For immediate release
Date: 11th November 2020
National conference to address racism and discrimination against Gypsies and Travellers
‘Our Truth. Our Voice’ conference to turn tide on damaging anti-Traveller stereotypes
On Thursday the 12th of November national equality charity, the Traveller Movement will host its annual conference online. This year’s conference will address the toxic anti-Traveller rhetoric that has permeated politics and the media in the past twelve months. From the Home Secretary Priti Patel’s recent anti-Traveller comments during a public meeting, to the discriminatory Channel 4 programme Dispatches: The Truth about Traveller Crime, anti-Traveller narratives in public spaces have become normalised, and anti-Gypsy prejudice frequently goes unchallenged.
The ‘Our Truth. Our Voice’ conference will challenge these narratives and turn the tide on racist anti-Traveller stereotypes, as well as hearing from a host of inspiring speakers, politicians, and activists. The key note address will be delivered by Senator Eileen Flynn, the first Irish Traveller ever appointed to the Irish Seanad (Irish Senate). Senator Flynn will share her inspirational journey to the Seanad with conference delegates, and discuss the importance of Gypsies and Travellers getting involved in politics.
Other speakers include the chair of the Youth Justice Board, Keith Fraser, activist Luke Smith, and King’s College London’s ‘Rom Belong’ programme coordinator, Chrissie Browne. Also speaking at the conference is Dr Omar Khan, formerly of Runnymede Trust and Director of newly established Centre for Transforming Access and Student Outcomes in Higher Education (TASO), as well as MP for Coventry South, Zarah Sultana, and Jennifer Moses, Equalities Lead with NASUWT, the Teachers’ Union.
Now in its thirteenth year, and usually the highlight of the calendar, the Traveller Movement has moved this year’s conference online in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, so delegates can join from the comfort of their own homes. To register for the conference, please visit Traveller Movement’s website here: https://travellermovement.org.uk/news-news/145-our-truth-our-voice-traveller-movement-annual-conference-is-going-online-12th-november-2020
TM Chair Pauline Anderson OBE said: we are delighted to bring everyone together online this year to have a full day dedicated to Gypsy, Roma and Traveller people, shedding light on the positive work and excellent role models challenging the toxic narrative in politics and the media. This year we are turning the tide on negative anti-Traveller stereotypes, and asking people to cut it out once and for all.
CEO of the Traveller Movement Yvonne MacNamara said: While the year has been disruptive, it remains important that we meet to discuss the work being done to raise awareness and reflect on how we as a sector can work together. Anti-Traveller racism has not gone away, if anything, it has been exacerbated by COVID-19 and we must continue to challenge those stereotypes collectively and ensure that Traveller voices are heard.#
Interviews: people are available for interview before or after the conference.
T: 020 7607 2002
Notes to Editor
* The Traveller Movement (TM) is a national community development policy and voice charity who campaign against discrimination, promote inclusion, participation and community engagement for the Irish Traveller and Gypsy communities in Britain. TM is proud to work in partnership with the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities together with service providers and policy makers across the UK to better promote social inclusion and community cohesion.