Mainstreaming intercultural dialogue
In the context of the significant inward migration into Ireland in recent years and the consequent growing diversity that is a feature of our society, the European Year European Year of Intercultural Dialogue in 2008 presented a unique opportunity to promote dialogue and understanding about the challenges and opportunities arising from this diversity.
In Ireland a steering group was established to help coordinate the Year which comprised Government Departments and key stakeholders from civil society such as the Trades Union Congress and umbrella body for Irish Employers and bodies such as the Arts Council and Culture Ireland. The National Consultative Committee on Racism and Interculturalism (NCCRI) was designated as the National Coordinating Body for the year.
The national strategy was designed to address a variety of target audiences across six key programmes: Education and Young People – focusing on on schools, colleges, youth organisations and clubs including for example advice and support for events, classroom materials, competitions; Arts with a focus on interaction and participation in the arts in Ireland as a tool to help stimulate interaction and dialogue including music, theatre, poetry, participation of arts institutions; Service Providers with a focus on local authorities and government agencies on linking more effectively with new and existing minority communities in Ireland through more effective communication; the Business Sector with a focus on chambers of commerce, employer bodies, trade unions and government bodies participation in promoting greater understanding of the business case for diversity; Communication and Media, looking at support and participation of the media in the Year plus public relations material; and finally, Community participation and sports, with an emphasis on involvement of sports, community and voluntary bodies in the Year, including provision of some funding.