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Maskey - One City Many Voices

22 March, 2005

Sinn Fein former Belfast City mayor, South Belfast MLA Alex Maskey is organising an anti-racism event One City Many Voice in the Holliday Inn, University Street, Belfast on Wednesday 23rd March from 7.00pm to 9.30pm.

Panel speakers include Sharda Bhat, who has been involved with the Indian Community Centre for over 20 years; Jamal Iweida from the Belfast Islamic Centre; and Michael Mongon from the Travellers Community. Lee Jasper, National Secretary of the National Assembly Against Racism and advisor to London Mayor Ken Livingstone on Race Relations And Policing will address the meeting outlining how the City of London is responding to the issue of racism.

Speaking ahead of the conference Mr Maskey said:

"This event is an opportunity to highlight the changing nature of Belfast over the past 100 years, especially its ever increasing ethnic diversity, and hopefully to provide some historical and contemporary context to a changing city. As Belfast changes it is important that we exchange experiences, and that decision makers hear directly from the different communities in Belfast and also from those who are dealing with the issues elsewhere.

"This is an open event, a Multi-Cultural evening to discuss racism and diversity in the City of Belfast and Sinn Féin want create a platform for everyone that is affected by the issues of racism and diversity. It is about greater dialogue as we chart a course of our changing city over the next 100 years.

"The 'One City Many Peoples' event part of Sinn Féin's Cead Bliain celebrations and is taking place during the European-wide Week Against Racism and will coincide with the publication of the Shared Future framework.

Note to Editors

European-wide action week against racism

March 21st was declared International Day for the Elimination of All Forms

of Racial Discrimination by the United Nations after the murder of 70

anti-apartheid demonstrators in Sharpeville, South-Africa, in 1960. During

European-wide Action Week, which centres around 21 March, thousands of

people actively engage themselves to tolerance, equal rights and celebrate

the diversity of Europe.

The One City Many Voice event will be held in the Holliday Inn, University

Street, Belfast on Wednesday 23rd March between 7.00pm - 9.30pm

7.00 - 7.30pm Viewing of various ethnic groups display stands

7.30 - 7.45pm Introduction & Opening Comments - Alex Maskey

7.45 - 8.15pm Introductory Remarks from Panel including Jamal Iweida

(Belfast Islamic Centre); Michael Mongon (Travellers Community); Sharada

Bhat (Indian Community Centre)

8.15 - 8.45pm Open Floor Debate

8.45 - 9.00pm Keynote Speaker Lee Jasper, advisor to Mayor Ken Livingstone

9.00 - 9.10pm Concluding Remarks & Close - Alex Maskey

9.10 - End Tea, Coffee & Informal Discussion

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