Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

Northern Ireland Community Relations Week launches in Derry

Tony McCusker, chairman, Community Relations Council, getting into the swing of things on Derry's Historic Walls with Bollywood dancer Jossy Aji and Flamenco dancers Carmel O'Donnell, Niki Gahan and Elena Ballesteros at the official launch of Community Relations Week

Plans for a major Northern Ireland-wide programme of community relations events have been unveiled at a big event in Londonderry.

Northern Ireland Community Relations Week will take place next week (May 14-20), and dozens of people gathered in the Verbal Arts Centre to showcase their plans.

Derry City Council hosted the launch event with the Northern Ireland Community Relations Council (CRC) which coordinates Community Relations Week.

Representatives of various organisations holding events as part of Community Relations Week were in attendance to highlight their activities.

2012 marks the 10th Community Relations Week with the theme ‘No More Them and Us?’ and over 150 events are planned right across Northern Ireland.

The challenges and opportunities for creating a shared society will be the focus of the CRC’s policy conference at Titanic Belfast on Monday May 14 which will investigate embedding community relations in public policy.

Young people’s views will again be a focus as ARK presents the key findings of its 2011 Young Life and Times survey at Queen’s University on Tuesday May 15.

Community relations across the divide will be the theme of a workshop entitled ‘interface Work! What’s that then’ organised by the Interface Practice Collective on Friday May 18.

Derry City Council is launching a report on Friday May 18 into the work of the Forum for Cities in Transition to learn from other cities emerging from conflict. The Forum held an international conference in the city during CR Week last year.

Respecting diversity and welcoming minority ethnic groups is reflected in many activities including an awareness raising campaign in Omagh, training events in Belfast, and multi cultural quiz challenges organised by Beyond Skin.

The role of sport in bringing young people together to respect diversity is reflected in many events. In Belfast PeacePlayers International NI are bringing primary school pupils together on the basketball court, Cookstown District Council are bringing schoolchildren together to learn about sports diversity and challenge myths about sporting traditions.

More than 40 events in the 150 event programme are taking place across Derry City Council area, with a further 8 taking place in the county across Coleraine, Limavady and Magherafelt. Also attending were Strabane District Council, Moyle District Council, and Ballymoney Borough Council.



A full listing of Community Relations Week events can be found at www.nicrc.org.uk and printed programmes can be obtained from local libraries.



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