Nahid is a 24-year-old master’s student in International Cooperation at the University of Turin, Italy. She volunteers as a Communication officer for #Diasporavote!. Along with this, she is active in Italy as a project manager on social sustainability projects in the field of training, mentoring, coaching, and other activities aimed at supporting young people, characterized by diversity in the cultural background, engaged in building their own training and professional path.
THE EUROPEAN CIVIC ACADEMY 2023- “BUILDING COLLECTIVE EMPOWERMENT TOWARDS JUST AND INCLUSIVE SOCIETIES”
On 18th-20th September 2023, one of our Communication officers Nahid Benani, attended THE EUROPEAN CIVIC ACADEMY 2023, which title this year was: “BUILDING COLLECTIVE EMPOWERMENT TOWARDS JUST AND INCLUSIVE SOCIETIES”.
The European Civic Forum (ECF) is a transnational network that brings together nearly 100 associations and NGOs across 29 European countries working to build a democratic and civic Europe that delivers on people’s needs. The European Civic Academy (ECA) was launched by the ECF in 2016 to connect and build bridges between civil society and academia.
ECA 2023 explored how to create synergies between the various forms of activism developed by organised civil society, citizen assemblies and other types of action, and electoral democracy, in order to explore the diverse pathways to democratic renewal and empowerment and the ways to upscale them at the European level.
We discussed and shared experiences on how different approaches to progressive change (everyday actions on the ground, advocacy, campaigning, protests and direct action, community organising…) create people’s power and agency to shape the collective imagination in a progressive direction.
The upcoming European elections are taking place in 2024 and can provide a crucial moment for Europe’s political life to collectively decide what shared European future we want.
As the social, political and environmental challenges of our times require a global and European approach to local and national actions, this question is relevant not only for activists engaging directly in the defence of democracy and fundamental rights, but also for all acting for effective access to rights, social, racial and environmental justice.
The Academy started with the Civic Pride Awards 2023, during which we celebrated the work of four outstanding civic initiatives:
- Gribu palīdzēt bēgļiem (ENG “I want to help refugees”), Latvia, for providing support to Ukrainians fleeing the war and asylum seekers in Latvia;
- TGEU, Europe, for promoting greater understanding, acceptance, and inclusion of transindividuals in society in defiance of the anti-rights backlash
- The Saami Council and Sami rights movement, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia, for protecting the rights of indigenous people in the EU and raising awareness of environmental issues;
- Protest movement composed of teachers, students, and parents fighting for public education in Hungary.
Diasporavote! is glad to have been part of this edition,as we were able with a few other participants to highlight
the absence of a larger percentage of POC and disabled people in relation to the number of participants. How can
we claim to envision consensus in Europe if we exclude the categories that mostly need to be heard?