The Mayor of Salford celebrated the contribution of multiculturalism in Salford at an event to bring people from different ethnicities and faiths from across the city together.
Paul Dennett was speaking at an event to mark the end of Black History Month, which took place at the Sebastian Community Centre on 30 October. The event also included poetry, dancing, speakers from different organisations, a music exhibition, stalls, food and drinks.
Dennett said that such events are important because Salford is a “melting pot for multiculturalism.”
“On the city council now we have elected members who are members of the Jewish community, the Ukrainian community, the Banyamulenge community, the Burundian community, the Indian community the Garnet community the Bangladeshi community and the Jamaican community.
“What a fantastic achievement to have in the city of Salford to have people from those cultural backgrounds, from those communities representing residents in our city in public office. And that for me is real empowerment those elected members now influence policy.
“They influence strategy, they influence decision making within their communities and their neighbourhoods and they’re also champions in public office for the issues and concerns faced by communities in the city of Salford it’s a melting pot for multiculturalism. It’s fantastic to be part of a vibrant city that has so much cultural heritage embedded in it.
Dennett explained why these events are really important to him: “Events like these are so important because we have to challenge each other to understand our cultural heritage, to understand our history, to understand some of the challenges of colonialism and the consequences of all of that which we even face to this day.
“We’ve got to be really honest at the moment in this country, we live in a hostile environment when it comes to asylum seekers and refugees in the United Kingdom and that is absolutely scandalous as far as I’m concerned.
“I’m a socialist and I’m an internationalist and I am outward looking and the United Kingdom has always been a place that is welcome to people fleeing violence, fleeing safety for their own lives and we must continue to champion that as a city and do that in a collective way.
“For me Black history month is a real opportunity for us to learn and we’ve talked a lot about celebration and understanding but for me this is a real opportunity to learn about the real issues that people face within our city, within our region but not learning just for the sake of it, our own personal enlightenment…
“I’m talking about learning for action. We learn to do something I campaigned on a better and fairer Salford learning about what’s happening in the city with a view to how we can transform that is really really important.”
“Salford is a melting pot for multiculturalism of a vibrant city that’s why events like these are so important because we have to challenge each other.”
Ms Chioma Mgbeokwere of Ibo Ladies In Diaspora Aid (IBDA) says: “The event is about showcasing our culture and the kind of African arts, different languages, different ways of dressing, tasting our special coffee and dancing. Not only are children going to come, but we’ll also have the police coming too, Salford CVS and Salford Credit Union.
Discussing her role in IBDA, she added: “There’s different things we do with different women for example, because of their culture they don’t tend to interact. So, we are there to say that this is an era where you can come out, you don’t have to hide in your homes you need to socialise. Empowering women that’s what we do.
“Some of these women wouldn’t come out they’ve been either been through domestic violence relationships or they don’t have a status in their country, if they’re not educated, they can’t speak English, so we try to see how to support them into courses.”