The Executive Office (TEO) is committed to building a society in which racial equality and diversity is supported, understood, valued and respected, where people of minority ethnic backgrounds have a sense of belonging which is acknowledged and valued by people from all backgrounds.

Minority Ethnic Development Fund

The Minority Ethnic Development Fund (MEDF) provides support for voluntary and community organisations working with minority ethnic people and groups. The aim of the Fund is to assist minority ethnic and local community organisations to promote good relations between people of different ethnic backgrounds.

In the unprecedented situation arising from the COVID-19 pandemic and given the impact on the assessment process and ability to ensure timely funding awards, the Minority Ethnic Development Fund application process for 2020/21 has been terminated.

To ensure stability for the sector in these uncertain times and enable organisations to continue to support vulnerable minority ethnic people at a time when they need it most, existing funding to current core funded MEDF recipients (ie in receipt of Tier 2 and Tier 3 funding), where letter of offer conditions have been met for 2019/20, will be extended for a further 12 months commencing 1 April 2020.

Decisions around the availability of Tier 1 funding for programme activities will be kept under review in light of the prevailing circumstances.

Officials will be in contact with organisations to provide further details and advice.

The Minority Ethnic Development Fund application process for 2020/21 has been terminated.

Contact us

Minority Ethnic Development Fund
Room E3.18
Castle Buildings
Telephone: 028 9052 8560

Racial Equality Strategy 2015 - 2025

The Racial Equality Strategy 2015 - 2025 establishes a framework for government departments (and others) to tackle racial inequalities, to eradicate racism and hate crime and along with Together: Building a United Community, to promote good race relations and social cohesion.

The Strategy along with the accompanying indicators designed to monitor the progress of the Strategy were launched for consultation on 19 June 2014.

The public consultation exercise ended on the 10 October 2014. You can still download the draft Racial Equality Strategy and the Racial Equality Strategy Indicators consultation documents consultation via the links below:

Racial Equality film resources

A suite of film profiles capture the work of local organisations helping to build a society in which racial equality and diversity is understood, valued and respected.

About the resources:

They can be used by schools, youth groups, good relations programmes and by other stakeholders to better understand issues important to people from minority ethnic backgrounds and to promote a sense of belonging which is valued by people from all backgrounds.

Below are the summary films to introduced the profile resources across the three strands of the programme:

Racial Equality Sub Group Profiles compilation film

Profiles of the Racial Equality Subgroup

A representative panel for minority ethnic communities that supports implementation of the Racial Equality Strategy and keeps actions by Government informed and relevant. View all profiles of the Racial Equality Subgroup via the link below:

Racial Equality Champions Profiles compilation film

Profiles of Racial Equality Champions

Every NICS department has a Racial Equality Champion to increase staff awareness of the Racial Equality Strategy and issues relevant to their Department’s policy and operational areas. View all profiles of the Racial Equality Champions via the link below:

Schools of Sanctuary Profiles compilation film

Profiles of Schools of Sanctuary

A collaboration between the Urban Villages Initiative, the Education Authority and the City of Sanctuary Group is helping schools across Belfast and Derry~Londonderry to achieve School of Sanctuary status. View all profiles of Schools of Sanctuary via the link below:

Other resources

The ‘Time to Stand’ short film tackles racist bullying in schools.  It was a key resource during NI Anti-Bullying Week 2018.  The film is accompanied  by a ‘behind the scenes’ look at the project. Classroom based resources have also been developed by the NI Anti Bullying Forum.

Below is the ‘Time to Stand’ short film

Below is a behind the scenes look at ‘Time to Stand’

An Introduction to the Champions and Subgroup Members and an Overview of Public Services Provided by Civil Service Departments

The Racial Equality Strategy 2015-25 committed to the establishment of a Racial Equality Subgroup as a representative and independent body from minority ethnic communities that gives them a voice in the strategy and keeps our actions informed and relevant. The Racial Equality Strategy also committed to the appointment of a Racial Equality Champion in each department.

The Champions are working with the Subgroup to identify gaps in the services provided by departments and how to close them. This document was initially created to help the subgroup identify which department provides what services.

The NICS Overview of Public Services provided by Departments can be viewed via the link below:

Syrian Vulnerable Persons Relocation Scheme

On 7 September 2015 the Prime Minister announced an additional 20,000 Syrian refugees would be resettled in the UK over the course of the current UK Parliament.

The First Minister and deputy First Minister signalled to the UK Government their willingness to welcome some of the most vulnerable refugees into Northern Ireland with 50 to 100 arriving on a phased basis from December 2015. TEO is the policy lead for the scheme here with the Department for Communities responsible for its operation.

The link below provides information about the scheme and on the current arrival of refugees.

Contact us

Racial Equality Unit


Racial Equality Strategy 2005-2010

A Racial Equality Strategy was published in July 2005. The strategy set out a framework for government and all sections of civil society in Northern Ireland for the creation of a community where racism, in any of its forms, is not tolerated and where all people enjoy equality of opportunity and equal protection.

You can access the strategy and related publications via the link below:

Related publications and legislation

Contact the Racial Equality Unit

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