Week Against Racism Kicks Off on Monday

A Red Cross volunteer in Turku during the Week Against Racism campaign. Picture: Nick Ahleskog for Finland Today

The campaign organized by the Finnish Red Cross kicks off in a showy celebration on Monday March 20, during the opening event held at Narinkkatori in Helsinki, between 15:30 and 19:30.

The event will be opened by Mayor of Helsinki Jussi Pajunen.

The performances include:

Mikko Harju
Street Soul studio: AK, RDK, Ilona Gill, WeThteMix and DJ ISKU
Taekwondo show
Hassan Maikal
+ speeches by various organizations against racism

Sports at Narinkkatori:

Street basketball

During the week, the Finnish Red Cross encourages people to raise discussion on how to create an inclusive atmosphere to all people with the help of good decisions, positive images, stories, friendships and meetings. The campaign will comment on how a dream society is built through practical acts and decisions. 2017 is the centenary of independent Finland. The campaign is under the patronage of President Sauli Niinistö.

The campaign week reinforces the image of Finland as an open and good country and Finns as friendly and sincere people. Dozens of organizations, many sports societies as well as athletes and official operators take part in the campaign. On the campaign video, Finns share the decisions they have made to stand against racism, and encourage others to do the same.

According to the Red Cross’ ordinance and decrees, the basic mission of the organization is to assist those who are in the weakest position and are the most vulnerable, and to defend human dignity and human rights. Racist behavior is a form of discrimination, in which people are placed in different positions according to their background or presumed qualities. The Red Cross speaks out for and promotes a diverse and equal society where everyone has the same opportunities to act and to influence society.

The national anti-racism campaign of the Red Cross is organized every year during the same week as the UN’s International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, which takes place on March 21. In 2017, the campaign is held during week 12, March 20-26 2017.

Anyone can take part in the campaign by making a decision against racism. This decision can be an action or a promise about how to locally build a society that is safe and open to all. It can be, for example, a new friendship, a small campaign against racism or a promise to intervene in bullying. The decision will be made public through social media, using hashtag #minäpäätän in Finnish or, alternatively, #jagbestämmer in Swedish or #idecide in English.

From the online shop of the Finnish Red Cross, you can order materials against racism free-of-charge, including a cardboard box (assembly required) for the decision forms (included), to which you can collect the decisions in other events, at educational institutes or at work during the week against racism (week 12).


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