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Committee Motion - Community Relations Week 2014 Further Information

Community Relations Week 2014

Since 2003 the Community Relations Council has co-ordinated Community Relations Week with events planned by a huge variety of voluntary and community groups, District Councils and other public bodies. This has become a significant showcase opportunity to publicise the positive projects and initiatives that are taking place across the community to promote a more shared society.

The Community Relations Council believes that the need to build a united community and shared society and to challenge the segregation and division around us is more relevant than ever.  Taking part in Community Relations Week is a good way to demonstrate that commitment.   In 2013 almost 200 events were staged on community relations themes including debates, discussions, exhibitions, festivals and cultural performances, These attracted extensive media coverage.

In 2014  the theme for the Week will be Building A United Community, matching the declared government strategy for good relations. It takes place from June 16 to June 22. Over 150 events have been submitted by organisations including local councils, community and voluntary groups and public bodies.

The Week begins on Monday 16 June with the CRC Policy Conference on the Haass-related theme ‘Finish the Job’. The conference will reflect on the Peace Monitoring Reports, the recurring issues and the implications for the future if these are not addressed. The half-day event takes place at 174 Trust’s newly renovated Duncairn Complex on Belfast’s Antrim Road.

CRC will also be presenting the annual Community Relations Award for Exceptional Achievement following the David Stevens Memorial Lecture on Wednesday 18 June (venue to be confirmed).

Young people are an important focus of the week. In Ballymena, Ballymena Borough Council is working with 10 Ballymena Learning Together post primary schools to understand the role of civic leadership and the positive impact it can have on their town. On the theme of remembering especially in this decade of centenaries Youth Action NI are holding an intergenerational breakfast meeting with historian Fearghal McGarry, to help identify and promote a greater understanding of a ‘shared’ history to enable a ‘shared’ future.

Many events reflect cultural diversity and Derry City Council are launching Kabalikat! celebrating the Filipino community,  a newly emergent constituted BME group in the North West. They are highlighting not only their culture but the researched needs of this community locally. Beyond Skin have brought an exciting addition to the week with workshops, showcase and special events across Northern Ireland involving local young people working with The World of Music Arts and Dance (WOMAD), the renowned international arts festival. Special guests will include a Zimbabwean dance group SIYAYA and world class dance artist Ripton from Jamaica. Details will be in the programme and also at

Other planned events include one by the LINC project, which is celebrating the work of Jennymount Community Network and the affirmation of Jennymount Methodist Church as a safe and inclusive space.  It marks the work of cross-community organisations in lower North Belfast who work in partnership together to build a safe, just and integrated community.

Belfast City Council will be illuminating the City Hall in multiple colours on 16 June to mark the start of Community Relations Week.

A printed programme of events will be published in advance of the week. An updated online programme will also be available at  


* Note: Overlapping with Refugee Week, and as part of the Community Relations Week programme, Human Trafficking is the subject of a talk,  by South African born Nandi Jola at Newry City Library on 18th century born Saartjie Baartman who was trafficked from Africa to Europe.  Also at Newry City Library Nandi will tell her own story ‘The Journey’ through her poetry readings. Both events will take place on 19 June.

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