Birmingham and Sutton Coldfield Amnesty International groups are joining together to take part in an online Festival of Social Justice featuring talks, music, debates and celebrations which will be streamed into people’s homes.

The Festival of Social Justice between April 16 and May 31 brings together the 40 local Amnesty International groups across Central England in an exciting programme of events for all ages. These include speakers, music, poetry evenings, photography exhibitions, theatre, panel discussions and the chance for local activists to ‘stand’ on a virtual soapbox and share what social justice means to them.

The festival also involves other Amnesty International activist channels and many other community organisations – all participating to spread the word about social justice and human rights and to engage as many people as possible in campaigning actions.

Festival organiser Gethin Davies said: “The Festival of Social Justice offers everyone a chance to take part in lots of fascinating and fun events, learning more about human rights and also hearing some great speakers, music and poetry. We hope thousands of people across the country, and even across the globe, will enjoy the diverse range of events we have put together.”

As part of the wider festival, Birmingham is holding Fair Play for All, Children and Other Animals! on Saturday May 15 between 12noon and 10pm.

Fair Play co-organiser John Dolan said: “We are delighted to be part of this amazing festival and have an exciting programme for Fair Play including music, dance, art, a children’s hour and celebrities. You can dip in and out during the day and we’d love to see you there.”

Also across Birmingham and Sutton Coldfield, individual groups are organising events as part of the Festival for Social Justice.

Bournville Group’s Freedom of Expression features three weekly events on Wednesdays at 7.30pm – a talk on disinformation on April 21, international views from Mexico, Bangladesh and Turkey on April 28 and Action for Words with stories and guidance to taking action on May 5.

‘Black Lives in Birminam’, Vanley Burke the Godfather of Black British Photography traces the lives of African Caribbean people. The online event will be held by Bournville group on May 21 at 7.30pm.

Sutton Coldfield Group’s Voices for Change, an Evening of Poetry and Storytelling on Friday April 30 at 8pm features a host of performers including Birmingham Poet Laureate Casey Bailey and local actor and author Patrick Hayes.

Wythall group is linking with Restore (Befrienders), Syrian Resettlement Schemes, City of Sanctuary and Asylum Matters to offer welcome and support and is planning a series of online events between May 4-8.

Amnesty International campaigns for human rights and justice across the globe and has 10 million members and supporters. Founded in London in 1961, Amnesty International this year celebrates its 60th anniversary. The group campaigns for social justice in all its forms.

Festival organiser Ian Myson said: “Promoting social justice is about promoting equality, freedom, diversity and human rights for everyone no matter who and where they are. We hope this festival will encourage more people to become involved in campaigning for social justice and human rights.”

All events for the Festival of Social Justice are free but advance booking is recommended. Find a full programme and booking information here: https://www.amnesty.org.uk/groups/central-england

Follow the festival on YouTube at  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqYVSOlblhSszQylwUcmDxQ or Twitter @suttonamnesty and @amnestyBville with the hashtags #SocialJustice #SpeakOutForSocialJustice

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