Gypsy, Roma and Traveller identity now

ACERT Conference 2016

10-30am to 4-30pm

Preceded by the Annual General Meeting at 10am.



A day of reflection and celebration of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller identities

In June this year, many of us attended a demonstration in Parliament Square to protest against changes to regulations which insisted that a person should not be permanently settled if they were to be regarded as a “gypsy” in planning terms; if you were, you couldn’t expect the local authority to provide a site for you or get permission to set up your own site. Many people felt their identity was being taken from them.

ACERT’s Conference aims to respond to this threat by examining what identity means Gypsies, Roma and Travellers in the 21st Century.

We have invited speakers and musicians to consider the place of religion, music, history, art and education. We hope to recognise the strengths of the cultures but also to identify what we must preserve and what should be allowed to change. We can also consider whether it’s the same or different for groups and individuals, for different generations, for men and women, the wealthy and the disadvantaged.

As usual the conference is free (donations welcome) and there will be light refreshments provided for those who book in advance.

Speakers and performers to include:

  • Rosemarie McCarthy, ACERT Chair
  • Lisa Smith, formerly targeted youth worker for Gypsy, Roma and Travellers in Worcestershire, ACERT EC
  • Tanja Jovanovich and Louise Morley, University of Sussex
  • Lily Elise and Lisa Galloway, ACERT EC & Blackpool & The Fylde College the impact of knowing one’s identity from a young age
  • Sam Lee – Folk singer
  • Thomas McCarthy – Irish Traveller, Folk Singer and Storyteller
  • Hazel Marsh – University of East Anglia, ACERT EC
  • Margaret Doran – Catholic Charismatic Renewal movement
  • Romany & Traveller Family History Society
  • Phoebe Buckley – Professional Event Rider
  • Suzana King – Friends Families & Travellers
  • Arthur Conka – Roma Film Archive, Director and Photographer, Picture Light Productions
  • Saeeda – Roma dancer, and Valdemar Kalinin – Vice Chair of ACERT

The Romani Cultural & Arts Company Research Report into Education Provision


In 2016, The Romani Cultural & Arts Company based in Cardiff, Wales, was very grateful to receive a £5000 grant to commission research and consultation into the opinions and aspirations of Gypsies and Travellers relating to the education provision on offer to their community’s children and young people.

We are pleased to announce that the resulting report from the research and consultation is now available. The report shall be made available to all Welsh Local Authorities, the four regional educational consortia and the Welsh Government to enable them to reflect upon current policy and practice and ask appropriate questions in order to improve the life chances of some of the most vulnerable and marginalised children and young people living in Wales.

Isaac Blake says that: “these children and young people are precious. Too many of them are still being failed by public services that do not meet their needs and aspirations – this cannot be allowed to continue.”

The Romani Cultural & Arts Company hopes that the report will stimulate a genuine debate around the genuine needs and aspirations of the Gypsy and Traveller community and enable deep changes to be made so that less and less children and young people are disadvantaged and failed.

Please download the pdf here: http://www.romaniarts.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/AWARDS-FOR-ALL-REPORT-2016-2.pdf


Report on Gypsy, Roma and Traveller participation in Higher Education

This is the impact report from the Higher Education Internationalisation and Mobility: Inclusive Equalities and Innovation project (HEIM) conference at Sussex University which Lisa Smith and Rose McCarthy attended in May. It looks as though we were successful at bringing to their attention the situation of Gypsy and Travellers experiences of further and higher education within the UK. Initially the focus was on Central and eastern European Roma experiences of HE in the UK and elsewhere.

What came out of the day was that the UK are behind other European countries when it comes to supporting Roma in Higher Education, but also that many participants, including the organisers, were unaware of Romany Gypsies and Irish Travellers who are already engaged in further and higher education.



ACERT conference and AGM 2016

Maintaining, celebrating, rediscovering, concealing, including, ignoring…

Identity lies at the core of the struggle to promote rights and equalities  of Gypsies, Roma and Travellers. At our 2016 free Conference we aim to draw together community members who are exploring and celebrating Gypsy, Roma and Traveller identities in different ways, through music and dance, history, belief and achievement. Come along and participate.

More details to follow soon.

Book the date now:

17th September 2016 10am – 3pm
Friends Meeting House, 173 Euston Road, London NW1 2BJ