21st March 2020 – UN Day For the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

The Anti-Racist Alliance Trust (aratrust) sends GREETINGS to all ANTI-RACIST organisations and individuals challenging Racism and working for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

The General Assembly of the United Nations restates that all human beings should be treated equally in dignity and rights and should constructively contribute to the growth and welfare of their communities.

Aratrust marks this important occasion to commemorate the day in 1960 when Police opened fire and killed 69 people at a peaceful demonstration against the racist pass laws under the apartheid regime in South Africa.

We recognise the leadership of those before us who have made significant strides in the struggles against racial discrimination, yet even today we need to redouble our efforts to ensure we build peace in the hearts and minds of all, educate people on real world history, challenge the racist stereotypes that pervade our media and society, and strive to eliminate racial discrimination.

Aratrust is a multi-ethnic charity, whose Board Members, Supporters and volunteers reflect today’s UK. Over the last 27 years, different Anti-Racist Alliance organisations have recognised 21st March with activities including meetings, drama productions and seminars, with young and older people from diverse minority-ethnic and refugee communities planning and delivering the activities. Our most recent recognition of UN Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination was a seminar on MODERN-DAY SLAVERY in the UK – a national disgrace!

This year we won’t be out in the streets or hosting a meeting or seminar as we will be implementing social distancing in response to the spread of the Corona virus. Sadly our everyday activities supporting the community through advice work and wellbeing sessions, reducing social isolation and facilitating access to employment through ESOL and ICT training and volunteering, as well as our activities for young people, families and children, will be severely reduced until after the pandemic.

Annually aratrust assists up to 500 people (depending on funding), particularly with housing issues and access to entitlements, with a growing number of appeals, the great majority of which are successful.

For over 7 years, Aratrust’s children’s, youth and young workers’ activities, delivered through our Young Explorers (primary school aged children), Young Activists (secondary school aged young people, and emerging Young Citizens (18-25 years old), have been attracting a growing number of children and young people year on year (over 100 at the last count),.

Linked to our children’s activities, events and administrative and book-keeping activities in particular, aratrust’s volunteering opportunities with individualised on-the-job training and opportunities for teamwork as well as individual work, have made life-changing differences to jobseekers. Volunteers on work experience have informed us that they have received responses to their job applications, interviews and employment offers for the first time because of their specific experience with aratrust.

Whilst it is very sad to see these services reduced or completely suspended during the pandemic, we can look forward to a bright future when these services can not only be resumed but expanded, as we have already started investing our time working at home in research and organisation-building.

We are proud that Aratrust has always been a grass-roots organisation financially supported and controlled by its volunteer members and never solely dependent on grants or high-level political patronage. Aratrust aims to grow as an organisation and, after the pandemic, expand its services to meet ever-increasing demand. YOU can support this vital work by donating* on a one-off, annual or monthly basis and / or by donating your skills through volunteering.

*If you wish to make a donation and are a taxpayer, please ask us for a Gift Aid declaration form. A Gift Aid donation increases the value of your donation to us by 25%, which we can claim from HMRC, and YOU can reduce you tax liability by the amount of your donation!