Funding announced to tackle bigotry

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Minister for Community Safety and Legal Affairs Roseanna Cunningham today announced funding will be given to two projects working to eradicate bigotry and hatred in Scotland.

The Minister has awarded £116,000 to the Citizen’s Theatre to roll out their highly acclaimed ‘Divided City’ project in South Lanarkshire. The project will work intensively with 40 school pupils to devise a stage play based upon Theresa Breslin’s book, ‘Divided City’.

Workshops for a further 800 school pupils will then be held on the issues raised, with an additional 500 pupils joining the events via the GLOW website.

The Citizen’s Theatre have previously run the Divided City project in Glasgow, where it has been highly praised.

The Minister has also announced £9,000 to the Festival of Spirituality and Peace to run a series of events and subsequent civic cafes on sectarianism as part of the 2012 festival.

Ms Cunningham made the funding announcements as she attended “Scotland’s Apartheid: Can we heal the green and orange sectarian divide?” as part of the Festival of Spirituality and Peace today.

She said:

“Hatred of any kind has no place in modern Scotland and we need to do everything we can to stop it wherever and whenever it occurs, whilst tackling the root causes.

“We need to develop a broad set of actions to tackle it in different ways across society, from grassroots projects in communities, through to education and other initiatives which address the root causes of sectarianism.

“There is already some fantastic work taking place in communities across the country and we want to build on that success.

“The work the Citizens Theatre are doing working with schools to educate the next generation of young Scots has been widely acclaimed and I am delighted this funding will help roll it out to South Lanarkshire. I hope the same success we’ve seen in Glasgow can be replicated in other areas of Scotland and projects like this are so important.

“Similarly, the funding for the Festival of Spirituality and Peace to run a series of events on sectarianism can help challenge attitudes and send out a strong message that sectarianism is never acceptable, never excusable.

“Sectarianism has ruined the lives of too many people and too many communities for far long enough. Working with organisations and communities across the country, we are determined to take wide-ranging action society to eradicate it once and for all.

“True change will only come about when we all take a stand against sectarianism and do our part in the fight against bigotry and hatred.”