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Schools, youth clubs and sports groups help to spread the message that ‘We All Belong’

13th February 2020

Schools, youth clubs and sports groups have a vital role to play in tacking prejudice and discrimination in all its forms - that was the message today as the Mayor of Derry City & Strabane District Council Cllr Michaela Boyle launched the ‘We All Belong’ campaign’s education resource.

The resource is part of Derry City and Strabane District Council’s PEACE IV Programme which is supported by the European Union, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB).

Match-funding has been provided by the Executive Office in Northern Ireland and the Department of Rural and Community Development in Ireland.

The 44 page document, provides teachers, youth workers and others with information, quizzes and sample discussion topics which can engage young people in a positive and constructive manner on the issues of prejudice and discrimination. The document was launched at Destined, a voluntary organisation in Derry which empowers people with disability and promotes social inclusion.

The We All Belong campaign was launched in 2018, and has been promoting the message that everyone living in Derry & Strabane District belongs here, regardless of race, religious belief, sexual orientation, political opinion, gender identity or disability. In Autumn last year, the campaign launched a range of widely-praised billboards featuring local people from minority, disability, cultural and religious groups, who are all playing their part to build acceptance and understanding in the wider community.

Speaking at the launch, Councillor Boyle said: "The We All Belong campaign has promoted the message that no matter where you are from or where you were born, if you live or work in our cities and towns then you belong here. Following their successful advertising campaign, I am delighted to be here today to launch this Education Resource which will empower schools and clubs as they work directly with our young people to stamp out prejudice and discrimination. This pack will be distributed to all schools and clubs in the council area and I would encourage you all to use this resource, and engage with the local people who are included in it, to spread the message that We All Belong.

"In recent years we have enjoyed vastly improved community relations locally and I am proud to say that our City and District is a welcoming place for those who choose to make their home here, no matter where they are from. This campaign has reinforced the message that all of us have a role to play in tackling discrimination and prejudice in all its forms - that includes historic prejudices but also discrimination against minority communities in our city and the wider area.”

The WE ALL BELONG campaign is funded through the SEUPB’s PEACE IV initiative and is dedicated to tackling prejudice and hate crime in all its forms. This includes racist, homophobic, religious, sectarian, transgender and disability hate crime.

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