ENAR – UN DECADE FOR PAD & BE – AFROPHOBIA
Afrophobia in Europe: ENAR Shadow Report 2014-15
Key Findings on Afrophobia in Europe HERE
Fact sheets briefing -Afrophobia in Austria HERE
As it is mentioned on ENAR website, Radio Afrika also asserts that “(…) racism and discrimination are still common experiences faced by members of Europe’s Black population; but there is still a lack of knowledge about the situation of people of African descent in Europe and Black Europeans, making this issue invisible in Europe”. This led us to continue to raise awareness about racism and discrimination and particularly to present the second ENAR book on the topic of “Visible, Invisible Minority – Confronting Afrophobia and Advancing Equality for People of African Descent and Black Europeans in Europe“. This event organized at the Presseclub Concordia in Vienna, Austria, on the 19th of November 2015 was successful in gathering more than 60 guests, individuals and members of civil society, institutions, officials, etc.
The evening was divided in two parts: (1) Presentation of the ENAR organization and the book and (2) Experts lecture and discussion on evidence of Afrophobia, the specific form of racism specifically targeting Black people in Europe
- Presentation of the ENAR organization and the book
As mentioned earlier, a representative of ENAR was invited as discussant during this event to present the book. The first part was dedicated to present ENAR, the organization’s vision, history, purpose and work.
The second part included the presentation of the book itself, going from general information to focus on the book structure and thematic. Some of the audience was given the book before but everyone could have access to online book link given on the ENAR website as it was send out via e-mail and on the Facebook event. We could see that some people did not know much about the book, so the event and its information was very helpful. After the presentation they could ask questions and interact with the ENAR representative. For example he could explain and justify why ENAR decided to use Afrophobia as a term instead of another one.
At the end of the event, many people wanted to take the book. Also some of the guests asked if they can order more books. They would like to use them as teaching material.
A week after the presentation, the Radio Afrika team was approached to think about how the book can be used as teaching material in high schools and universities, and in that way continue the discussion.
- Lecture and Discussion on Afrophobia
This part gathered the following experts:
- Mireille Fanon Mendès-France, Expert on the ENAR Afrophobia expert group and Chairperson of the United Nations Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent –PAD
- John Kellock, EU Fundamental Rights Agency
Through their lecture and input both experts brought a better overview of the Afrophobia term and the UN Decade for PAD and Black Europeans.
Among others, the issues of representation (socio-economic participation and political and institutional) and role models (importance and what needs to be done) were covered. The issues of trust (relates to perceptions and actions both by the black communities and the majority population) were as well covered. Those issues bring a forward looking perspective to the discussion.
Raise awareness about the UN Decade for PED and BE and the new vocabulary “Afrophobia”
The presentation was followed the next day by an open discussion between Ms. Fanon Mendes-France and the African Diasporas. Ms. Fanon Mendes-France wanted to talk deeply about the UN Decade and exchange about the action to be taken in the future. She also wanted to have a better idea about the situation of PAD and Black Europeans in Austria through examples as well as racism and discrimination experiences. This open discussion also brings to the point on how PAD and black Europeans could face discrimination and racism and act or exchange with officials in order to improve their condition.
Ms. Fanon calls the black Austrians and PAD to take action by involving themselves in the political process. There is a proposal to organize a meeting with some parliamentarians in order to raise awareness about the Afrophobia topic.
Radio Afrika Plan for 2016
Radio Afrika is planning next year’s program to follow the 2015 actions:
- organize other discussions about Afrophobia as well as raising awareness about the UN Decade for PAD and Black Europeans.
- organize meetings or invite Austrian representatives to discuss the decade on their various platforms. It is also the plan to get in touch with some parliamentarians who can help us to raise the issue in the parliament.
- look for possibilities given to propose legislation to the civil society.