Welcome to Good Relations Week 2021

Good Relations Week is the annual celebration of the work that goes on all year round to build peace and good community relationships.  The week’s activities are drawn together by the Community Relations Council with the help of a steering group made up of representatives from The Executive Office, Department for Communities, Department of Justice, Education Authority, Libraries NI, Cathedral Quarter Trust, and the Nerve Centre.  We are grateful to everyone on the steering committee for their help with organising Good Relations Week but most of all we are grateful to you, the organisers of events and participants, for all the imagination, enthusiasm, and commitment you bring to the week.

This year the theme is ‘Brighter Days Ahead’ and we are planning a really colourful programme.  The theme was chosen by young people because this year we are shining a light on their efforts to build peaceful, culturally diverse, good, community relationships.  We want to showcase the wide range of projects that young people design, lead or are involved in as they work to break down barriers, unite communities and achieve inclusive change that values everyone in our society. This year’s Good Relations Week will also help us to understand better the issues young people face as they work to build a better future and a chance to explore how we can help them deal with challenges they face.  However, your event does not have to focus specifically on young people, it can cover any aspect of good relations work.  We want everyone to showcase their efforts to build good community relations and hopefully inspire others who are not yet involved in this work.  Whether you are a local group or organisation, a statutory body, a business, a district council, or a regional body, we hope you will host a face-to-face or virtual event during Good Relations Week.  You are part of the wide and varied band of people building a united community in our everyday lives.

Since Covid-19 struck, we have been humbled by and grateful for the extraordinary bravery of those who have worked throughout the pandemic to ensure the rest of us are safe and able to get the things we need to survive.  The pandemic has been the defining feature of the last eighteen months and the Community Relations Council continues to extend its deepest sympathy to all those who have lost loved ones and to those who are still dealing with health issues. Due to the pandemic restrictions, last year we held Good Relations Week online for the first time and we had an amazing response, with more events and even larger audiences so we know you value an opportunity to join events virtually.   This year Good Relations Week 2021 will run from Monday 20th to Sunday 26th September.   We hope to reintroduce face-to-face events, subject to government guidelines on Covid-19 restrictions, but based on what we learnt last year, we will also be expanding our virtual offering to make it easy for you to join in, no matter where you are located. The programme will be a blend of face-to-face events, virtual events, and digital content, including workshops, lectures, discussion panels, music, and theatre performance.

We look forward to seeing you at Good Relations Week 2021. You are what the week is there to showcase.

Jacqueline Irwin
CEO, Community Relations Council