About the Unity Project
Since June 2007, INCORE and the Center for the Prevention of Hate Violence (CPHV) have been working with three schools in the North West of Northern Ireland to create school climates in which young people from minority ethnic and immigrant backgrounds can learn, grow and feel safe. The project:
Puts young people at the heart of transforming their schools – developing the leadership skills necessary for young people to influence their peers to treat people from different racial/ethnic backgrounds with civility and respect;
Provides young people with practical skills for interrupting low-level racial/ethnic harassment;
Focuses on preventing and addressing racial/ethnic harassment while challenging all forms of bias and prejudice;
Engages young people with social influence - whether positive or negative;
Trains young people as peer mentors to sustain and expand the project’s reach;
Builds the critical mass of students necessary to change school climates; and
Is evidence-based and has been ‘tried and tested’ in the U.S.
INCORE and the CPHV work with Foyle and Londonderry College, Oakgrove Integrated College and St Mary's College in Derry/Londonderry to deliver the Unity Project. A total of 58 young people from Years 9, 10, and 11 have been selected from each school to form a Unity Team within their school.
CPHV and INCORE organised a week of Unity activities in January 2009. The week began with a Unity Team Conference which took place on Monday 12th January. This included current Unity Team members from Foyle and Londonderry College, St Mary’s College and Oakgrove College. Student Leadership Workshops and Controversial Dialogue seesions were also organised from 13th-15th January. For more information click here
Unity Training (Oct 2008): CPHV and INCORE organised a Unity Team Conference on Monday 20th October. This included current Unity Team members from Foyle and Londonderry College, St Mary’s College and Oakgrove College, as well as new incoming Unity Team Members. Additional activities were also organised from 21st-23rd October. These included Student Leadership Workshops and Controversial Dialogue Sessions. For more information click here
Annual Conference (June 2008): At the end of each school year, a day long conference is held for all of the Unity Teams and their teachers. During the event the Teams present on their accomplishments and on issues of concern in their schools. Additional guests are invited such as each school’s Principal, parents and community leaders. During the event Unity Team Members are also trained to act as peer mentors to new, incoming Unity Team Members. INCORE and CPHV will be organising a conference in June 2009. Full details to follow.
Mid-Year Visit (Jan 2008): In January 2008, INCORE and CPHV visited the Unity Teams in their schools to see them in action as well as to provide refresher training and additional support to the Teams.
Meetings (Oct - Dec 2007): The Unity Teams met in each of their respective schools to develop their own projects and initiatives aimed at addressing different forms of bullying, harassment and problem behaviour.
Unity Team Training (Oct 2007): CPHV and INCORE delivered two days of training to the Unity Project Teams from Foyle and Londonderry College, St Mary’s College and Oakgrove College during 4th-5th October 2007. For more information click here
In Northern Ireland, 66% of minority ethnic children face racist harassment in schools.
There have been a lot of programmes aimed at building relationships between young people from Protestant and Catholic backgrounds.
But little attention has been paid to making sure that young people from minority ethnic and immigrant backgrounds feel respected and valued in schools.
There is a need to go beyond ‘one-off’ workshops and develop young people’s leadership skills.
CPHV’s programmes in schools have been shown to reduce racial/ethnic harassment by 50%, truancy by 44%, and to increase positive interactions across many social groups.
The Unity Project can assist schools in covering the Diversity and Inclusion content of the new Local and Global Citizenship Curriculum.
University of Ulster Child Protection Policy
A full copy of the University of Ulster Child Protection Policy and Procedures is available at the following URL: http://plangov.ulster.ac.uk/governance/cprotection.pdf. A hard copy is available, upon request, from Governance Services.
The designated Child Protection Co-ordinator for the University is: Mrs Irene Aston, Director of Corporate Planning and Governance, Room J313, University of Ulster, Cromore Road, Coleraine, Co Londonderry, BT52 1SA, telephone 028-70324533. In her absence, the designated deputy Co-ordinator is: Mr Eamon Mullan, Head of Governance Services, Room J306, University of Ulster, Cromore Road, Coleraine, Co Londonderry, BT52 1SA, telephone 028-70324403.
The Unity Project is funded by the Camelot Foundation, June 2007-June 2009