About The Diversity Initiative

Responding to an increase in the number of suspected racially motivated attacks in Ukraine beginning in December 2006, International Organization for Migration (IOM), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Amnesty International (AI) and other concerned civil society organizations formed the Diversity Initiative network in April 2007 to begin addressing the issue in a coordinated way.

Call for Participation: II. European Forum - Active Citizenship, topic of ‘Diversity & Inclusion’

We kindly invite you to take part in the II. European Forum – Active Citizenship which will take place from October 2016 to February 2017.

As a participant of the European Forum – Active Citizenship you will:

  • get the opportunity to reach a deeper understanding of this year’s topic of ‘Diversity & Inclusion’
  • get an insight into the work of another organisation in Europe or its neighbouring countries 
  • gain knowledge that enables you to enhance your own practice

Today’s societies are as diverse as the people who shape them. Cities constantly transform and are characterized by pluralism in many different regards. Diversity management has become part of universities’ curricula and the corporate world starts to acknowledge diversity as a potential means to promote creative innovation. But, this attitude is far from being widespread in contemporary society. On the contrary: As a reaction to the recent migration movements, polarisation and social exclusion have been rising yet again. This means reverting back to a binary world view where “we” and “the others” juxtapose in opposition. Therefore, the main question of the Forum will be: How can diversity be promoted as an asset rather than as a drawback?

The Forum provides space for networking, reflection, learning, and exchange. The first network meeting will take place from 4th to 8th of October 2016 in Tbilisi (Georgia). It is part of the International MitOst Festival, where thinkers and activists, experts and newcomers from all over Europe and its neighbouring regions create a diverse programme of workshops, discussions, film presentations, exhibitions, readings and concerts together. If you want to offer a contribution to the festival programme apart from your participation in the Forum, we would gladly assist you with the drafting and planning. More information about the MitOst Festival can be found at www.mitostfestival.org.

During the Forum we work according to the principle of peer-to-peer education. Participants are encouraged to prepare a topic for the event’s programme, to share their methods and approaches in a workshop or to present their practices to colleagues from different countries. While connecting with other practitioners and exchanging knowledge participants get support from mentors and prepare for the second part of the project.

The work shadowing visits allow for a personal encounter with the partner’s working context. During a 7 days trip, participants will get an insight into the activities of their host partner as well as into local socio-economic and cultural realities. Mobility grants and organisational support will be provided. The project team will mentor the participants during this phase.

A final meeting will take place in Berlin in February 2017. The participants will have the chance to reflect upon their experiences gained in the project together with the group as well as with external experts and plan further activities.

Target Group

  • We are looking for representatives of NGOs and think tanks, social entrepreneurs, trainers and facilitators, clerks from public administration and politicians,
  • who deal with different issues in the field of diversity and inclusion, who organise, activate and facilitate diversity and inclusion
  • and live in the EU or in its neighbouring countries (also Eastern Partnership Countries, Russia, Tunisia, Egypt).

Participation and Application

  • Multiple applications from one city, especially from different sectors, are welcome!
  • Travel expenses and accommodation during the whole project will be covered by the organisers.
  • The working language of the first network meeting and the final meeting is English.

Please submit your applications by 10th August 2016 via this online form.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Kathrin Oerters:oerters(at)mitost.org.

The European Forum – Active Citizenship is a joint project of the Federal Agency for Civic Education and MitOst e.V.