Welcome to Good Relations Week 2022

Good Relations Week 2022 will deliver a positive message that ‘Change Starts With Us’ and it will shine a light on local communities taking action to build a stronger, shared society and a more sustainable future.

During the week we will focus on the link between good relations and the environment, sustainability, and our wider well-being.  This link is not new to many who work on good relations, but it is certainly one that will require more attention in the coming years as sustainability becomes an even more pressing issue.

As well as offering an opportunity to highlight what is already being done, Good Relations Week 2022 will be a chance to develop new connections and partnerships, linking good relations outcomes to wider social benefits including the United Nations goals on sustainability.

The number of events taking place in Good Relations Week is growing every year so this year we have introduced the Good Relations Week Fringe.  We hope this will give everyone a chance to attend all the events that interest them. This is proving popular with the days immediately before and after the week already filling up with events and activities.

It is not too late to get involved by hosting your own event (face to face or online). This could be a workshop, lecture, discussion, music, theatre, exhibition, joint environmental event, archive video, film, and lots more.  Please get in touch, we would love you to join us.

As always, we would like to take this opportunity to thank all the organisers and those who participant in Good Relations Week 2022.  We are very grateful to our committed and enthusiastic 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. This year we welcomed new members bringing additional expertise and insight so thanks also to The Rainbow Project, Another World Belfast, and Northern Ireland Environment Link.

The environment is a theme that integrates well with good relations work, because it is both a shared concern for all sections of society and a shared opportunity to work together for the greater good.

For our part at the Community Relations Council, the Board and staff are committed to ‘Change Starts With Us’.  In addition to funding projects and supporting engagement between groups and sectors interested in this theme, we have appointed an environment champion; implemented a ‘Digital First’ policy when publishing literature; committed to eliminating the purchase of single use plastics and to ensuring that any merchandise produced or procured by CRC is wholly reusable or includes a reusable element. We have also made changes to become a paperless office using IT solutions to support this approach;  included criteria on sustainability, environmental, and Fairtrade standards in our procurement policy; sought to offset our overall carbon footprint by encouraging and participating in good relations projects that have an environmental component; and adopted a policy that takes the environment into account in our travel choices.

It will take all of us to achieve sustainable outcomes so we will all need to be the change we want to see. Small steps, when they are taken by everyone, turn hope to action and make a world of difference.  Please get involved and reinforce the message that ‘Change Starts With Us’!  We look forward to seeing you at Good Relations Week 2022.

Dr. Jacqueline Irwin,
Community Relations Council