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Intersectionality and Building Alliances in Youth Activism
Start date: Aug 1, 2015, End date: Jul 31, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

This one year lasting multi-measure project aims to strengthen the reflection on intersectionality and alliance building of young Roma and non-Roma as former volunteers, multipliers and youth leaders to engage for a Roma youth movement. The mission of Phiren Amenca to challenge stereotypes and racism against Roma will be broadened to a perspective of multiple discriminations with intersections of racism, sexism, classism or ableism etc. A critical approach towards these intersecting excluding patterns will be reflected on a personal as well as an institutional level of voluntary service and voluntary service organisations. In order to challenge racism against Roma successfully, there is a need for alliances and solidarity between Roma and non-Roma and engagement which goes beyond social boundaries. This project aims to raise the awareness and critical thinking of young European citizens about antigypsyism and its historical roots in Europe, as well as to strengthen their capacity as youth activists and educators to run educational activities and to lead citizens’ initiatives on local and international level and to reach a larger public through a joint campaign. This project can be seen as a follow-up project of the Phiren Amenca study session 2014 where the topic of intersectionality was taken up. Different forms of discrimination have to be thought together. This takes the specific ‘positionality’ of different forms of oppression into account in order to engage together for equal rights and opportunities for all in one society. The following project wants to continue this approach. Therefore, this multi-measure project was created in partnership with engaged former volunteers, in order to design a process that strengthens a quality leadership and facilitation of the process, the exchange of experiences between partner organizations, the training of volunteers and youth activities to bring back the approach into the jet existing structures and self-initiatives, as well as to reach out on a European level youth event to further young activists and volunteers. The project includes the following actions: Activity 1: Seminar on intersectionality and alliances building, Berlin, Germany 6-day lasting seminar that gathers former and current volunteers, youth leaders and multipliers of the Phiren Amenca network to work together on the topics of intersectionality, critical race and alliances due to voluntary service. Non-formal educational tools, field excursions and discussions with experts will be prepared for the participants. This reflections of experiences will build the base for the upcoming events. Activity 2: Seminar on youth advocacy in youth organisations, Brussels, Belgium This youth advocacy training in Brussels, Belgium, for youth activists and multipliers will take place in order to prepare them for being key persons for the implementation of the following campaign. The focus of the training is on multiple-discrimination with focus on racism against Roma and methods which can be used for local initiatives, in order to ensure the youth's preparation both on a content as well as a methodological level. In this training the activists will finalize the actions for the Youth Event in Straßbourg. Activity 3: EYF (Youth Event + Training-course), Strasbourg, France The European Youth Event in the European Parliament brings together several thousand youth, strengthens their voice and political participation, and will therefore be used by our youth to achieve a wide on- & offline visibility of the campaign against racism against Roma and intersections of other forms of discrimination on an international level. Young Roma, migrants and minorities will participate in a pre-training about European institutions, decision-making process, and citizens’ participation, as well as antigypsyism; to prepare and participate in the EYE in Straßbourg. We will practically apply the work of alliance building with partners and non-roma participants in a three day training course and three days of programme at the event itself. This multi-measure project on intersectionality and alliance building in the sense of solidary activism of young people contains three complimentary parts. The first seminar contains the theoretical part of self-awareness and exchange of experiences of discrimination, discussion about strategies to fight them and getting a common ground of understanding. The second event serves as youth advocacy training to develop methods and youth campaigns out of the learned ideas on intersectionality and alliance building. The last part takes place in the European Youth Event that opens the possibility to put the theory, methods and campaigns into practice. The young roma and non-roma activists are given a frame to develop and present their self-developed initiatives and program on the topic with a great outreach to a broader publicity.

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