Coalition for Racial Equality & Rights

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Alex Dingwall

Alex Dingwall

Alex Dingwall is a Development Officer at the Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights

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Black History Celebration in Midlothian

A colourful celebration featuring talks, music, African dancing and food will take place at Dalkeith Arts Centre on Wednesday 29 October between 4pm and 7pm.

The evening will also feature a talk from Sir Geoff Palmer, Scotland’s first black professor, freeman of Midlothian, who is due to explore historical links between Scottish history and the history of Black people in the Caribbean.

There will also be live music from Ghana born Benny Tettech-Lartey, a BBC Scotland, award-winning musician from Loanhead.

The audience will have an opportunity to speak directly with both Sir Geoff and Benny to learn what Midlothian means to them.

Provost Joe Wallace is also due to attend, he said: “This is a fantastic project showcasing our diversity and multiculturalism in Midlothian. I’d urge everyone to come along and support us, while we celebrate and commemorate such a wonderful and important cause.” 

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Tagged in: Black History
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Trip to David Livingstone Centre

The Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights has organized a day trip to the David Livingstone Centre. The guided tour will take you through his life, giving you an insight into the character, and the adventures and achievements of the man who went from mill boy to Victorian hero.

Cost: £4.50 for adults and £2.50 for children, and free for members of the National Trust for Scotland

Free travel from Glasgow to the David Livingstone Centre will be provided.

Date: Wednesday 29th October 2014

Time: 11am - 3.30pm

Venue: David Livingstone Centre, 165 Station Road, Blantyre, G72 9BY

For more info: Contact Nadia, nadia@crer.org.uk, 0141 418 6530

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Comedy Night with Quincy

Stand-up, presenter, actor and compere, Quincy hosts his own live chat show, is a TV warm up (BBC’s Blouse and Skirts) and has presented on BBC1 Xtra and Klymaxx FM. His live comedy work includes weekends at The Comedy Store, regular weekends at Jongleurs and Jongleurs On The Road, and comedy clubs up and down the country and abroad, headlining and compering. He also tours in large-scale venues all over the UK and as a stand-up and in sketch shows including United Colours of Comedy at the Hackney Empire and Big Sister at The Oval Theatre, The Hackney Empire and Stratford East Theatre.

Winner of Black Entertainment Comedy Award 2005 “Big personality”

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Tagged in: Black History
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Inspired by Black History Month?

Now Is the Time to start planning for Black History Month 2015.

The Heritage Lottery Fund can provide grants from £3,000 for projects that help people explore heritage. Heritage can be anything from the past that you want to pass to future generations. It could be researching long ago history, learning more about current traditions, uncovering community memories, or exploring the natural or built environment around you.

Come to a workshop to find out more about applying to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), hear from successful projects on how they did it and meet with HLF development staff to discuss ideas.

Date: Wednesday 22nd October 22,

Time: 1pm-3pm

Venue: The Coalition For Racial Equality and Rights 78 Carlton Place, Glasgow, G5 9TH

Bookings are essential.

Please email nadia@crer.org.uk or call on 0141 418 6530 and advise of any dietary or access requirements.

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Girls on Film

Glasgow Girls is a specially commissioned musical drama for BBC Three and BBC Scotland that tells the inspirational true story of a group of schoolgirls whose petition to save their friend from deportation inspired a movement which would eventually help change immigration practices in Scotland and garnering them the Scottish Campaign of the Year award in 2005.

Come and see the film and also have the chance to meet the real Glasgow Girls.

Date: Friday 24th of October 2014 at 6pm

There will be free refreshments provided.

Venue: Debates Chamber (Level 6), University of Strathclyde Students’ Association, 90 John Street, Glasgow G1 1JH

More info: Roza Salih, 0141 567 5028, ussa.vpda@strath.ac.uk

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From Home Front to Front Line: As Good as Any Man

Wednesday 22nd October 2014

Join author Roy Laycock as he introduces you to Arthur Roberts a Black WW1 Soldier who served with the Kings Own Scottish Borderers and fought at Passendaele.

“As Good As Any Man” tells his life story from the chance discovery in a Glasgow loft of his diaries, memoirs and memorabilia.

The diary entries – ranging from May 1917 to March 1918 – were written by Arthur Roberts while he served initially with the King’s Own Scottish Borderers before being transferred to Royal Scots Fusiliers in 1917. He details what life was like for him during the First World War, how he survived the Battle of Passchendaele, and how he escaped unscathed when a German shell killed a dozen men round him. Yet Arthur was an otherwise unknown man – what was the rest of his life like? 

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Tagged in: Black History CRER
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The Fierce Urgency of Now

There are times of crisis and injustice in human history when great incisive minds see clearly and speak with passionate clarity about the way forward. They capture the mood and will of the people at that time and give it an inspirational voice.

As part of Black History Month we are presenting some of the great speeches from the movement for equality and justice not just because they are important records of Black History's great struggle for self-determination, but because they continue to energise and galvanise today’s listener.
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Tagged in: Black History CRER
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CRER Debate: Should Scotland Apologise for its Role in Slavery?

Over recent years, the debate about Scotland’s involvement with slavery has gained momentum. Whether you agree or not, Scotland’s complicity in its slavery past is a topic that inspires fierce debate among academics, the public and the media.


For Black History Month 2014 CRER brings to you key speakers including award winning writer Chris Dolan and Professor Sir Geoff Palmer, to argue for and against the need for Scotland to apologise for its role in this vile trade.

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Tagged in: Black History CRER
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The Black Minstrelsy in Scotland

This interactive lunchtime event will discuss the black faced minstrel shows from America at a critical time in the battle for “hearts & minds” on the issue of slavery in the southern states of America – in the two decades prior to the outbreak of the Civil War. The great emancipation campaigner Frederick Douglass, then in Scotland, denounced the shows as rooted in racist bigotry.

The presentation will be delivered by Dr Eric Graham, Honorary Post-Doctoral Fellow, and Scottish Centre for the Diaspora, University of Edinburgh. Project consultant to the Structure & Significance of British Caribbean Slave ownership project (UCL) and author of Burns & the Sugar Plantocracy of Ayrshire.

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Tagged in: Black History CRER
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The Great Black Quiz Night 

Could you name the Black Football player who captained Scotland to a 6-1 victory over England?

Which famous Crimean War nurse said “I am a Creole, and have good Scots blood coursing through my veins. My father was a soldier of an old Scottish family.”

Which brave woman drew national attention to segregation in the American South when she was arrested for refusing to give up her seat on the bus to a white person?

Who was the first Black politician to be elected to office in Scotland?

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Tagged in: Black History CRER
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Date: Wednesday 8 October 2014

Venue: Rutherglen Town Hall, 139 Main St, Rutherglen, South Lanarkshire G73 2JJ

Time: 7.30pm

Tickets: £6

Call our Box Office on 0141 613 5700 or visit us online at www.sllcboxoffice.co.uk 

WALTER TULL, the first black officer in the British Army is portrayed in powerful new play, touring this year in celebration of Black History Month.

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Tagged in: Black History
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Black History Month is an opportunity to mark the struggles and successes of Black people in the past and present; issues which may have been forgotten about or are absent from our history books and the education system.

In Scotland, it has been celebrated since 2001. Here, Black History Month has encompassed the history of African, Caribbean and Asian people in this country; people who often have a direct link with Scotland through slavery or colonialism. It is a time to acknowledge the contributions, sacrifices and achievements that have been made which inspire us, but also a time to remember, and take the opportunity to apply the lessons of the past to build upon our future.

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(left to right: Robert Brown (Lib Dems), Jatin Haria (CRER), Gary Dunion (Greens),
Tasmina Ahmed Sheikh (SNP), Colin Clark (Chair), Jennifer Glinski (CRER), David Coburn (UKIP), Asim Kham (Labour)


With only two months left till the European Parliament (EP) elections, CRER decided to host an informative session and a political hustings surrounding all things European Parliament. Our goal was to provide people with more insight, information and knowledge of the EP and its functions but also present people with an opportunity to hear from the Scottish European Parliament candidates directly.

The informative afternoon session was led by Mr Per Johansson, the Head of the European Parliament Office in Edinburgh, who provided the audience with an overview of the European Parliament and the upcoming elections. Mr Johansson highlighted the differences between the European Parliament, the Council of Europe and the European Commission and the powers of each institution. He then focused on the legislative power of the EP and how the decisions made affect the everyday lives of everyone in Europe.

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"I call on all people, especially political, civic and religious leaders, to strongly condemn messages and ideas based on racism, racial superiority or hatred as well as those that incite racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance."

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

  

International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is observed annually on the 21st March to commemorate the day in 1960 where police opened fire and killed 69 people at a peaceful demonstration in Sharpeville, South Africa. The official day was proclaimed six years later by the United Nations (UN) General Assembly in a call to the international community to redouble its efforts to eliminate all forms of racial discrimination. 

The 21st of March this year, marks the first celebration of International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination since the death of former South African President Nelson Mandela. President Mandela’s legacy is particularly relevant to the 21st March celebrations due to his historic struggle against apartheid and the victory over racist forces in South Africa. 

This year the UN has decided to honour the courageous struggle of an extraordinary leader in the fight against racism and chosen “The Role of Leaders in Combatting Racism and Racial Discrimination” as the 2014 theme for International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. 

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Above is Samina's photo from the the "I Speak for Myself"campaign, a travelling exhibition displaying hundreds of the messages captured during Amina's roadshow and which aims to tackle misconceptions and common stereotypes about Muslim women, thus reducing inequality and sexual discrimination not only within the Muslim community but also in the wider society.

“This was about Muslim women sharing their messages with fellow Scots."

“The messages talk about all the things that women talk about, regardless of their race and religion. In their own words they say, ‘This is who I am’.”


For her inspirational quote Samina chose the words of Mother Teresa.

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Vuyelva Mpongoshe

Vuyelva Mpongoshe

I think it is time to end violence against women. It's time to end hunger and poverty, we need to empower all women. Women should get access to education, training, science and technology.

We should have equal rights and the same opportunities as men. Men and women should unite to end violence against women and girls, women should have the right to make decisions at work or in a relationship. Women should be able to plan for the future.

I remember the time my mother was suffering in silence because she didn't know anything about her rights or where to go for help. This was in Africa where there are no facilities to help people to fight for their rights.

This women’s day makes me to remember the time there was a shame in my family. My father was a farm worker for years, one day the owner of the farm accused my father of stealing his goods and he was arrested. The same day, the farmer told our mother to leave his farm. When our mother asked him where she should go at this time with seven children and all of her belongings he told my mother that it was not his business and that he wanted to put someone new in our house that same night.

We spent our night on the street without food and drink. My mother’s last born was 8 months, we couldn't even help our mother because we were still too young. I think I was 12 years old girl. Our mother was full of tears and sadness in her face but, she had to be strong for us.

I grew up thinking about what happened to my family and have asked myself where was the humanity? Where was the humanity for the woman with seven children?  To be thrown out by the farmer at that time of the night, to have to sleep on the street with seven children. How on earth could people destroy other people's lives like that? No one was born to suffer like the way our mother was suffering.

I hope for changes because things like that are still happening. Enough is enough. 

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Rehana Faqir

The quotes that inspire me:

“I have been working for so many years and women still don’t get equal pay”

“Women's chains have been forged by men, not by anatomy.” ~ Estelle R Ramsey.

“Women are not inherently passive or peaceful, we're not inherently anything but human.” ~ Robin Morgan.

“If all men are born free, how is it that all women are born slaves?” ~ Mary Astell

“Nobody objects to a women being a good writer or a sculptor or geneticist if at the same time she manages to be a good wife, a good mother, good-looking, good-tempered, well-dresses, well groomed and unaggressive.”  ~ Marya Mannes

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Judy Wasige

My residence in Scotland the last 10 years has made me realise that irrespective of country, community problems are the same, only described by context relevant terms and analogies. Being Kenyan, I in my wildest dreams could never have imagined that poverty would make up part of Europe’s fabric. Through experience, mainly influenced by my daughter’s involvement with a food bank in Glasgow, this view has been altered. In responding to food shortages for families due to the recession and the resultant  job losses and unfavourable government welfare policies, the woman in her, like many other women around the world have done and continue to do, took it upon herself to sort out the problem using the only means available to her. She fasted for 7 days; a whole 7 days without food, only water and tea.

Initially, I thought she would last a maximum of 4 days and then give up. I watched keenly and waited…

Come day 5, I was very concerned; she looked weak, tired and complained about a lack of sleep and concentration in class.

By day 6 she had lost 10 pounds. I wanted her to give up and had my phone on standby, expecting a call from the emergency services.

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Anu Roy  

Feminist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

“We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller

We say to girls: ‘You can have ambition, but not too much

You should aim to be successful, but not too successful

Otherwise, you will threaten the man’

Because I am female, I am expected to aspire to marriage

I am expected to make my life choices

Always keeping in mind that marriage is the most important

Now, marriage can be a source of joy and love and mutual support

But why do we teach girls to aspire to marriage

And we don’t teach boys the same?

We raise girls to see each other as competitors

Not for jobs or accomplishments, which I think can be a good thing

But for the attention of men

We teach girls that they cannot be sexual being the way that boys are

Feminist: a person who believes in the social

Political, and economic equality of the sexes”

 

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Sangeeta Kaur

The women of my faith have been given the status of royalty. ‘Kaur’, meaning ‘princess’, is the second name adopted by every female Sikh. They are encouraged to use it proudly, whilst men are taught to treat them as the name dictates.

The women of my life are real princesses. They are the embodiment of virtue, integrity and true beauty. They have strength beyond measure and love beyond limits. They have endured more than I can say, yet their resolve remains firm each and every day.

My mother, grandmother, aunts, sisters and friends, are the light of my life. They have taught me the meaning of courage, perseverance and compassion through their kind words and brave actions.

However, the women of the world have suffered through oppression, and have been degraded. They have endured the pains of inequality and unfair treatment. They were subjected to abuse and their voices were silenced.

And yet, they fought. They demanded equal rights. They demanded an equal status for themselves, and they demanded to be recognised as the beautiful beings they are. They have progressed, inspired change, and continue to promote justice and love.

I am indebted to each and every woman that has challenged the world. Every woman that has lived and loved has coloured the world with compassion.

They continue to enlighten humankind.

They continue to inspire me.

Because of them, I am here, and I am me.

"Man is born from a woman; within woman, man is conceived; to a woman he is engaged and married. 
Man is friends with woman; through woman, the future generations exist. 
When the woman passes away, he seeks another woman; to a woman a man is bound. 
So why call her bad? 
From her, kings are born. From a woman, woman is born; without woman there would be no one at all" 
 
Guru Nanak Dev Ji
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