‘We Are One’: Scotland set for first ‘Festival of Citizenship’ 9-11 August

We Are One Festival 9-11 August is free entry

  • The We Are One Festival will host a series of debates and workshops, including the launch of the ‘Homes not Hospitals’ campaign, a ‘Call to Action’ on Self-Directed Support and a session on Caring Activism
  • Festival is a collaboration by non-profit organisations and will “celebrate diversity and assert the equal status of all those pushed to the margins on account of their disability, gender, sexuality or political status”
  • The festival immediately follows the World Congress of the Scientific Study of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, which will see over 1,200 learning disability researchers and practitioners come together from all over the world

A ‘FESTIVAL OF CITIZENSHIP’ will take place in Glasgow next week to celebrate diversity and equality. 

The We Are One festival from 9-11 August is the first of its kind in Scotland, and will see a series of debates, workshops art and music hosted by disabled people’s rights groups, social care organisations and other campaigns and charities looking at some of the big issues facing marginalised groups in Scotland today.

The free entry event is a collaboration by non-profit organisations as part of Citizen Network Scotland, including In Control Scotland and ENABLE Scotland, LEAP Sports Scotland, Radical Visions and many more. 

Citizen Network describes itself as a “global non-profit cooperative movement, formed to create aworld where everyone matters – where everyone can be an equal citizen”.

READ MORE: What does JRF’s report tells us about child poverty, disability and gender in Scotland?

John Dalrymple, coordinator of Citizen Network Scotland, said that the festival came “at a time when the stigmatisation of difference has become routine, and sustained policies of "austerity" are eroding a shared sense of the common good.” 

“Through music, debate and storytelling the Festival will instead celebrate diversity and assert the equal status of all those pushed to the margins on account of their disability, gender, sexuality or political status,” he added.

The programme for the festival includes:

  • The launch of ‘Homes not Hospitals’ campaign in Scotland seeking to tackle the social care crisis; 
  • A ‘Caring Activism’ session which will “show how citizens can take power with each other to support vulnerable people in a crisis”; 
  • An event showcasing a Finnish approach to “the promotion of citizen involvement in volunteering, using art & culture to work with those with mental health issues, disabled people, prisoners, and marginalised communities”.
  • A ‘Call to Action’ on Self-Directed Support, which provides the legislative basis for all social work and social care services in Scotland.
  • A talk on welfare reform in the age of austerity, Brexit and Trump
  • A debate on Universal Basic Income
  • A session titled ‘Active Citizen or Passive Consumer?’ which will explore the state of democracy and the role of citizens in the democratic process

The event, taking place in venues across Glasgow city centre, will begin on the Friday evening with a night of live music hosted by Stay Up Late Scotland, which campaigns to make sure that people with learning difficulties are able to lead active, fun social lives.

The festival will immediately follow the conclusion of the World Congress of the Scientific Study of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IASSIDD), which is taking place in Glasgow from 6-9 August at the SECC, and will see over 1,200 learning disability researchers and practitioners come together from all over the world. The theme of the conference is a Future4All. 

You can see the full programme for the We Are One Festival here, and register your place here.

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