Equality 17 is Youth Work Ireland's year of work to provide opportunities for young people to become involved in supporting initiatives to promote equality in Ireland

The theme of Equality was chosen by a year-long consultation and consensus campaign with young people, staff and volunteers, which culminated in a vote at our National Consensus Conference in October 2016. In focus groups and discussions leading up to this vote, young people say that they were concerned about issues such as Black Lives Matter, the backlash against feminism in media, the rise of populist and far right political movements and Brexit. They felt that young people had a role in challenging these trends, and becoming more active and involved, to support a fundamental belief in the value of all people.

Equality 17 takes the viewpoint that equality is not about treating everyone the same, sometimes equality is about providing extra support to people who need it, and making provisions to ensure there is equal access and opportunities for all. The plan of work plan, activities and initiatives of Equality 17 will be very much youth led by a group of young people – the Equality Crew, whic are made up of young people from across Youth Work Ireland’s Member Youth Services and have been working since January to plan and ensure that the year is reflective of the views of young people.

Through the Equality17 campaign Youth Work Ireland is supporting a generation which embraces equality, progress and change, to become involved and active through events, activities and workshops across the country. The campaign will culminate in a National Conference in Royal Hospital Kilmainham in October of this year. Here are some of the initiatives of Equality17

Equaity 17 - Partners

Throughout the year we will be partnering with organisations who have expertise in supporting equality for young people. Together with our partners we will build national awareness of equality issues across the nine grounds and beyond, by providing opportunities for young people to tell their stories of how they experience being equal in Ireland in 2017. These organsiations will be featured at the conference as part of the exhibition and Ted talks.







Equality 17 - Learning and Sharing Workshops

In April we ran three Learning and Sharing workshops in Dublin, Sligo and Limerick. Theses events brought young people, youth workers and volunteers together in a creative, interactive and fun space to share and disucss their experiences of equality issues in Ireland. The events also piloted the 'Stories of Equality' activity which was subsequently run throughout our services during Youth Work Ireland Week.


Equality 17 - Generation Welcome

In March Youth Work Ireland conducted a survey on young people's attitudes toward equality issues. Over 1,000 young people took part in this survey and the findings were released in April to launch Youth Work Ireland Week. The findings showed that young people in Ireland are significantly more tolerant of differences and more likely to take action to improve society than previous generations. Find out more>>

Equality 17 Stories of Equality

During Youth Work Ireland Week thousands of young people across Youth Work Ireland Member Youth Services took part in an arts based activity to share their stories of what it is to be equal in Ireland in 2017. The 'Stories of Equality' created a shared understanding of equality, and raised awareness of equality challenges young people face in Ireland today. These stories will feature as a key part of our campaign in national media, social media and at conference events. Find our more>>


Equality 17 Communications

Through storytelling, social media campaigns and a national programme of activities during 2017, we aim to motivate and inspire and direct young people and volunteers to become more involved in initiatives that build equality across Ireland.


Equality 17 - Consensus Conference

The year of work will culminate in a National Consensus Conference and Exhibition on Saturday October 21st in The Royal Hospital Kilmainham, Dublin. This event will see a delegation of over 350 people, come together in a dedicated space to exhibit and share their experience of equality. There will also be guest speakers, entertainment, and equality based workshops.

Speakers at Equality 17

Minister for Children & Youth Affairs, Dr. Katherine Zappone

Senator Aodhán Ó'Riordán

David Stanton, Minister of State

more to be confirmed...

Workshops at Equality '17

We will have a number of interactive and practice based workshops at Equality 17 that focus in on specific issues of equality

Workshop 1 - Disability Awareness

Workshop 2 - Employment

Workshop 3 - Including Young Travellers in  Youth Service

Workshop 4 - Influencing Social Change

more to be announced...

Exhibition & TED Space at Equality '17

We know that young people want to be part of actions and initiatives that support equality and make Ireland a more just society for all. The exhibition space will allow young people link in and learn more about how they can get involved by linking in with partner organisations who have expertise in equality