MigrationWork CIC, in collaboration with Praxis, organised this exciting event for migrants, refugees, community activists, local government officials, academics, community artists and many more on Tuesday 26th June at Coin Street Neighbourhood Centre in London.
As the economic crisis unfolds, in cities of the UK and beyond, communities face tough consequences. Many feel they have no power over events. Refugees and other migrants are amongst the hardest hit, yet are still typically excluded from debates which affect them. In many parts of Europe, politicians even try to blame them for the crisis.
Our event opened up a different perspective.
Experience of cities world-wide shows that migrants constantly demonstrate creativity and leadership. As politicians search for ways to ‘promote growth’, we know migrants often bring the innovation and energy that can help to deliver it.
Our event asked: Where are the opportunities to use the ideas and the adaptive skills of migrants, in re-shaping our cities for the future which will emerge from the current crisis? We looked at this issue in four areas: what’s changing in people’s daily lives; local economies; cohesion; and power and leadership in our cities.
Our two keynote speakers were
- Professor Danny Dorling, one of the UK’s leading analysts of population change and inequality, on Britain’s migrant past, the current economic crisis and cities’ futures.
- Hala Akari, director of the European Forum of Muslim Women, who’s Syrian – now in Athens where she’s a leading migrant activist – speaking on The role of refugee and migrant civil society as agent of change.
The main input however was from participants. This was not a conference providing pre-packaged answers, but a consultative event for a time of crisis. An interactive, action-learning event bringing key actors together within a creative process, it aimed to produce concrete ideas about how they can make a difference in their own city, organisation or community.