The transformation of both parts of this island through immigration and transnational migrant workers is leading to an ever-increasing diversity of ethnicities. This diversity is increasing positively to the social fabric of society but is also bringing challenges in terms of adapting to the impact of new cultures and in developing collective ways of promoting integration. Part of this process is about recognizing the pernicious effects of racism and that in order to see an integrated and pluralist society; it must be challenged personally, communally and institutionally.

Whilst Multi-culturalism can be considered as a foundational aspect of dealing with the issue of racism but anti-racist work goes further by challenging the prejudices and the structures which allow racism to continue to flourish and gain adherents. Anti-racism and anti-racist approaches are increasingly seen as alternatives to multiculturalism in that they embrace an analysis of the issues of power and justice and take as their starting point that racial discrimination and injustice are pervasive in society and communities. If we are to genuinely challenge racism it implies addressing the challenges of: 

  1. immigration and ensuring the employment rights of migrant workers
  2. illegal deportations and racial profiling
  3. supporting campaigns against racial violence and harassment
  4. expressing solidarity with those being oppressed.


Anti-racist work must be firmly located within an analysis of power and structural inequalities that seek to overcome people’s fears and resistances so as to ensure that racism is not left unacknowledged and unchallenged.

[1] Brendan McDaid,  Belfast Telegraph 20/03/06