Belfast Telegraph

It’s time to YOUnite for World Peace Day

by Fiona Rutherford

Comedian Tim McGarry is launching YOUnite Week in east Belfast, which aims to raise awareness of the wide diversity of cultures within Northern Ireland.

This initiative is a joint partnership between Beyond Skin, Belfast Metropolitan College, and Unite against Hate.

This week of activities (from 15 – 21 September) will culminate in the celebration of International Peace Day on September 21, with a concert held |at Belfast Met’s Castlereagh Building.

The stage line-up will include |multi-cultural bands Magwere and Thfree, and Belfast singer-songwriter Jonny Nixon.

Belfast Met students will also |perform a drum composition with Ghanaian drummers.

The Wheelworks Artcart will be onsite during the concert, and will be holding multimedia visual workshops.

YOUnite week, which is part of the Belfast East creative legacies programme, will feature a week of activities including art, music, and multimedia workshops held within the east Belfast area.

Homely Planet, the internet-based radio station, will be recording these events and producing programmes highlighting how different cultures and traditions are represented.

Belfast Met Students’ Union will also be featuring a range of events throughout their YOUnite Freshers’ Week, which will include African Drum Circles and the screening of a number |of cultural diversity films.

International Peace Day, which is also known as World Peace Day, is an annual day of global ceasefire and non-violence, and provides an |opportunity for individuals, organisations, and countries to create practical acts of peace on a shared date.

Marie-Therese McGivern, director and chief executive at Belfast Met said: “We are a multi-cultural college, and attract a diverse range of students from different backgrounds, ages, abilities, and countries.

“Through this student-led initiative, we will continue to embrace and celebrate the colleges’ diversity, and help to inspire students and staff to work for a more peaceful, equitable, and tolerant society.”

Eva Grosman, Unite against Hate project manager, added: “Expressions of hatred and prejudice because of race, religion, sexuality, or disability are unacceptable, and must be challenged whenever possible. The Unite against Hate welcomes the opportunity to work with Belfast Metropolitan College and Beyond Skin to ensure that the prejudices of a few will not be allowed to dictate the terms on which people can live, work, and study here”.

Darren Ferguson, manager of Beyond Skin, welcomed the partnership in developing the first ever YOUnite week with BMC and Unite Against Hate: “Using the arts and music as part of the creative legacies programme, we will reflect the individualistic and united culture within East Belfast,” he said.

To find out more about the range of events held during YOUnite Week and the International Day of Peace concert visit www.belfasteast.net

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