Inclusion and Integration Week 2023 aimed to encourage social inclusion, integration and diversity
Dublin City Council’s Inclusion and Integration Week 2023 took place from Monday 6th November, with events taking place through to Sunday 12th November, under the theme “Dublin, A City for All.” The week hosted many free events in various locations across Dublin that focused on meaningful social inclusion and integration in communities. The aim of the week was to highlight the positive work carried out by Dublin City Council and other agencies to promote social inclusion, integration and diversity in our city.
With a programme of over 100 events throughout its seven day run, Inclusion & Integration Week 2023 was a sizable undertaking for Dublin City Council’s Housing and Community Services Department and Social Inclusion teams; one that was only made possible by the assistance of the delivery partners in the various communities that make up Dublin City.
The week-long initiative featured events from panel discussions to yoga classes, language exchanges to exhibitions, music to sport and much more. Inclusion and Integration week has an event for everyone and aimed to bring on board anyone in Dublin who may face barriers to social inclusion. It was particularly targeted at young people, older people, people living with disability, members of the Traveller community, early school leavers and migrants to let them know that they are valued and welcome in Dublin. The other goal of the week was to inform the people of Dublin how to better appreciate and nourish diversity.
Lord Mayor of Dublin Daithí de Róiste commented at the launch of the week, “It is really important that Dubliners with different backgrounds, needs and identities feel they are welcomed and included in our city. Our public, community and voluntary services support all our citizens but most importantly those who feel less empowered, who don’t have a voice, those who may feel isolated because of age, disability or because they lack local connections or those for whom English is not their first language. This is the core focus of this year’s Inclusion and Integration week activities. Our ambition is to make Dublin a city for all.”
“We need to appreciate and respect all our individual differences, which is what Inclusion and Integration week will do. We also need to learn more about the struggles, culture and backgrounds of those who often feel excluded from society to allow for more diversity and inclusion. Diversity is often visible but is also present in our actions and beliefs. Difference makes us unique but is also what brings us together with other like-minded people in our communities. There are amazing events happening this week that will let our citizens do this. I would encourage everyone to check out what is happening and attend events of interest to you.”
Inclusion and Integration Week flagship events that took place included:
Announcement that Dublin plans to become world’s first Autism-friendly capital city
A new initiative that will see Dublin become the first autism-friendly capital city in the world was announced by The Lord Mayor of Dublin Daithí de Róiste, at the launch of Inclusion and Integration Week. This will be achieved through participation in the AsIAm Autism-Friendly Communities Awards Programme.
The Lord Mayor is establishing a steering group comprising of the Lord Mayor of Dublin, elected officials, stakeholders, advocacy groups, those with lived experience, parents and academics and the group will carry out four public events between now and Christmas to discuss the formation of a plan, what should be included, what metrics should be set and how it will be managed.
Kindness is a Light in the Darkness, free Kite workshops
Over 300 Children with Dublin’s Lord Mayor Daithí de Róiste participated in spreading joy and fun bringing light to the world by celebrating kindness at our kite event on Monday 6th November at TU Dublin, Grangegorman Campus. This free event featured kite making workshops followed by magical kite flying.
Voices of Migrants: the Challenges of Inclusion and Human Trafficking – Film Screening and Panel Discussion
A film screening and panel discussion on ‘Voices of Migrants: the Challenges of Inclusion and Human Trafficking,’ took place in Lighthouse Cinema Friday, 10th November. The International Organization for Migration showcased their work in the area of migrant integration and inclusion in Ireland. The event included the screening of video testimonies from former IOM service users, who also participated in a panel discussion.
The event will also had the participation of the Human Trafficking Investigation Unit and the Organised Prostitution Investigation Unit at the Garda National Protective Services Bureau, who provided in-depth statistics and share stories from his experience. A portrayal of harrowing fictionalized accounts of victims trafficked to Ireland was shown in a screening of the IOM’s short film, ‘Anyone: Deceived.’ IOM Ireland staff discussed their efforts to assist migrants. The 80+ audience including TY secondary students got to participate in a Q&A session.
Dublin City Council launches new Communication Boards in Park Playgrounds
A highlight event of Inclusion and Integration Week was the unveiling by the Lord Mayor of Dublin Daithí de Róiste and the Minister Roderic O’Gorman of Dublin City Council’s first Communication Boards in Herbert Park.
DCC will be installing these Boards in all their park playgrounds over the coming months. The rollout of the Communication Boards follows the announcement of a three-year plan for Dublin to become an autism-friendly city.
Communication Boards are primarily a communications support, with particular benefit to children or adults who are either pre-verbal or non-verbal and/or have communication difficulties. The plan to install Communication Boards in city parks is an initiative of the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Dublin City Council Parks section with the support of the charity Finding Charlie’s Voice. Attending the launch with Lord Mayor of Dublin Daithí de Róiste, Minister Roderic O’Gorman; Beatrice Casserly, DCC Inclusion and Integration Officer were Finding Charlie’s Voice founders Evelyn Byrne, William Byrne and their son Charlie.
More information about the week is available from www.dublincityinclusion.ie.