March 27, 2006

Towards an Intercultural Society

“Can I play too?” How often we have heard this cry from a child – a cry for inclusion, for recognition, for participation. This cry for participation is at the heart of Ireland’s Intercultural Week (March 19 – 25), a week built around and including the United Nations International Day Against Racism (March 21).

During this Intercultural week the Mercy Justice Team in Ireland launched a programme of three modules called: “Towards an Intercultural Society”. Beginning in Intercultural Week and continuing until Anti-Racism in the Workplace Week (Nov.06) the Mercy Justice Team will explore racism and interculturalism in terms of language, attitudes, beliefs and practices with a view to raising awareness and creating a more inclusive society.

"What is Interculturalism about?”

Interculturalism celebrates diversity of culture and the dignity of ethnic origin. ‘Participation is essentially about a sense of belonging for people from minority ethnic backgrounds in public, political, economic and cultural life.’ NCCRI

At the Mercy International Justice Conference 2001 we stated that:

Our rich heritage as Sisters of Mercy centred in Jesus Christ impels us, as Mercy International Justice Network, to use our collective resources to reach out, embrace and be embraced by a suffering world, so that all may have life to the full.

Our analysis, solidarity and action will be focused on:

  • All forms of violence against women and children
  • Racism in all its manifestations
  • Economic Injustice
  • Earth

The aims of the Mercy Justice Team programme “Towards an Intercultural Society” are:

  • To raise awareness of Racism in membership, Associates, friends and co-workers,
  • To challenge and change racist attitudes, beliefs, behaviours and structures within our own and wider society,
  • To contribute to a broader range of policies and strategies to address racism and to promote equality within institutions,
  • To promote the positive inclusion of minority ethnic groups based on the principles of equality, cultural awareness and respect.

The Mercy Justice Team envisages that this process will be presented to Sisters, Associates, friends and co-workers in over 200 venues throughout the length and breadth of Ireland.

Mercy Justice Team, 2006

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