A former Sunderland footballer is tackling prejudice with a consultancy service specialising in issues of equality, diversity and hate crime.
Kieron Brady’s footballing career came to an end in 1993 at the age of 22, when he suffered an injury.
Since then he has enjoyed a spell as a broadcaster, owned and ran a print company and set up his own consultancy offering insight, advice and training around equality issues – an area close to his heart.
The 43 year-old Scotsman, who settled in Sunderland following his time at the club, set up Celebrate Identity, Challenge Intolerance (CICI) in 2009 and has since trained people, including many footballers.
Mr Brady also acts as an expert witness in hate crime cases, and is a regular spokesperson in his field of expertise, often appearing in national and international media.
Now one of CICI’s products, an ACAS reviewed equality e-learning course, has been nominated in the prestigious 2015 Excellence in Diversity Awards.
The product, which is aimed at employers for staff training purposes, has been shortlisted in the Best Diversity Resource category.
Mr Brady said: “A lot of UK employers don’t believe they need to give their staff training in issues of equality and diversity.
“To some degree I think they’re being negligent, because it’s so important. Prejudice and discrimination often arise because staff are ignorant of the issues.
“For example, most people racism only really occurs with intent. It’s not always the case, sometimes its driven by ignorance because people simply do not know.
“I would hate to see anyone lose their job over an issue like this. That’s where we can help, and that’s where our services are aimed.”
Mr Brady spent four years with the charity Show Racism the Red Card, delivering workshops across the North England, before he founded CICI.
The firm now services clients across a range of sectors, including health organisations, trade unions and legal firms.
CICI’s remit is broad as the consultancy is set-up to educate around the key issues racism and religious intolerance, as well as prejudice and discrimination against individuals because of gender, age, disability and sexual orientation.
Mr Brady’s aim is to teach young people in particular about the dangers involved in adopting and sustaining attitudes of intolerance and ignorance against individuals and groups as a result of skin colour, nationality, national origin, ethnicity, culture and religion or faith.
His upbringing in a leftist, Irish immigrant family in Scotland instilled his passion for challenging prejudice.
Mr Brady puts this awareness down to his early years in Coatbridge, a town 10 miles east of Glasgow that was heavily populated by Irish immigrant families such as his own.
Racism against such communities was rife and manifested itself through discrimination in employment and social housing.