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Kernow - Combat racism celebrate diversity

Following continued racist graffiti attacks on a disused Methodist chapel in Cornwall, members of the Kernow Branch of the Celtic League have resolved to join a Cornwall wide network of groups that work towards greater equality and diversity.

The Branch decided at its first meeting of 2009 to seek membership of the Diversity Network for Cornwall (DNfC) - a partner led network of groups in Cornwall, representing different strands of equality. The Network aims to work with "statutory, voluntary, community and private organisations to make Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly a safe, inclusive and welcoming environment for one and all." Some of the key objectives of the DNfC are to promote awareness of human rights issues, to promote the need for fairness, justice and equal access to services for all people and to act as a voice for the diverse communities of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

The suggestion for Kernow Branch to work more closely with the DNfC first came from John Jackson at the Diversity Unit of Devon and Cornwall Constabulary, after the Branch wrote to a number of bodies in Cornwall during 2008 on equality and diversity related topics. One issue that the Branch specifically pursued in 2008 was the condemnation of the racist graffiti attacks against Quenchwell Chapel, near Carnon Downs, which is currently being converted into an Asian community centre.

After a general discussion at the Branch meeting it was felt that the branch could work more effectively with a large network of other groups in Cornwall who were also committed to seeking positive change on issues related to diversity and equality. It was also felt that the experiences of members of the Branch could be useful to the Network within the different strands of equality.

It was decided to ask the League's General Secretary (GS), who is also a Kernow Branch member, to approach the DNfC to request membership. It was also decided to set up a campaign blog on the internet to help focus specifically the activities of the Branch on issues related to diversity and equality within Cornwall and the other Celtic countries.

One member of the Branch Philip Hosking wrote to the GS before the meeting to say:

"I know the Celtic League is quite a broad church with people of many different political opinions but the recent … racist attack(s) as well as intolerance, racism and bigotry in general are not at all in line with the leagues principles."

The full text of the letter from the League's GS can be found below:

Diversity Network for Cornwall



Dear Sir/Madam

Diversity Network for Cornwall (DNfC)

I am writing to you on behalf of the Kernow Branch of the Celtic League with the aim of enquiring about membership of the DNfC.

Our organisation as a whole is extremely interested in the work of groups that pursue equality and diversity at all levels, with the aim of making each of the Celtic countries a fairer and more inclusive environment in which to live and work. The Celtic League have campaigned on a broad range of issues including human, social, cultural and linguistic rights throughout the Celtic countries for almost fifty years and are always keen to develop relations and work with other groups that do the same.

The Kernow Branch has asked me to make initial contact with the DNfC, as a member of the Branch and also as General Secretary of the League, to request Branch membership of the network. The Kernow Branch believes that it has a great deal to contribute to the work of the DNfC in terms of experience and ideas and also we are interested in working together with your other members to stimulate positive change. It was actually suggested by Devon and Cornwall Constabulary in 2008 that the Kernow Branch of the League should seek to work more closely with the DNfC in its pursuit of respect for diversity and equality, following its condemnation of racist graffiti on the Methodist Chapel at Quenchwell near Carnon Downs.

Following a meeting of the Branch earlier this month, members thought that Branch membership of the DNfC would be a positive step towards working for equality and diversity within Cornwall. Could you therefore inform us of the process involved to become members of the DNfC. For your information I have attached the League's Constitution.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely

Rhisiart Tal-e-bot
General Secretary (and Kernow Branch Member)
Celtic League"

Links :

Diversity Network for Cornwall

J B Moffatt
Director of Information
Celtic League


The Celtic League has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It works to promote cooperation between these countries and campaigns on a broad range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, monitors all military activity and focuses on socio-economic issues.

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