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The Fundación Secretariado Gitano Awards 2023 delivered in Madrid [editar]

During the Awards gala, the three Roma deputies of the last legislature in Spain were also recognised, with the participation of the former president of the Congress, Meritxell Batet.


The Fundación Secretariado Gitano Awards 2023 delivered in Madrid

The Awards Ceremony was held yesterday at the Espacio Bertelsmann in Madrid, in a ceremony that brought together nearly 200 people from the Third Sector, public administrations, companies, education, politics, etc.

An event, on this occasion significant as it also celebrated the appointment of Jesús Loza as president of FSG and Sara Giménez as director general.

President Loza recalled the FSG commitment to interculturality, stating that "the cause of equality and the defence of Roma rights must be a cause shared by everyone in society and for this, partnership and alliances to achieve good results are essential".

The first of the award categories was that of Transformative Company, which this year went to the company Ikea, for its involvement in and promotion of the incorporation of Roma people into the labour market and its real commitment to diversity and social inclusion.

Isaac Rosa, journalist and writer, received the award in the "Communication with awareness" category, for being a spokesperson in the media for complex social justice causes that particularly affect many Roma people, such as shantytowns and discrimination in access to housing.

In the "Solidarity with G"-Tío Valentín Suárez, individual category, the award went to Lola Cabrillana, teacher, writer and influencer, for being a Roma voice that, through literature and social networks, raises awareness of Roma culture and values, breaks stereotypes and denounces inequality and discrimination against the Roma people.

The Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza received the award in the "Solidarity with G"-Tío Valentín Suárez- collective category, for understanding ART and CULTURE, recognising the value of diversity, offering a plural cultural proposal that includes Roma culture and their artists, and proactively bringing the Roma community closer to the museum.

Peter Pollák, MEP, received the award in the "Education is the Future" category, for promoting the fight against school segregation of Roma children from the European Parliament.

Francisco Suárez, director of performing arts, received the award in the category Pere Giménez Pubill, "Tío Peret", for a life and professional career dedicated to the promotion of culture and the performing arts, using his influence to raise awareness of the situation of the Roma people.

Recognition of three Roma MPs

Once the 12th edition of the Awards ceremony was over, Fundación Secretariado Gitano wanted to give special recognition to Ismael Cortés, Beatriz Carrillo and Sara Giménez as former deputies members of Spanish parliament "for their commitment and contribution to the defence of the rights of the Roma during the 14th Legislature". Meritxell Batet, former president of the Spanish Parliament during the legislature, was present at the ceremony.

In his words, FSG President Jesús Loza highlighted how the three former deputies were able to unite their voices when the situation required it: "thanks to their personal commitment and continuous work, they have been the architects of the antigypsyism being now included in the criminal code as one of the grounds for hate crimes. In addition, they brought the voices of many Roma associations and activists to be heard in the hearings for the State Pact against antigypsyism and Roma Inclusion".

"With this small tribute", according to Loza, "we also want to recognise their imprint on many of the legislative developments of the last legislature, ensuring that social advances also reach the Roma community and that the regulatory framework includes situations that specifically affect them, such as the Minimum Income initiative, school failure and segregation, or slum and substandard housing settlements, among others.”