The European Roma Spirit Award was initiated by the Association for Culture, Education and Communication (ACEC), Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic, and the Office of the Plenipotentiary of the Slovak Government for Roma Communities as a platform for highlighting positive contributions focused on the social inclusion of the Roma people.
ERSA is a project contingent on the Roma Spirit project which has been initiated and successfully implemented by Association for Culture, Education and Communication in Slovak and Czech Republic since 2009. The project aims to promote active efforts in improving the situation and fostering social integration of the Roma, Europe’s largest and most excluded ethnic minority. The aim of the project is to build respect, promote understanding and tolerance through public presentation of positive examples of sensitive integration and support for marginalized Roma minority. Over the years of the project’s existence (2009 – 2016), there have been over 1700 positive examples – nominations for Roma Spirit award received. Thanks to public presentation (the award giving ceremony is broadcasted by national broadcasters) and appraisal of examples of positive practice we get the attention of the general public, tear down barriers, prevent acts of discrimination and intolerance, and contribute to sustainable and continuous development in all areas of improving the living conditions of the Roma community.
ERSA is a response to the challenges of meaningfully integrating and promoting social justice for the Roma community. It supports the active efforts of all those involved in improving the situation of Roma people throughout Europe. Through the power of their example we stimulate creativity, innovation a further activities. Our main goal is to promote a positive image of Roma communities and culture, and to repudiate racism and prejudice and strengthen social inclusion. Our main objective is to inspire an intercultural dialogue, cooperation and solidarity across Europe, with an emphasis on public engagement to promote positive attitudes and affective cross national challenges.