The death of George Floyd on 25th May 2020 generated discussions and debate on racism and the important of tackling racism at all levels of the society. One of the reasons why AkiDwA was founded in 2001 was a result of racism and discrimination migrant women were experiencing at the time, this area of work remains key and very important into ensuring women, families and society in general are involved in challenging racism as a societal problem. AkiDwA strategic plan identify this area as important and reaffirm the need to work towards dismantling racism.
In July 2021 AkiDwA started with the recruitment of volunteers to support and progress work on dismantling racism, AkiDwA 3rd action concentrated on addressing racism and this was done by inviting other organisation to join work on dismantling racism and recruitment and training of volunteers. The main areas of work on this area for the volunteers was to raise awareness, support victims of racism and support in to accessing Justice.
To achieve this, it was agreed the organisation would invite other groups and organisation to join and work on this initiative, this group was given the name Community Alliance Against racism and has 10 organisations leading the work, a core group of six was selected and worked on recruiting and training volunteers. By February 2022, 60 people from 21 counties in Ireland from diverse backgrounds had registered and trained as volunteers and continue to spearhead areas of work mentioned above.
Training focused on participants understanding racism and its effects into the society, areas covered were-
- Unconscious Biases
- Micro- aggressions
- How Discrimination Develops
- Discrimination (Individual & Institutional)
- Defining Racism
- Effects of Individual Racism
- Effects of Institutional Racism
- Breaking the Chain of Discrimination
Second Session was on volunteering and reaching out to the community-
- Aspect of volunteering
- Available support for volunteers
The group designed logo and came up with a slogan Racism has NO Place in Ireland with this awareness raising materials were printed (print t-shirts, Wrist band, badges-see photos attached) which continue to help the volunteers to raise the awareness.
Section on dismantling project has been placed in AkiDwA website https://akidwa.ie/dismantling-racism/ since July 2021. The organisation convenes the community alliance against Racism group and has been supporting the delivery of the capacity building training. The Volunteers are of different ethnic background mainly young females.
The community alliance against racism holds meetings on monthly basis.