Midlothian was one of 10 councils shortlisted for the award, including Glasgow City Council, Edinburgh Council, Falkirk Council and Highland Council.
The Scottish Diversity Awards celebrate individuals, organisations, and businesses that actively contribute towards efforts to make Scotland a culturally diverse and integrated country. Midlothian was selected as the winner for organising Equal Midlothian Week and the Midlothian Mela. Both events celebrate the contribution that people from different backgrounds make to their local community. Equal Midlothian Week is supported by the Midlothian People’s Equality Group and Health in Mind.
Midlothian’s equalities champion Councillor Kelly Parry (SNP) said: “Equal Midlothian Week and the Mela have been running in Midlothian for several years now but both have grown over the years and become popular annual fixtures.
“This year we had the biggest turn out yet at the Mela with over 200 visitors. It is fantastic that the council’s commitment to promoting diversity and community cohesion has been acknowledged by winning ‘Council of the Year’ in the Scottish Diversity Awards 2019.”
The purpose of Equal Midlothian Week is to raise awareness of equality issues. A range of organisations working on equalities issues held events during the week to highlight the work they do to create a fairer, more inclusive Midlothian. This included sessions about cultural awareness, disability, mental health, kinship care, domestic abuse and LGBT issues. The week culminated with the Midlothian Mela a family event featuring music, dance, artistic performances, workshops, activities for all ages and international food.