Public representatives as well as people with disabilities, LGBT groups and the PSNI were among the first to sign the pledge, with Mayor John Boyle calling on people from across the city and district to sign.
The pledge, which emphasises what each of us as an individual can do, reads: “I pledge to oppose discrimination in all its forms against all people regardless of background, identity or belief. I will challenge hate in all its forms as I believe every person and organisation can make a difference, I recognise that diversity and difference enriches us all. I pledge to promote equality for everyone in our city and district.”
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.
The PEACE IV Programme is supported by the European Union, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB). We All Belong is part of the Beyond Tokenism programme, and is working with groups right across the Derry City and Strabane area, including the Lettershandoney and District Development Group, Foyle Race Equality Forum and the Migrant Centre NI.
Speaking at the launch of the pledge, Mayor of Derry City & Strabane Councillor John Boyle said: “Prejudice or hatred in any form has no place in Derry City or Strabane District and I am delighted to sign the We All Belong Pledge today.
“The message is clear - we do not and will not accept any type of hatred or discrimination whether it is based on religion, race, politics, sexual orientation, disability or any other forms. I know there are many people signing the pledge today and I urge people from across Derry and Strabane to add their name to it in the coming weeks.
“The message from the We All Belong campaign and this pledge is that Derry City and Strabane is a place which is welcoming, open and inclusive for all.”
The We All Belong pledge was also signed by Foyle MP Elisha McCallion and Sinn Fein councillors, SDLP Leader and Foyle MLA Colum Eastwood and SDLP councillors, UUP and independent councillors.
Members and representatives from Destined Disability Group, the Rainbow Project, Foyle Pride, Cara-Friend, UNISON LGBT NI, Out North West, Pink Ladies Cancer Support Group, Bogside and Brandywell Health Forum, NI Housing Executive, Council for the Homeless NI, First Housing and the local PSNI have also all signed up to the pledge.
Political representatives from other parties are also set to sign the pledge in the coming days.
The pledge will travel across the city and cistrict in the coming weeks and months and any group which wishes to sign is urged to contact the campaign on [email protected]