The online campaign #MyInclusiveEurope gets officially started. The youth more at risk of exclusion will become main actors at European level and in their communities.
We do not trust people anymore, but we trust everything that is written online. This process often leads to xenophobia, nationalism, hate speech, homophobia, and misogyny, in place of equity and solidarity.
From this awareness arises the Brave New YOU online campaign: #MyInclusiveEurope. During international youth exchanges, BNY young participants will exchange personal stories and best practices, deconstructing stereotypes and drafting political proposals for a more inclusive Europe.
The European project Brave New YOU-Reloaded aims at building capacities and trust among different youth communities – bringing them closer at both local and international level – to co-create together a more inclusive and open-minded Europe. The participants are 50 young people from 10 countries (Belgium, Estonia, Germany, Greece, Italy, Macedonia, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia and Sweden). They are called to discuss and share their experiences on hate speech to build all together alternative narratives.
“...there is hate speech against them not only for their origin, location, way of living, living standards and lifestyle of the area, but also for plethora of other identities that they carry and is difficult to express because of the general oppression in the society, but also because they live in these specific areas.” United Societies of Balkans
The team that USB worked with are teenagers and young people living on the outskirts of Thessaloniki and specifically on the west side of the city. Western Thessaloniki is known as an industrial area, and is poorer and less developed than the eastern, while there is a lack of infrastructure and public spaces, such as parks. Following the outbreak of the economic crisis, many areas are now inhabited by people who are in a difficult economic situation, are migrants or belong to minorities such as the Roma.
As part of the project, the first workshop was held in July 2020 with approximately 20 young people, through which participants came into contact with human rights, became aware of hate speech, and developed their own views on sexism, homophobia, racism and generally the rhetoric and stereotypes that lead to discrimination. In the following months, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, these meetings continued online, while giving great weight to non-formal education and the development of young people's self-confidence. These meetings led to the creation of a series of poems, based on automatic writing, which expressed the feelings, experiences and concerns of the youngsters.
Brave New YOU - Reloaded is financed by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union for education, training, youth and sport (2014-2020). It gathers 11 partners from 10 countries around Europe with expertise in working with different groups of young people from disadvantaged and marginalised areas. In the long term, the project aims to assure a mechanism of reaching out and inclusion of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, through specific policy and program changes. Thus, at the end of the project, a handbook of best practices gained by youth organisations and groups, and an orientation document will be published for future policy actions.
Link to the project website: bravenewyou.org
Partners: ActionAid Italia, ADEL Slovakia, Center for Intercultural Dialogue (CID), Culture Goes Europe (CGE), Fryshuset, Mladinski Center BIT (MC BIT), MOJU- Associação Movimento Juvenil em Olhão, Open Youth Centre of Sauga (Sauga ANK), Organising Bureau of European School Students unions (OBESSU), United Societies of Balkans (USB), Youth for Exchange and Understanding (YEU).