Minorities in the Media
'The last form of acceptable prejudice'?
As a nation, we like to pride ourselves on our tolerance and understanding of other groups. However, every so often something can happen that challenges our perception of ourselves and our commitment to equalities.
We've been volunteering with a new organisation, Fairtrac, that was established to represent travelling showpeople. This oft-misunderstood group often feel that discrimination against travellers is the one remaining acceptable prejudice. From schools to the media, they are often met with distrust and lack of understanding.
Despite being small businessmen who pay taxes and contribute to their local communities, they are often viewed with suspicion and feel forced to exist on the fringes of the local area, both physically and metaphorically.
Hence we were very excited to be involved with publicising the first community conference for travelling people in Scotland. This historic event was the first time the community had received any charity funding to bring together their community and discuss the issues that are important to them; issues like security, safety, education, leisure and recreation. Issues that sound familiar to everyone.
When it comes down to it, the issues that affect traveller families are the same as the issues that affect everyone else. Their priorities are our priorities. The only difference is that they often struggle to access the help and information that is already out there. Hopefully the conference will be the first step in raising awareness of their needs and breaking down barriers and stereotypes.
We had two articles published about the conference, and were delighted to be able to bring some much-needed positive publicity to this minority group.
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