Two free events will promote community cohesion
The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) has joined organisations from Preston to host two free events in March to show commitment to community cohesion and tackling racism.
The events will mark the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.
The first event, a performance by the Standing Together Against Racism Choir, will take place on Friday 17 March at UCLan’s Venue 53 in Preston from 7.00pm to 9.00pm.
The choir is made up of pupils from local schools who are lending their voices, on a mission to celebrate diversity and oppose racism.
The nearly 100-strong choir features students from Fulwood Academy and Ashton Community Science College. The choir also includes singers from the Lancashire Youth Vocal Ensemble (LYVE), and representatives of local dance and drama groups.
Pupils from Preston schools and representatives of Preston Youth Council will also be speaking about anti-racism at the event. Pupils from Ashton Community Science College will also be giving a drama and dance performance during the evening.
It’s fantastic to see young people from Preston unite and send out a clear signal that Lancashire is a welcoming place for all.
Another event to mark the International Day will be held on Saturday 18 March on Preston Flag Market. A range of community groups and organisations will come together to celebrate the city's cultural life with live music and performances. This event is free to attend.
As well as meeting people from diverse backgrounds, audiences will be able to hear internationally-recognised artists and musicians who all acknowledge their race, identity and culture through music.
The Standing Together Against Racism events are organised by UCLan, Preston & Western Lancashire Racial Equality & Diversity Council, Preston City Council, Lancashire County Council, the Black and Minority Ethnic Forum and More Music, and have the support of a wide range of community groups.
Russell Hogarth, co-founder and chair of the UCLan Creative Communities Group (CCG), said: “We are delighted to once again host this fantastic event and play a part in helping to bring it all together. It’s fantastic to see young people from Preston unite and send out a clear signal that Lancashire is a welcoming place for all.”
Councillor Matthew Brown, Preston City Council's cabinet member for social justice, inclusion and policy, said: “I am delighted Preston's community will be coming together for the fourth time to celebrate Standing Together Against Racism, commemorating the UN International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.
"These events will see the participation of many talented children and young people who have the right to feel safe and valued regardless of race, religion or culture. I hope that people will support them."
I believe that Preston is a model city of good community relations and I'm delighted to promote a message of One Community – One Preston.
Mr Makhlisur Rahman JP, Chair of Preston & Western Lancashire Racial Equality and Diversity Council, said: “This event is important in promoting community cohesion. We are extremely proud of our local schools and young people and I'm personally delighted when they take to the stage to convey a strong message of peace and integration.
"I believe that Preston is a model city of good community relations and I'm delighted to promote a message of One Community – One Preston.”
County Councillor Matthew Tomlinson, cabinet member for children, young people and schools, said: "This event will address a sensitive subject by promoting positive messages rather than focusing on negative prejudice.
"At the concert, the audience will hear a variety of songs which support the fight against racism and emphasise the importance of community cohesion.
"I'm proud that our young people are playing such a prominent role in various ways at both of the events. It is so important to recognise and support this International Day.”
For more information about the events, contact Faruk Desai at the Preston & Western Lancashire Racial Equality and Diversity Council by calling 01772 906422 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
To book free tickets to attend the performance by the Standing Together Against Racism Choir, on Friday 17 March, please visit https://prestonstar2017.eventbrite.co.uk
Tickets aren't needed to attend the community event to mark the international day on Saturday 18 March on Preston Flag Market. There's no need to book, just turn up on the day.