22 Mar 2005

THE Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People, Nigel Williams, today (Monday 21st March) hosted an anti-racism event to mark International Day Against Racism, with the message that we are all growing together

The event at the Commissioner’s Belfast offices saw groups from various ethnic communities come together to celebrate the growing diversity of children and young people in Northern Ireland.

There was also an opportunity at the event for young people to apply to join the NICCY Youth Panel.

NICCY Chief Operating Officer, Barney McNeany, said that children and young people were too often at the sharp end of racism.

“Racism is a scourge on Northern Ireland’s society, a scourge that affects children and young people particularly acutely,” he said.

“At today’s event we wanted to mark the International Day Against Racism by celebrating the growing diversity our culture is now developing.

”Our culture is growing together in many ways –we must do all we can to make sure the now many different cultures that make up Northern Ireland in the 21st Century grow ever closer. Today we hope we are helping that growth.”

Mr McNeany said the NICCY Youth Panel was one very clear way the Commissioner’s office wanted to be more representative of all children and young people.

“Our Youth Panel provides an independent voice for children and young people about what we do and how we do it. We want to make sure that the Youth Panel is representative of the many different cultures and backgrounds in Northern Ireland.”

Young People can apply to join the NICCY Youth Panel by clicking here or by calling Ken Smyth, NICCY Participation Manager on 028 9031 1616.

Also, at the NICCY offices was the My Space and Multiple Realities exhibition from community arts group Wheelworks.

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Barney McNeany, Chief Operating Officer, Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People (NICCY) takes a few lessons in Indian drumming from l-r Dharmandra Samasudran, Samuel Mahadeo, Deepak Sharma from the Indian Community Centre, as part of NICCY’s celebrations to mark International Day Against Racism.