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SDG10 - Reduced Inequalities

In May 2019, a ground-breaking LGBT+ public education and awareness campaign was featured on the UL campus. ‘Call It Out’ a joint initiative of the Transgender Equality Network Ireland (TENI) and the UL Hate and Hostility Research Group (HHRG) sought to shine a bright light on the sometimes visible, often hidden phenomena of homophobia, biphobia and transphobia and the corresponding impact on Ireland’s LGBT+ community. “The Call It Out campaign aims to raise awareness of homophobia, biphobia and transphobia and their manifestations in Ireland,” explained Dr Amanda Haynes of the HHRG, whose research with Dr Jennifer Schweppe underpins the public awareness campaign. “It aims to empower LGBT people to seek support where they are subjected to anti-LGBT violence and intimidation.’

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A team of three from UL including, Ashley Bamberg, Dr Jean McCarthy and Dr Noreen Heraty contributed to the RTE brainstorm on the topic the problem of ageism at work. Managing an increasingly age diverse workforce presents a significant challenge for leaders and organisations worldwide. As workers of varying ages interact with each other daily, there exists increasing pressure to deal with the presence and impact of ageist attitudes in the workplace. Given that ageist attitudes have the potential to affect many people across the lifespan as we age, any lack of attention to combatting ageism in the workplace may suggest an implicit acceptance that ageism is inevitable and give longevity to what has been identified as the pernicious problem of ageism today.  

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The Midwest Empowerment and Equality Conference was designed to empower, educate, and encourage men and women both young and old to take better care of themselves. The conference was organised and presented by Dr Mary Ryan, Consultant Endocrinologist, Bon Secours at Barrington’s Limerick, and Senior Lecturer at Graduate Entry Medical School (GEMS), University of Limerick. Dr Ryan said, “The conference was organised as a means of giving back to society by empowering, educating and encouraging men and women both young and old to how to empower one’s self to take better care of themselves.”

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Dr Anca Minescu is involved in a project which is working to identify evidence-based methods to effectively combat discrimination of the Roma in the changing political climate of Europe funded by the Justice programme of the European Union (2014-2020). Comprising an international team of social psychologists from five European countries committed to bringing about change in the situation of Roma people and Travellers in Europe. The collaboration includes local and international NGOs, state institutions and European stakeholders to address the challenges created by the current political climate of rising right-wing populism and identify effective methods to combat discrimination.

Objective One is to identify how politicians and public figures talk about Roma people, how much space Roma people get to form the public opinion about them.

Objective Two is to evaluate and improve existing anti-discrimination interventions in order to efficiently reduce prejudice towards the Roma in Europe.

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The UL School of Education have published key findings from a two-year long research project exploring the experiences of transgender and gender diverse (TGD) youth in second-level schools in Ireland.

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A University education should be a possibility for all. UL is committed to providing equal access for people from all backgrounds. It is within this spirit of welcome that UL has sought recognition as a University of Sanctuary. The designation is built on an existing history of engagement with refuges and asylum seekers across multiple programmes of education and research. This is a commitment by the University of Limerick to a three-year action plan including:

  1. The provision of sanctuary bursaries to refugees and asylum seekers.
  2. The formation of the UL University of Sanctuary steering group.
  3. English Language provision to refugees and asylum seekers.
  4. Refugee week events in the University.
  5. Establishing a regional HE research network for refugees and asylum seekers.
  6. To have Limerick City and Region designated as a place of sanctuary.

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A Limerick woman who has become the first Traveller in Ireland to graduate with a PhD, said she has “mixed emotions” about the accolade, as it reminded her of the Traveller community’s long struggle in accessing education. Dr Sindy Joyce is a human rights activist, and doctoral graduate of the department of sociology at University of Limerick. Dr Joyce, from Newcastle West, said she was “overwhelmed” with emotion, and very proud of her PhD, but added: “I’ve mixed emotions – on the one hand it’s really great, especially being a woman and breaking that glass ceiling, but it’s sad too that it has taken this amount of time for someone from my community to be a PhD.”

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This group brings together arts-based and participatory scholars from medicine, nursing & midwifery, and the performing arts, as well as a leading NGO for migrants. Their vision is to develop increased understanding of the role of arts-based methods as participatory strategies for involving migrants in health research, with three key goals:

  1. To expand the evidence base for the role of arts-based methods in migrant health research and to evaluate training in the use of participatory and arts-based methods.
  2. To develop stronger links between arts, heath, and migrant research energies within the university and beyond, and model networking strategies such as the Irish World Music Café.
  3. To develop training opportunities in arts-based research methods for health workers, migrants, and researchers, with a view to building skill, knowledge, resources, and confidence in the application of this approach.

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