First Cork Learning City Award for Cork Migrant Centre - Youth Initiative Against Racism

Three young people from the Cork Migrant Centre Youth Against Racism Initiative were presented with the first Cork Learning City Awardto recognise their leadership in advancing Inclusion and Equity through learning by Lord Mayor of Cork Councillor Joe Kavanagh on Irish Learning City Day Sept 30th.

Fionnuala, Aaliyah and Junior were hosted in City Hall to acknowledge all their work in the Youth Against Racism Initiative and in particular were recognised for a landmark event held in June 2020 - a Webinar on Racism, designed and hosted by young people working with Dr. Naomi Masheti and other leaders in Cork Migrant Centre.


The Anti Racism Webinar initiated a public conversation about the experiences of young multi cultural people in Ireland. Ten young people from Cork addressed a panel including senior politicians, Gardaí, State Services and the Ombudsman for Children, presenting their many personal experiences of racial discrimination and asking that these leaders help provide solutions.

Mr Denis Barrett, Learning City Coordinator said ‚‘These young people demonstrated leadership at a time of crisis through their inspirational efforts and we felt that their contribution should be marked. Nominations will open soon for a series of Cork Learning City awards across a variety of activities and age groups. Cork Learning City will recognise individuals and organisations who have demonstrated good practice in learning, inclusion and equity in Cork.’

The Cork Migrant Centre Youth Initiative, a Nano Nagle Place (NNP) project, managed by Dr Naomi Masheti nurtures the resilience of young teenagers living in or just transitioned from Direct Provision centres in Cork. The project provides free maths grids, homework clubs, visual and performing arts workshops in collaboration with Andrea Williams and DJ Stevie G and creative art workshops with Cork Printmakers.

Dr. Naomi Mashheti, CMC co-ordinator said ‘We are deeply honoured to be recognised in this way.  Since June, the young people have been working really hard, making future plans, continuing to raise awareness of racism, and build new networks of support’. 

The Cork Learning City Awards are being introduced in 2020 as a new way to celebrate our culture of Learning in Cork.  Cork as a UNESCO Learning City is committed to improving the lives of all city residents through learning and in to make the city more Inclusive and Equitable as a means of implementing the UN Sustainable Development Goals. 

Cork-Migrant-Centre-Learning-City-WinnersWillie McAuliffe Co-Chair of Cork Learning City said ‘Each month an example of leadership in advancing Inclusion and Equity in Learning will be awarded, nominations will be open to all forms of learning, for people of all ages, interests and abilities. The Awards are a way to highlight examples and to encourage and inspire others. We are delighted to present the youth from the Cork Migrant Centre with the first Award as an outstanding example of leadership’