Clemmie James, LGT’s Community Development and Campaigns Officer, devised the organisation’s powerful new #wearesomanythings campaign with members of the Gypsy and Traveller community. Here she describes the thoughts that drove it.
“Prejudice is learned, often at a very young age. With the campaign, we are asking the public to unlearn the prejudice that appears to be ingrained and accepted in all layers of society. The media have often added fuel to the fire and portrayed only negative stereotypes.
“The community I have met are just normal busy people getting on with life. They often juggle the many daily tasks required to be part of society. They often have a couple of part-time jobs, do the school run, enjoy spending time with their family, have hobbies. This side to the community is rarely shown, and yet this is what we all relate to.
“All the people involved in devising this campaign agreed that the time was now. Enough is enough. It is not okay for a seven year old to be called dirty at school just because she is a Gypsy. It is not okay for young people to get their CVs rejected because they filled in the race section. It is not okay for pubs and restaurants to put signs in their window say ‘Travellers not welcome here’. It is not okay for TV companies to mock this community and it certainly not okay for politicians to just let this happen.
“The time is right for the public to learn who this community really is and understand that they are all so many things.”