For the thirteenth time, it is possible to apply for the Roma Spirit Award. The exceptional award will once again bring people together regardless of their ethnicity or nationality, and present and highlight examples of how the position of Roma communities in society has been improved, as well as mutual coexistence.
Roma Spirit 2021 kicked off with a press conference on Friday 21 May, symbolically marking the International Day for Intercultural Dialogue and Understanding. “Roma Spirit brings together people who know that respect, understanding and mutual dialogue have value,” said Magdaléna Rothová, ACEC Director and Roma Spirit Producer. “We believe that the number thirteen will bring us luck and 21 exceptional finalists who will inspire and motivate us, and with whom we will rejoice in their achievements,” she added.
The public can register their favourites for the awards by 31 August by completing the online application form at www.romaspirit.sk. “In Slovakia, we need positive examples of everyday life of people working to make living together better here.” said Štefan Vavrek, a member of the Roma Spirit Preparatory Committee. He added that “I appreciate that Roma Spirit recognizes people and organizations that work every day for this ideal.”
The Roma Spirit Award disrupts stereotypes and prejudices in society in an original way by sharing stories of personalities, organisations, media, towns and employers who bring effective working solutions to the challenges we face in our society. “Public service is also about standing up for the weaker, the different, enduring attacks and trying to make this country a better place to live in.” stated Attila Lovász, Director of the RTVS Centre for Ethnic Broadcasting.
The announcers of the 13th year of Roma Spirit 2020 are the Association for Culture, Education and Communication (ACEC) and Radio and Television of Slovakia. The event is under the auspices of the President of the Slovak Republic, Zuzana Čaputová, and the Public Defender of Rights, Mária Patakyová.
“We consider the visibility of people and activities in the field of inclusion of the Roma minority to be very necessary, in particular because of the persistent prejudice against Roma men and women. We welcome the fact that thanks to Roma Spirit, the public has an opportunity to get to know stories that make a real contribution to change for the better, and thus break down stereotypes,” said Marián Török, Head of the Office of the Public Defender of Rights.
Twenty-one final nominations will be selected by the Roma Spirit Preparatory Committee from all valid applications. The seven laureates of the 13th year of Roma Spirit, in the categories: Non-governmental organization, Company and Employer, Town and City, Personality, Media, Culture and Act of the Year, will be decided by an international Expert Jury and the Act of the Year Jury.
The partner of the category Act of the Year is Radio Expres, the partner of the category Media is the Open Society Foundation, and the partner of the category Culture is the Carpathian Foundation. A recording of the Roma Spirit 2021 award ceremony will be broadcast by RTVS on 9 December 2021, International Human Rights Day.
About the project:
Since 2009, Roma Spirit has created a multidisciplinary space to promote social cohesion, the development of intercultural dialogue and the elimination of any manifestations of intolerance. Over the past years, 1,714 activities, projects, organisations and outstanding personalities have been nominated for the Roma Spirit Award. Seventy-six laureates have already received the award. The person behind the idea of Roma Spirit is Ľubomíra Slušná-Franz, President of ACEC.