Last Saturday (29th July) we had the pleasure to be a stallholder at the annual celebration of Nottinghamshire Pride. 2017 marks 50 years from the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality in the UK, which gave everyone a great opportunity to celebrate the progress that has been made for LGBT+rights but also to reflect on what needs to happen in order to achieve a society free from hate, prejudice and discrimination.
This year’s Pride had a record breaking turnout, with more that 6000 people taking in part in the Parade that runs from Castle Gate and ends in Hockley. The event is a true celebration of diversity, tolerance and community spirit and was filled with music,dancing, workshops and a unforgetable street party. For us, a highlight of the event was the canopy commissioned by Nottingham LGBT+ Collective Shady Cow and created by artists Kashif Nadim Chaudry in collaboration with members of the public from all walks of life. The canopy has been produced at Nottingham Contemporary over the two days that preceded the event and was a central part of the parade.
Thousands of people engaged with our stall this year and especially with our Building Stronger Communities project, which aims to tackle hate crime and increase community cohesion. In the current social and political climate, for us it’s more important than ever to raise awareness about hate crime, its devastating consequences and to empower people to report it and not be a bystander. We also gave the attendees the opportunity to tell us what community means to them and how we can build more a cohesive and tolerant society by inviting them to leave us messages on our flip chart board.
Our Creative Director Shamsher Chohan said ‘Pride is truly a great opportunity for communities to come together to celebrate diversity. It’s a place for people to show their support to the LGBT community and stand with them against hate crime. Hate crime is a hard hitting topic and therefore we wanted to ensure that people had all the information to be able to report and access support if they or anyone they know experience hate crime. Pride is about empowering communities and this is exactly what we try to achieve through our work. ‘
A huge thank you and congratulations to the organisers for providing a great environment for diverse people to come together and celebrate. We are already looking forward to next year!