Latest Laois Event: Laois as ‘Place of Sanctuary and Welcome’ Seminar

Latest Laois Event: Laois as ‘Place of Sanctuary and Welcome’ Seminar

Laois Integration Network host a Seminar called  ‘Laois as a Place of Sanctuary and Welcome’ on UN’s National Day for Tolerance

Laois Integration Network today announced that they will host a Seminar called ‘Laois as a Place of Sanctuary and Welcome’ on Wednesday 16th November 2022.  The seminar will be held from 10am to 2.00pm in the Parish Centre, Portlaoise and everyone is welcome to attend.  The event is free and is being held on this day to coincide with the United Nations (UN) National Day for Tolerance which is held annually on the 16th November.

This ‘Laois as a Place of Sanctuary and Welcome’ Seminar will welcome speakers from Ireland and abroad who will speak on a range of topics including anti-racism, human rights and public sector duties and responsibilities, to name but a few.  

Karen McHugh, Chairperson of Laois Integration Network commented that ‘Laois as a Place of Sanctuary and Welcome Seminar’ was first held in March 2019 and the purpose of it is to highlight good practice locally and nationally in terms of welcoming new communities to Laois.  Ms McHugh continued: ‘We are holding this seminar on the same day as UN’s National Day for Tolerance which focuses on bridging understanding between difference cultures, religions – in essence, everything that Laois Integration Network (LIN) stands for.  Laois Integration Network (LIN) is a community organisation in Laois that promotes cultural diversity and effective integration throughout the County of Laois.  We will also be launching our Anti-Rumours campaign.  This is an EU wide project that sets out to dispel the widespread myths and misconceptions around the topic of immigration and migrant integration.   We greatly look forward to welcoming old and new friends to Portlaoise Parish Centre on Wednesday 16th November’, concluded Ms Karen McHugh.  

Invited speakers include Salome Mbugua, CEO, AkidWa Migrant Women’s Network; Brian Killoran, CEO

Immigrant Council of Ireland; Carmel McNicholl, Acting Director, Laois Ukrainian Response, Dr. James Carr, University of Limerick. We will also hear directly from people who have made Laois their home in recent years and this session will be moderated by Rosey Kunene, our former Chair and CEO of Dignity

Laois Integration Network host a Seminar called Laois as a ‘Place of Sanctuary and Welcome’ Picture: Alf Harvey.

Partnership. A Moroccan themed lunch will be provided.

Speakers and format for the day include (some minor timetable changes may occur): 

10.00                           Registration & Refreshments 

10.15                           Welcome by Karen Mc Hugh – Chair of Laois Integration Network 

10.20                           Opening Remarks – Cllr. Thomasina Connell , Cathaoirleach of Laois County Council

10.30                           Salome Mbugua, Irish Equalities & Human Rights Commission / AkidWa 

                                                Public Sector Duties and Responsibilities 

10.45                           James Carr, Dept. of Sociology, University of Limerick 

                                                Islamophobia and anti-Muslim Racism in Ireland 

11.00                           Carmel McNicholl – Laois County Council

Ukrainian Response by Laois Co. Council                

11.15                           Brian Killoran, Immigrant Council of Ireland (ICI)  

                                                Anti-racism Public Transport Campaign

11.30                           Panel Discussion and Q & A

11.45                           Good Practice in Laois 

Aga Wypychowska, Laois Partnership, Fáilte Isteach programme

Bernie Folan, Laois Library Service – Library of Sanctuary 

Siobhan Holland, Dunamaise School, Portlaoise, Co. Laois – School of Sanctuary 

12.00                           Panel Discussion – Local Voices – Moderated by Rosey Kunene, Dignity Partnership 

Moderator – Rosey Kunene, CEO Dignity Partnership

Emmanuel Justus, Ukrainian rep, Portlaoise, Co. Laois 

Pearl  Lekau – Abbeyleix, Co. Laois

Naeem Iqbal, Partner at N-Tax Advisory and local entrepreneur

Marco Pessanha, Jeca the Clown, Portlaoise, Co. Laois 

Kristine Melne, World of Sparkles, Mountmellick, Co. Laois

13.00                           Launch of Laois Integration Anti Rumours Materials 

13.10                           Closing Remarks

13.15                           Lunch 

This event is kindly funded through the Community Integration Fund of the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth