addressing racism and discrimination. This needs to start with naming a housing /accommodation crisis. A coordinated response unit needs to be set up to end homelessness and guarantee access and a right to a home for all.
This rally will take place at 2pm on March 25th in Eyre Square in Galway.
Margaret O’Riada, Galway Traveller Movement, 087-0517321, Margaret@gtmtrav.ie
Brian Doherty. Galway City Community Network, 085-2145179, firstname.lastname@example.org
For media interviews or comments:
Nora Corcoran, Galway Traveller Movement
Eoghan Fox, Galway Trades Council
Fiona Blaney, Galway City Partnership
Aidan Harte, University of Sanctuary, Galway
The Objectives of Galway Communities Against Racism and Discrimination Network
- To build relationships with organisations and community groups in order to support effective campaigns against racism and discrimination.
- To highlight and campaign on policy matters that impact negatively on groups experiencing inequality and discrimination.
- To build solidarity and promote an equal and inclusive city and county through positive messaging and social media campaigns.
- To demonstrate solidarity with individuals and groups who experience racism and discrimination on an individual or institutional level.
Notes to editors:
 Galway City Community Network (GCCN) is a network of 168 community, voluntary and environmental organisations active in Galway City. GCCN is the main link through which the Galway City Council connects with the community, voluntary and environmental sectors. GCCN member organisations represent the network on a variety of bodies including the Council’s Strategic Policy Committees.
 Established in 1994, Galway Traveller Movement (GTM) CLG is an independent Traveller organisation in Galway City and County. The company has charitable status and is a partnership of Travellers and non-Travellers. GTM have worked for more than two decades to challenge and respond to the structural inequalities experienced by the Traveller community.
 Galway City Partnership (GCP) is a local and community development company working in Galway City. GCP have been in existence since 1996 and their aim is to tackle disadvantage and social exclusion – and focus particularly on helping those who are long term unemployed.
 AMACH! LGBT Galway aims to reflect equally the diversity within the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community by encouraging positive participation from the community. We actively advocate to achieve a solid and safe support structure for the LGBT+ community in Galway. We aim to provide awareness, educational and training events and workshops, and endeavour to support and promote a socially inclusive society.