Our story began in March 2005 with a group of motivated people from various walks of life, religion and race. They saw a need to identify and address the issue of social exclusion amongst minorities and wanted to promote equality and diversity on the Isle of Wight.
We met initially to seek ways to raise awareness of discriminatory practices and attitudes on the Island. Subsequently, the celebration of diversity was to become an important means of taking the message to the wider community.
We called our group “Equals”. On 23rd January 2012 we gained charitable status under the name “Equals IW”.
We take particular pride in the development of a Friendship Group (FG) where women from any ethnic background can meet other women in a safe environment. The Friendship Group offers training, socialisation, cultural celebrations, fun and most of all friendship. It currently meets in Cowes every Wednesday,
Equals IW has over the years celebrated Cultural Diversity Day. Our Friendship Group takes an active part in Ryde’s annual Mardi Grass, Culture Kitchen sessions in Primary Schools and other local community events on the island. This activity is important as it also raises the profile of Equals IW and attracts new members.
Our aims for the future are to start Friendship Groups in other Island towns and villages reaching out to even more women and to support the establishment of a Men’s Friendship Group.