Manchester Pride Challenges Region To Become Truly Equal

Yesterday Manchester Pride opened the doors to an exciting and innovative project that aims to bring real change and a true commitment to LGBT+ inclusion and equality across the region once and for all.

Mark Fletcher, CEO Manchester Pride Charter
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The charity which campaigns, fundraises and curates events is looking to the businesses and organisations of Greater Manchester to stand up and be counted as it invites them to sign a pledge to commit to the promotion of equality and inclusion for all LGBT+ people in the region. It asks them to do this by tackling all forms of discrimination and inequality faced by LGBT+ people in order to create a safe environment for all people to thrive within.

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The charity which takes a role as trailblazer for LGBT+ issues, and in particular equality, is making a commitment to rid Greater Manchester of inequality for LGBT+ people.

This will take the form of a charter which the organisation will ask all partners, suppliers and grant recipients involved with Manchester Pride to sign. But the charity has aspirations to take the initiative to the wider community of companies and organisations across the region inviting them to show their commitment to this vital issue.

The charter will also ask organisations to recognise that there is diversity amongst LGBT+ people. That there is no one size fits all strategy and there are many differences in needs, aspirations and experiences of LGBT+ life. It is important that the region recognises that some LGBT+ people face discrimination and inequality based on a person’s characteristics such as race, religion or disability, in addition to their sexual orientation and or gender identity.

This initiative is born out of the person experiences of the team behind Manchester Pride and as those affected by inequality in their day to day lives the charity is inviting the people of the city to join them in a consultation to interrogate what the team commissioned to draw up the charter has come up with so far.

This Inclusion Equality Charter is a first of its kind and will be finalised with a collaborative approach following discussion of the initial white paper which they hope to refine by working hand in hand with the region’s LGBT+ people before the publication of the final document later this year.

Mark Fletcher (photo) explained; «Businesses and organisations within the region control have such a strong influence over day to day life for everyone, be they LGBT+ or otherwise. From workplaces to public spaces such as theatres, bars or retail outlets, they set the tone for how people are valued and create touch points between people and communities and we feel that they must take responsibility for how these spaces and the people within them interact. Setting examples, educating through training and policy and committing to take action against anything that is seen to be hate or discrimination.”

The first consultation, which will form a series of interactive events, will take place on Thursday 19th July at Manchester Pride sponsor Barclays’ offices at Piccadilly in Central Manchester.

The Charter will be based on a set of principles, and values and, commitments, and requires all those who sign-up, to it to take action to meet the Charter Standards.

Manchester Pride will review its own activities to ensure that everything it does implements this Charter. Plus it will actively engage with public services, voluntary and community organisations providing services to LGBT+ people in Greater Manchester to adopt this Charter.

Mark Fletcher, chief executive for Manchester Pride, said; «A huge amount of work has already gone into the development of the charter to create what we hope will be a trailblazing initiative that will not only help us bring workplace policy inline with what ought to be the norm in 2018 but also shine a light on some of the brilliant practises that are employed within businesses across our region».

«We, and many other organisations, have already done so much work to ensure that LGBT+ people feel comfortable and supportive in all elements of their lives but we are still shocked on too many occasions by the prejudice and lack of education out there. I myself have experienced both homophobia and racism at the hands of people representing organisations whilst out and about in Manchester and I found it shocking that in such a safe and accepting city we still have a long way to go to reach true equality».

«However Manchester has always been a leader when it comes to LGBT+ history and rights and we know hope that the city will show its commitment to making real change in the name of equality and sign our charter with pride».

For more information or to express an interest in attending a consultation visit.

Manchester Pride campaigns for the advancement of LGBT+ equality; celebrates LGBT+ life and creates opportunities that engage LGBT+ people so that they can thrive.

As one of the leading LGBT+ charities in the UK, its work aims to challenge discrimination in relation to homophobia, biphobia and transphobia and through our grant-giving, it supports, enrich and empowers LGBT+ community groups, events and causes in Greater Manchester.

The organisation fundraises by staging a number of events throughout the year, including the award winning Manchester Pride Festival, The Manchester Pride Spring Benefit, events recognising International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT) and the year-round programme of culture, Superbia.

Since 2003, Manchester Pride has raised and distributed over £1.5million.

The Manchester Pride Festival is Manchester Pride’s flagship event that takes place over August bank holiday weekend. With its roots in the heart of Manchester’s world famous Gay Village, the festival is made up of The Big Weekend, The Manchester Pride Parade on Saturday afternoon, the alcohol free space that is The Superbia Weekend and the culmination of the festival The Candlelit Vigil.

The culmination of The Manchester Pride Festival is The Vigil in which Sackville Gardens is turned into a sea of flickering candles as we take a minute to remember those we’ve lost to the HIV virus and join together to fight the epidemic worldwide and the stigma that still exists.

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