Local people take centre stage in anti-discrimination drive

‘I Believe that We All Belong’ - that was the message from a range of groups and individuals from across Derry & Strabane who are playing a central role in a new advertising campaign.

Tuesday, 22nd October 2019, 9:34 am
WE ALL BELONG - launching a new prejudice campaign at Foyle Street, Derry on Thursday last are Councillor Michaela Boyle, Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Mr. Stephen Birkett, and Mr. Dermot Oâ¬"Hara, Destined.(Photo: Jim McCafferty Photography)

The campaign features a range of citizens from across the city and district, including LGBT activists, church leaders, the Black and Ethinic Minority community, Traveller community, disability groups and cultural organisations. Their message is simple - ‘We All Belong’.

The ‘We All Belong’ campaign was launched in 2018, and has been promoting the message that everyone living in Derry &Strabane District belongs here, regardless of race, religious belief, sexual orientation, political opinion, gender identity or disability. The aim is to build acceptance and understanding. Among those who will be seen on billboards and bus shelters across the area are Traveller representative Martin McDonagh, Rehka Dromgoole of the Foyle Race Equality Forum, and church leaders including Bishop Donal McKeown and Archdeacon Robert Miller.

Speaking at the launch, Mayor Michaela Boyle, said: “The greatest asset of Derry City and Strabane is our people, and I am delighted that such a broad range of individuals from a variety of backgrounds are promoting the important message that We All Belong. Discrimination or prejudice in any form is not welcome here.”

Martin McDonagh, who features in the campaign said: “I believe that your race, your background, your sexuality should not matter. We are all human beings, and we should treat everyone with respect.

“I’ve been here in Derry for three years, and I’m involved in so many community projects, including Traveller cultural groups, and the majority of people right across the city have always made me feel like I belong.”

The campaign is funded through the SEUPB’s PEACE IV initiative, supported by the EU, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB). Match-funding has been provided by the Executive Office in NI and the Department of Rural and Community Development in Ireland.