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African Rainbow Family

Support for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTIQ) People of African Heritage including Refugees and wider Black and Asian Minority Ethnic Groups

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Diversity

We Are Human – Manchester Declaration

We Are Human Pledge

Presentation3

2017 African Rainbow Family Part of History Conference Manchester Communiqué

The Manchester Declaration 21st June 2017, Manchester

As we know, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states, ‘All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights’ (UN General Assembly, 1948). It sets out, for the first time, fundamental human rights to be universally protected.

Article 14 of this declaration states, ‘everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution’. 

In 36 out of the 53 Commonwealth countries, love is criminalised; including death penalty in 9 of these 36 countries. It is evident that Britain exported this homophobic law to these countries during colonial era. This has given rise to people fleeing their home countries to seek asylum in LGBT+ friendly countries, including the United Kingdom (UK). Other people flee for different reasons too such as war, trafficking, domestic abuse, genital mutilation, violence against women etc. 

It is however, saddening that under belly racism has crept in to the UK  institutions when it comes to upholding these rights for individuals fleeing any form of persecutions from the state and non state agents of their home countries hence the dehumanisation of people has become the order of the day. This they achieve when referring to people seeking sanctuary as asylum seekers; a nomenclature that has slipped into the wider society and subsequently created disharmony in the community.

In view of the above, it was agreed at the African Rainbow Family Conference in June 21st 2017, Manchester that the conversation needs to change!

sign the pledge

A description that connotes the image of scroungers, including they come to ‘take our job’, ‘live on our benefits’, ‘use our NHS for free’, etc.

This culture of dehumanisation of people seeking asylum is contrary to Article 6 of the declaration which states, ‘everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law’ (UN General Assembly, 1948); which the UK signed up to.

The use of this derogatory classification unconsciously, has toxically led to inadvertent internalised racism by the people seeking asylum themselves and their dehumanisation by those supporting them. People therefore portray themselves as they were intended to be portrayed! – less human, beggars, scroungers, unworthy etc.

The We Are Human campaign is asking that you join us in pledging to change the conversation and refer to us as (LGBT) People Seeking Asylum And Refuge.

sign the pledge

Below are the organisations and individuals that have signed up to this declaration and refer to us as (LGBT) people seeking asylum. Contact us if you would like to sign this declaration, and pledge to call us People Seeking Asylum because We Are Human and not born asylum seekers!

To sign up to the declaration on behalf of an organisation or yourself, send an email to info@africanrainbowfamily.org with the following information:

Organisation, Name, Position in organisation or sign up above. Use #WeAreHuman on social media.

Aderonke Apata – Founder African Rainbow Family

African Rainbow Family

Manchester Migrant Solidarity

Greater Manchester Law Centre

LGBT Foundation

Diane Hughes

Elop – Abimbola Aroyewun

Steph

Tony Openshaw – Writer at Alternative Asylum News. Previous Founder and Manager of Asylum Support Housing Advice (ASHA)

Fazilet Sadiq – Refugee member LISG

SOGICA

Helen Jarvis

Joanne Crumplin – Rep, USDAW

Trade Union Congress Northern (TUC Northern)

Beth Farhat – TUC

Lesbian and Gay Support the Miners

Virginie Assal – Women’s Programme Inclusion Officer, LGBT Foundation

Karen Daniels –  Secretary, Unite the Union, Hull and East Riding Branch, NE/407/27

Kim Rothman – Supervisor, HCAL

Isaac

Genevra Afford – Service Support Officer, Hull Culture & Leisure Ltd

Sebastian Aguirre

Lesbians & Gays Support the Migrants

Sarah Blossom – Sloace

Lionel Kahiha

Kai Javed – Sexual Harassment Advisor, The Angelou Centre

Francisco Peixoto

PRESS RELEASE African Rainbow Family has been shortlisted for the UK’ Largest Diversity Awards.

Press Release

04 July 2017, Manchester

African Rainbow Family has been shortlisted!

African Rainbow Family has been shortlisted for the UK’ Largest Diversity Awards.

Dear friends,

We are delighted to announce that African Rainbow Family from Manchester has been shortlisted for the Community Organisation for LGBT at the National Diversity Awards 2017.

Charities and role models from across the UK will gather at the breathtaking Anglican Cathedral on September 08th 2017 for the UK’s largest celebration of diversity.

The best of British diversity will travel to Liverpool to showcase the outstanding achievements of those who have demonstrated their devotion to enhancing equality, diversity and inclusion in today’s society.

Over 22,000 nominations and votes were received this year, paying tribute to grass root communities nationwide.

African Rainbow Family, a dedicated support group for LGBTIQ refugees, people of African heritage and wider BAME community in the UK says:

 “The prestigious black tie event is definitely one to mark down on your calendar and provides recognition for excellence regardless of race, faith, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, disability and culture.”

Microsoft will be just one of the brands supporting a skyfall of diverse talent alongside joint Headline Sponsors Direct Line Group.

Paul Geddes, CEO, Direct Line Group said ” We know that having a diverse workforce not only brings in more talent, it increases the variety of thinking, enabling us to have a better understanding of our customers’ needs in an ever-changing Britain.”

“The momentum is gathering pace” he continued “but there is more all businesses can do to pave the way for change. We are therefore honoured to be sponsoring the National Diversity Awards to celebrate the success of role models, businesses and organisations who are leading the way to true diversity and inclusion in our society.”

Designed to highlight the country’s most inspirational and selfless people, the NDA’s are supported by the likes of Stephen Fry, Adam Hills and Sir Lenny Henry amongst many.

TV Presenter Graham Norton Said “Promoting and celebrating diversity is close to my heart which is why I am thrilled to support The National Diversity Awards! I want to wish all of this year’s shortlisted nominees the best of luck for the ceremony, you all deserve to win!’’

Previous winners include Huddersfield based Disability Theatre Group Shabang!, Freedom Fighting Refugee Aderonke Apata, and Transgender Support Charity Mermaids.

Internationally acclaimed contemporary artist, Rachel looked back on her time winning the positive role model award in 2013 “It truly was a tremendously uplifting emotional evening, and I don’t think there was a single person in the room who would disagree with that! The evening represented everything that is good about our society”.

Rachel went on to receive the award for battling successfully against a potentially life limiting illness to produce works of art that are applauded worldwide.

She continued “Thank you from the bottom of my heart for creating an exceptional night, the challenges ahead are still enormous, but with the ND Award in my hand, I will journey forward with renewed hope and ambition to try to do so much more, and in my efforts, hopefully I will, in some way, contribute to making the vital cultural shift within our society.”

Paul Sesay, Founder and CEO of The National Diversity Awards said “I am so proud to be able to witness the journeys of some of the most inspiring role models this country has to offer. Each year I am overwhelmed with the quality and quantity of nominations, and those shortlisted should know how privileged I am to share your stories with the nation. You are all winners and I can’t wait to meet you at the ceremony.”

To view a full list of nominees please visit www.nationaldiversityawards.co.uk/shortlist

To help our work, consider donating to African Rainbow Family here

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