THE One Small Step campaign steps up a gear with the launch of an advertising campaign aimed at breaking down racist and sectarian attitudes in Northern Ireland. Featuring the voice of Belfast-born actor Kenneth Branagh, the TV campaign will run throughout February.
One Small Step chairman Trevor Ringland said: “The One Small Step campaign believes that Northern Ireland’s future must be a shared one and that the only way to achieve this is if we all try to overcome the many barriers, large and small, that divide us.
“This ad is about saying to people that they have their own individual part to play in securing a better, shared future and must consciously start taking small steps to break down the barriers of misunderstanding, hatred and distrust that hold Northern Ireland back.
“The ad shows ordinary, every day people from Northern Ireland confronted by a barrier of words including sectarian and racist taunts and words such as fear, division and violence. The people are depicted stepping through the barrier and emerging to realise the significance and benefit of what they have done.
“The One Small Step Campaign believes that only the collective will of the people can secure lasting peace and a truly stable society and we hope that in the coming months and beyond, individuals and organisations will consciously do what they can do to take Northern Ireland a step forward.
“We hope that people will decide what small steps are appropriate for them and take action. For example, someone who has rarely interacted with members of the other community could do something as small as reading a little bit about another tradition or reading a newspaper from the other side. This would be a significant step relevant to them individually.
“Someone else may decide that they are in a position to go a bit further and could perhaps go to a religious service of another tradition to broaden their knowledge, or engage in some kind of community relations work. Everyone can and should do something which will make a difference in the context of a collective effort.
“We have overcome many barriers in Northern Ireland but there are still many in front of us and we need to work together to ensure that we deal with them effectively.”