THE MILE PROJECT- BY CHAKA WELCH
On September 28th, #DiasporaVote! attended an event called The MILE Project. We were asked to participate as speaker to a panel aiming at bridging the democracy gab with people of migrant background. The event, organised by MILE partners UNITEE, New Women Connectors, and INTEGRIM Lab in collaboration with the European Parliament addressed the crucial question: “How can we make political participation more inclusive and accessible to everyone?”
Throughout the event, we got to hear the incredible journeys and work of Tamam Abusalama, from ECRE who expressed the obstacles migrant refugees can face such as reluctancy to trust democratic processes or not understanding the process of the country they are now in. From the limited resources to the limited access to social support due to their status, refugees face incredible obstacles when fleeing their situations and when trying to settle in new places. Little did we know how relevant this discussion was a couple weeks later!
Safaa Charafi shared ideas on how to make urban planning in cities more inclusive in terms of cultural and gender diversity and how important it is to make spaces where people feel safe in each city.
There were other wonderful speakers such as Dursa Mama Kadu, from Voicify, and Seyran Khalili from New Women connectors and they called for greater integration of people of migrant background in processes such as policy making and accessing the rights to vote.
Vanessa Cotterell from UNITEE, who organized the event and invited us on the panel, shared five key steps to creating social and political inclusion: Commitment, Co-creation, innovation, capacity building and activism.
Finally, non-other than our Chaka Welch, our anti-racism coordinator, presented #DiasporaVote!’s entire journey to the audience, from inception to conceptions and blooming into making it what we have today.
We shared the various programs and projects we have such as Work with your MEP, Ta Minute Citoyenne, The Face of Europe, and called on the audience’s participation to our campaign to aim for the awareness of the power of voting and become active citizens amongst people from a migrant background and people from the diaspora.
A big thanks to UNITEE and the MILE project for having us, it was truly an honour to share experiences and meet such amazing activists.
Would you like to participate or contribute to our campaign “The Face of Europe” ? Make sure to stay tuned and get in touch!
Chaka is #DiasporaVote!’s lead on anti-racism issues, coordination and participates in civil society meetings, forums and events. She is also a photographer and co-founder of the “Face of Europe” campaign.