The Crescent Arts Centre was the venue for a celebration of the Belfast Integration and Participation Project (BIPP).
The project – the product of a collaboration between GEMS, the Law Centre, South Belfast Roundtable and Belfast City Council – works especially with migrant and ethnic minority communities and “is bascially about mythbusting, to do with tuning into our prejudice and bias and becoming a more inclusive society,” according to Stephanie Mitchell of the South Belfast Roundtable.
Volunteers with Belfast Friendship Club performed a stage piece about the work they do with recent arrivals to the city of Belfast, as well as organising interactive activities for participants – “Where in the World?”, a map that shows the movement of people all around the globe; and “Belonging in Belfast”, a tree full of leaves describing how important Belfast has become to many of the people who now call this city home.
Belfast Lord Mayor Máirtín Ó Muilleoir took part in the days events, and said, “This is what the new Belfast, the future Belfast, is all about. All the great cities in the world that are truly successful are diverse, so these people who are here – some are refugees, some are migrants, some are ethnic minorities – I don’t think they understand what a great gift they are giving the city of Belfast by being here and by being part of the city.”