94% of Irish people surveyed believe that Ireland has a responsibility to all of its people to treat them equally, however, only 22% believe that there is currently enough financial support in place to support community organisations who work on equality issues, according to the poll.
The Amárach opinion poll, commissioned by Rethink Ireland, is revealed today at the socially distanced launch of the €3 million Equality Fund in Dublin, which is supported by the Peter Kinney and Lisa Sandquist Foundation and the Government of Ireland via the Dormant Accounts Fund (through the Department of Rural and Community Development and the Department of Justice and Equality).
This €3 million Equality Fund will support civil society groups working with marginalised women, ethnic minority and migrant people, Traveller and Roma communities, people with disabilities and LGBTI+ people.
In the biggest philanthropic funding launch for Equality in many years, Rethink Ireland announced the €3 million Equality Fund today.
Minister for Children, Equality, Disability and Integration Roderic O’Gorman TD said:
“I would like to congratulate Rethink Ireland on the launch of this €3 million Equality Fund today. This fund will provide vital support to community and civil society organisations which support the most vulnerable and underrepresented communities across the country. This work will help strengthen the equality landscape in Ireland and create an Ireland where everyone can feel accepted and thrive.’
Senator Lynn Ruane, singers Imelda May and Loah, and Daniel Lambert, Director at Bohemian Football Club are supporting (at a social distance and online) The Equality Fund launch before an unveiling of the ‘Imelda May Poem Billboard’ in Dublin City Centre.
Senator Lynn Ruane said:
“I really welcome the launch of The Equality Fund and its thoughtful approach to supporting community work and to tackling systemic inequalities through a community development approach. The poll findings are encouraging – they show how much public support there is in Ireland to tackle inequality, while it also shows how aware people are of the problems. We have a huge amount of work to do collectively to tackle systemic inequalities and The Equality Fund is a great contribution to this work ”
Liberties Belle Imelda May has given the rights to use her poem ‘You Don’t Get To Be Racist And Irish’ to support The Equality Fund launch. This billboard will be displayed from today on 222 sites nationwide.
Imelda May commented from London where she has been living during COVID-19:
“The Equality Fund is extremely important to us all right now. We are human and therefore must show our humanity to each other otherwise what are we? I’m glad my poem is being used to help this campaign, I’m glad it has encouraged conversation, I’m grateful to have the words to express my feelings and the feelings of many but now it’s time to hear not my voice but the voices of those that need to be heard!”
(Link to Imelda May reading her poem ‘You Don’t Get To Be Racist And Irish’. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qYluS5kLit0 )
Loah, Irish singer of Sierra Leonean heritage performed two songs live at the launch; Cortege and Nothing.
“When I was asked to support this launch I didn’t hesitate. From my own experience as an Irishwoman of colour I know that we have a chance here at home to observe how things have gone wrong elsewhere and try to do it better. This poll is such a positive thing that Irish people are acknowledging what is going on and want to improve things. We have a real opportunity to get it right. We now live in a diverse Irish society. We are not all the same, but we should be equal.”
(Link to Loah singing Cortege on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QnwXM_v5NDE&list=PLfSzJHLgc_bgpphwqKUvp46thHYptfu4o&index=3)
Daniel Lambert, Director at Bohemian FC, said:
“As a club, we are committed to equality issues. We actively work towards greater inclusivity in football and have close relationships with a number of minority and marginalised communities across the city. We welcome any increased funding in this area and the enhancement of the equality landscape.”
At the launch, the results of the new Amárach poll were revealed which show that 81% of respondents think equality issues are important, 79% believe they should be a priority for any government, and 76% agree that discrimination is a serious issue in Ireland today.
Michael Barron, Manager of the Equality Fund said:
“Our vision is to support some of the most marginalised communities and to strengthen the Equality landscape in Ireland. The need for this fund has become all too apparent this year. Marginalised communities, already on the sharp edge of structural and systemic inequality have been disportionately affected by COVID-19.
We know through our work and research that we must address the systemic issues which affect marginalised communities. We also know that communities are best placed to do this work in an empowered way themselves.”
This Equality Fund is divided into 3 open calls for applications. Each strand has a different focus but together they are aimed at strengthening the Equality landscape and tackling systemic inequalities.
The strands are:
Special thanks to IPA advertising in helping arrange the billboards and WeMakeGood for providing our ‘Equality’ branded facemasks.
Fund Applications go live at 9 am on Monday, July 13th.
To Apply For The Equality Fund, visit www.rethinkireland.ie
The deadline for applications to The Equality Fund is Monday, 14th September 2020.