THE ANTI-RACIST COMMUNITY PROJECT: THE IDEA
The work of the Canal Communities Against Racism group is informed by a restorative justice perspective, where we seek to empower communities to address issues for themselves and utilise existing community relationships and structures. This model is about creating a community that is both pro-active but also responsive to the reality of racism. We hope this model can be applied across Ireland in the future.
If your organisation is based in the Canal Communities area you can join the project! Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
If you are interested in developing this model in your locality, get in touch with us at email@example.com.
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RATIONALE: WHY THE CANAL COMMUNITIES
- The area has a long and proud history of anti-racist and intercultural work as well as a high level of connectivity across different organisations. The area has a reputation for its political activism.
- The community has a high percentage of ethnic minority residents (approx. 21% overall).
- We know there are racist incidents frequently happening in the community affecting not only Travellers, migrants and religious communities in the area directly but also harming the entire community fibre indirectly.
- The area has successfully piloted its own system for recording racist incidents in the past with a high level of community engagement.
- We are aware there are many local groups and organisations who feel that racism has no place in the Canal Communities. We believe it’s the right time to come together to show that racism is not accepted here and to build a welcoming, inclusive and safe environment for all.
- Each organisation nominates an individual who will represent them in the group and take responsibility for rolling out the initiative in their own organisations.
- All organisations sign up to a simple anti-racism protocol and display this in their respective projects or centres.
- Nominated people participate in a half-day ‘Responding to Racism in a Community’ training on reporting racism using iReport.ie and responding to racism in a community context.
- Nominated individuals participate in a network of organisations committed to anti-racism in the area on a monthly basis. They also become points of contact for victims or/and witnesses of racism in the local area to support reporting through iReport.ie and establish an effective referral system. Their names and contact details will be displayed on the project’s promotional materials.
- A promotional campaign using posters/fliers in organisations, businesses and public centres affirming the local area’s commitment to anti-racism.
- As issues and incidents occur that network acts as a point of support in responding at a community level to incidents of racism. All incidents are logged to iReport.ie.
- Members are encouraged to contact each other and INAR in order to help each other with cases.
Role of Gardai and other statutory agencies
4 Garda Officers, one male and one female from two local Garda Stations (Kevin Street and Kilmainham) has been assigned as the officers to go to in terms of reporting racism. They agreed to come out into the community to meet people who have been targeted by incidents in a safe space and to work with the network. Their contact details can be accessed here.
Download the Canal Communities Against Racism Flyer and flyer insert with a contact list of project representatives
Group meetings participation
- The network of organisations meet monthly and as need arises.
- Meetings include space for Project Champions/Representatives to tease out some of the difficulties with reporting and responding in a community context; to share success stories; to share resources; to develop links and network in relation to anti-racism and intercultural activities and issues.
- INAR gives feedback on anonymised area based statistics on racism in the Canal Communities (or other locality). This helps to identify trends in the area, racism hot-spots and issues that might warrant more structured interventions.
Between meetings networking
- Network members take reports, support those affected by racism and act as ongoing support for each other as issues arise.
- Group members can contact INAR and each other for support/advice when needed.
Recording racist incidents
- Taking ongoing reports of racist incidents in the Canal Communities through www.iReport.ie. The reporting tool is simple, straight forward and confidential.
Promotion of the initiative
- INAR, DSCP and RCN provide resources to proactively promote anti-racism in the community.
- INAR supports the community to mount a positive action and provide posters and fliers that allow the community to visually represent its commitment to anti-racism.
- Participation and support in organising the final event to celebrate the project and its achievements.
- Data on racism in the Canal Communities (or other local areas involved in the project). The community will hear their own data back and get a chance to get an overview of the extent of racist incidents in the community.
- Safer, more welcoming community means less racist incidents locally due to better awareness and collective, organised and informed response to racism.
- Establishing a model for the creation of a Community Response to Racism with support of iReport.ie online reporting system.
- Evaluation and a short report on project model and recommendations and its impact.
- Greater awareness among the community (indigenous and minority ethnic groups and local organisations) about how and where to report racism.
- Stronger, improved relationships among local organisations, the Garda and minority ethnic residents.