Good Relations Week 2022 will deliver a positive message that ‘Change Starts With Us’ as the annual celebration shines a light on local communities taking action to build a stronger shared society and a more sustainable future.
The theme for this year’s celebration is ‘‘Change Starts With Us’ with a week-long programme of events that will focus on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals to highlight the political, social, economic, and environmental challenges we face as a region.
It will also demonstrate how good community relationships are fundamental to enabling us to work together to promote inclusive and sustainable growth.
Co-ordinated by the Community Relations Council, Good Relations Week 2022 will run from Monday 19 to Sunday 25 September 2022 with an anticipated programme of up to 300 events from a diverse range of organisations across the region.
This will include a mixture of workshops, lectures, panel discussions, feature talks, podcasts, film, music and dance performances, storytelling and exhibitions.
Local community groups, voluntary organisations, representative groups, statutory bodies, businesses and local councils are being encouraged to get involved and register their events by the deadline of Friday 26 August.
The annual celebration of peace building, and cultural diversity work will showcase the outstanding good relations efforts of local communities in delivering peace and prosperity to the region. It will also address a wide range of local challenges and concerns, everything from sectarianism and racism to shared spaces, peace-building and cultural diversity.
This year’s programme of events will also shine a light on good relations activities that address UN Sustainable Development issues such as gender inequality, climate change and the environment, improving individual health and well-being, eradicating poverty, and hunger, and removing barriers to improved education.
Martin McDonald MBE, Chair of the Community Relations Council, said: “Good Relations Week has adopted the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals within its theme this year as we call on local communities to work together to achieve a better and more sustainable future for us all.
“The theme will showcase the imagination, enthusiasm, and commitment of local groups and organisations in their efforts on a day-to-day basis to work towards a better and more sustainable future for everyone, and hopefully inspire others to make a lasting difference, big or small, in their communities.
“We want this year’s celebration of peace building and cultural diversity work to shine a light on the importance of recognising that meaningful and lasting change in our everyday lives starts with us and those around us.
“Change starts with us continuing to tackle important issues such sectarianism, racism, and other forms of identity hatred and inequality, and our efforts towards breaking down barriers to unite communities around us.
“It will also focus attention on important issues and challenges we are facing today, including mental health, education, the pandemic, food poverty, and the environment.
Jacqueline Irwin, Chief Executive of the Community Relations Council, added: “In a time of dramatic change and uncertainty, we want Good Relations Week 2022 to celebrate the outstanding good relations efforts of local organisations across the region to bring communities together, regardless of background, culture, or heritage.
“We are planning a packed programme of events that will use the UN Sustainable Development Goals to highlight the political, social, economic, and environmental challenges and opportunities facing communities. The week will reinforce the message that ‘Change Starts With Us’ and a collective effort to achieve a sustainable future for our society.
“Good Relations Week 2022 will provide an opportunity for communities to take stock, celebrate transformative good relations work and hopefully inspire others around us to take action for a shared and sustainable future.
“We want to give everyone the chance to be part of this year’s programme, so we encourage all organisations to shine a light on their peacebuilding and cultural diversity efforts by getting involved in Good Relations Week 2022 and registering an event at www.goodrelationsweek.com.”
Good Relations Week is supported by The Executive Office and contributes to delivering the Together: Building a United Community Strategy.
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Notes to Editors
Good Relations Week is coordinated by the Community Relations Council with the support of a Co-Design Steering Group Committee that includes representation from: The Executive Office, Department for Communities, Department of Justice, Education Authority, Cathedral Quarter Trust, The Nerve Centre, The Rainbow Project, Volunteer Now, Another World Belfast, Belfast Health and Social Care Trust and NI Environment Link.
Good Relations Week supports the aims and objectives NI Executive’s Good Relations Strategy, Together: Building a United Community by providing a platform for the 300 groups and organisations, many grant supported by the Community Relations Council, as well as statutory bodies such as the Education Authority, Libraries NI and the 11 local Councils to showcase the work they are doing in their local area in the field of community relations and cultural diversity.