Anti-Racism Week highlights the work of allies

The Finnish Red Cross is working with partners in sports, arts, and the community to highlight the work of organisations playing a positive role against racism.

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File picture showing group of multi-ethnic women / Credit: iStock

The National Anti-Racism Week, organised by the Finnish Red Cross is hoping to influence attitudes about race relations, and highlight the work of allies in the community.

It also emphasizes the responsibility of individuals to act properly when they encounter a racist situation.

The event runs during this week, and before the new coronavirus restrictions, would have included events for school children, a concert and events for older people – as well as anti-racism matches at sports clubs.

“One way to reduce everyday racism is to enable people of different backgrounds to interact” says Janette Grönfors, an expert on anti-racism at the Finnish Red Cross.

“That is why we want to highlight actors who take equal care of different people in recruitment, education, cultural activities or volunteering” she adds.

The Red Cross is awarding a number of businesses and organisations that have been leading the way to promote better integration and equal opportunities, as part of National Anti-Racism Week.

This year’s awardees include Hesburger restaurant chain for its open-minded approach to recruiting and training employees; the Tokmanni store in Pieksämäki which has been offering training for people of different nationalities; and WinNova, an educational organisation in Satakunta that promotes education and employment for immigrants.

“Particularly praiseworthy at WinNova is the model where mentors who have gone through the integration process themselves support students not only in their studies but also their integration” explains Paula Ilén from Satakunta Red Cross.

Also recognised for their work to combat racism is the Joensuu Community Theater which has a project to strengthen the identity and experience of young people from different cultures through art.

And in Oulu, the city’s main library is being praised for its work organising an immigrant language cafe. Later this year it will host an exhibition on the everyday life of asylum seekers.

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