'Let's break down barriers' - Mayor

Good Relations Week set to celebrate 30 years of peace building and cultural diversity - and local groups and organisations across the Borough will showcase good relations efforts as part of the virtual celebrations.

Good Relations Week 2020 will celebrate 30 years of peace building and cultural diversity.

This year’s virtual Good Relations Week, delivered by the Community Relations Council, will run from September 14-21 and include a virtual programme of over 150 online events and digital content from a diverse range of groups and organisations.

The theme for the online showcase is ‘Celebrating Our Journey, Embracing Our Future’ and the programme of events and content will include online workshops, Zoom lectures, online panel discussions, podcasts, digital storytelling and virtual exhibitions.

The online events and digital content will explore topics such as tackling sectarianism and racism, cultural diversity, dealing with the past, faith, sport, young people and language.

Event and Content organisers include community and voluntary organisations, local councils, Libraries NI, the Education Authority, Ulster Rugby, Queen’s University, and Ulster University.

The Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey Councillor Jim Montgomery urged local people to get involved.

“It gives me great pleasure to see the good work carried out across our community tackling issues such as racism and sectarianism,” he said.

“As our community becomes more diverse, it is important that we embrace and learn from other cultures and ensure our Borough is an inclusive place for everyone.

“We must continue to build on the good work already carried out to promote understanding and break down any barriers as we build relationships for the future.”

Nisha Tandon, Board member of the Community Relations Council said COVID-19 would not limit their ambition.

“This is a big year for us as we celebrate 30 years of investment in outstanding community relations work, and we are delighted to deliver over 150 online events that will showcase the fantastic efforts of people and communities in tackling sectarianism and racism and promoting cultural diversity.

“This online experience will demonstrate the spirit of good relations to a new virtual audience and make this year’s Good Relations Week a modern celebration of Northern Ireland’s diverse culture and heritage.”

Jacqueline Irwin CEO of the Community Relations Council said this year’s event was the culmination of a lot of hard work.

“Thanks to everyone who has contributed to this year’s programme – the energy behind the week is your enthusiasm, commitment and imagination.

“We hope Good Relations Week 2020 will inspire everyone to get involved in bringing local people together to help each other and, in so doing, build trusting relationships and a happier future too.”

Good Relations Week is supported by The Executive Office, Department for Communities, Department of Justice and the Education Authority Northern Ireland and contributes to achieving the Together: Building a United Community Strategy.

For more information on Good Relations Week 2020 online programme of events and content visit: www.goodrelationsweek.com or keep up to date on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #GRWeek2020.

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