Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Apply for International Conference in Macedonia!!!

"Merging Parallel Societies: Toolkit to Unite"
15-20 October 2011 

Dear colleagues and friends,

Please find below the information and nomination form for our next UNITED Conference, "Merging Parallel Societies: Toolkit to Unite" that will take place from 15 to 20 October 2011, in Macedonia (MK).
Conference prepared by:
* Centre Intercultural Dialogue (MK)
* Multikulti Youth Centre (MK)
* Initiative for Social Change (MK)
* Concordia (E)
* Human Rights Monitoring Institute (LT)
* Institute Globalisation & Social Movements (RUS)
* UNITED for Intercultural Action

All information and the e-nomination form can be found below, and on the UNITED website.

If your organisation is interested to nominate a representative, please return the expression of interest form (below) as soon as possible (deadline 29 August 2011), preferably by email to macedonia@unitedagainstracism.org 

Merging Parallel Societies: Toolkit to Unite
The conference "Merging Parallel Societies: Toolkit to Unite" in Macedonia on 15-20 October 2011 will bring together 70 activists from across Europe to discuss strategies for intercultural dialogue and cooperation in multicultural communities.
The aim is to create a stronger platform to network and cooperate on issues of dialogue by fostering communication and synergy among those active in the field. The conference will encourage participants to share best practices and strategies for working with segregated communities and parallel societies, as well as exploring issues such as the role of antifascism, methods and practices that promote intercultural dialogue.

Description and aims
While cultural diversity has economic, social and political benefits, it can also bring about new challenges, triggering intolerance, stereotyping, racism, xenophobia, discrimination and violence that can threaten the peace of local and national communities.
Today Europe is facing the challenges of multiculturalism; many, including our governments, are questioning diversity and integration of immigrants in society. The conference aims to reframe multiculturalism, developing strategies and tools to promote interaction, collaboration and inclusion among divided communities.
Effective inter-community cooperation is built on diversity - the fact that each of us is a unique individual and has the exact same human rights. Our strategies for social cohesion will also target nationalism, which destroys inter-ethnic communities at their foundations and leads to hatred and tension.

The situation in Macedonia
In recent years the Macedonian multi-ethnic population has seen a growing tendency towards ethnic segregation. Segregation can also be a result of the rise of nationalism in Macedonia. The construction of a 24 metres high statue of Alexander the Great in Skopje is not only a provocation to neighbouring Greece, but also to the Albanian community in the country and creates yet another topic of division. Segregation is visible in many layers of society, especially in politics, education and cultural life where events are divided into Macedonian and Albanian. A recent study by OSCE analysed the development of attitudes of children and youth in Macedonia towards different ethnic groups, finding that in larger ethnically mixed towns, both Albanians and Macedonians have no contact with the other group. The Ohrid Framework Agreement (OFA) -which is fully implemented in the Macedonian Constitution- aimed to introduce consensus based decision making and cooperation between ethnic groups in the country.
 In 2011 Macedonian society cannot happily commemorate 10 years of the end of armed conflict because true democracy is still not in function. Despite efforts for improving the political power of ethnic communities, there is a rising level of dissatisfaction among Albanians, Macedonians and also other communities; this system providing for multicultural societies has completely neglected smaller ethnic communities (Roma, Serbian, Turkish and many others). The OFA should facilitate fair and equal representation of all ethnic communities when acquiring public jobs, an objective that has completely failed with regards to the Roma. In a recent case of school segregation, Roma pupils in a public primary school in Bitola were intentionally placed together in one class in order to "avoid mixing" with other students. There is a clear need within civil society to bring the focus back to building a functional intercultural society rather than a parallel society.

Through the working groups below, issues like the ones mentioned earlier will be discussed. Your contribution will be valuable....

* Minority Rights NetworkThe creation of a Pan-European Minority Network.

* Know it Show it: Critical Thinking about MediaMedia analysis: raising awareness and developing critical thinking skills.

* Networking - Connecting PeopleDiscussing key concepts relevant to networking (network, sustainability, efficiency, trust, allies), sharing practices on how do networks operate in different communities (countries) and building strategies which would aim at creating new (inter)national networks meant to help NGOs to reach their goals, increase and maintain positive impact.

* Roma Rights: Is a Decade Enough?The Roma community suffers massive discrimination everywhere in Europe, this working group aims to discuss the achievements of the Decade of Roma Inclusion and find common strategies for an inclusive Europe.

* Name it Blame it: Nationalism and PopulismExamples of nationalism, populism and patriotism, sharing experiences and practices, are they just ideological tools or essential parts of our thinking? During this working group we will discover the origin of these phenomena, negative and positive aspects we will furthermore elaborate methods to counteract them.

* Get Involved: Speak out for DiversityThe working group will discuss and explore new concepts of intercultural dialogue in youth work. During this working group will share tools for working with youth in multicultural groups.
UNITED is the largest pan-European anti-racist network of more than 550 organisations. With its conferences antiracist and human rights activists from all parts of Europe meet and discuss effective ways of combating racism and discrimination. At a recent UNITED conference held in May 2011 in Bratislava (SK) 83 delegates representing organisations from 30 European countries look at specific issues, such as Romaphobia and nationalism in Slovakia and Eastern Europe, strategies to monitor the far right, supporters in football stadiums, secure communication, promotion of active youth participation, how to improve migrants' access to health care, campaigns against Fortress Europe among others. 

Working methods
... plenary sessions, working groups, lectures, workshops, political cafés, presentations, debates, intercultural 'games', information market, cultural activities, excursions, open forum.
ParticipantsThe conference is planned for 70 participants (living in the countries of the Council of Europe) who represent (inter)national antiracist, antifascist, refugee, human rights and minority rights organisations. Active grass-roots groups from all over Europe are also invited. Participation is rotated from one conference to another. Priority will be given to nominations from young delegates (under 30 years old) with a minority background. Preference is given to those organisations that actively take part in UNITED campaigns. Participants should act as multipliers, spreading the information to as many people as possible. We will try to reach an equal balance of female/male participants and a good geographical distribution.
Each organisation can nominate only
 ONE delegate.
LanguageThe conference language is English. All participants are expected to have at least basic knowledge of English. But don't worry, English is almost nobody's mother tongue. If you have difficulties in expressing yourself, surely we can help each other.
With the financial support ofEuropean Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe 
Minority Rights Group Europe 
The Matra Program of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs 

Financial conditionsParticipation fee - travel costsThe participation fee of the conference depends on the country where the nominating organisation is based:
125 Euro for participants from group 1:
A, B, CH, CY, D, DK, E, F, FL, FIN, GB, GR, I, IS, IRL, L, M, N, NL, P, S
75 Euro for participants from group 2:
50 Euro for participants from group 3:

Full board & lodging and the complete program is included.

 that paid their 2011 supporter fee to the UNITED Network will receive a 50% reduction of the participation fee. (how to become a supporter)
Contribution to international travel costs
Participants travelling from group 1
(A, B, CH, CY, D, DK, E, F, FIN, GB, GR, I, IS, IRL, L, M, N, NL, P, S):
UNITED can contribute maximum 70% to the costs of your travel, not more than 200 Euro.
Participants travelling from group 2BG, CZ, EE, H, HR, LV, LT, PL, RO, SI, SK, TR
UNITED can contribute
 maximum 80% to the costs of your travel, not more than 250 Euro.
Participants travelling from group 3AL, ARM, AZ, BH, BY, GE, H, KZ, KY, MK, MNE, MD, RS, RUS, UA, UZB, XZ
UNITED can contribute
 maximum 90% to the costs of your travel, not more than 300 Euro.

Please look for the cheapest and most environmentally friendly possibility to travel. We strongly encourage you to travel by night-train, bus or other cheaper means of transport to Macedonia (flight to Sofia and bus might be an economical option). In order to be eligible for a contribution to your travel costs you will be expected to attend the whole meeting and to 
prove your travel expenses providing an original invoice and the original tickets to UNITED.

The cost of your
 visa can be reimbursed by UNITED on the base of an original invoice from the Embassy.

UNITED conferences can only take place when participants make an effort to contribute financially to their travel costs.
 We ask you to find out if there are alternative possibilities of funding your participation. Sometimes it is possible to find small local grants (e.g. a travel grant from a foundation, a university, an embassy or another sponsor). We would very much appreciate your help.
Since we have limited sponsored places,
 delegates that can cover (part of) their own travel costs have a higher chance to be selected.
Date and place
The conference will take place in Macedonia and will start on Saturday afternoon 15 October 2011 with a bus transport to the venue
Departure is foreseen for
 Thursday afternoon 20 October 2011. If you wish to arrive earlier or stay longer (on your own costs), we can help you to arrange your stay.
Further information- Please fill in the form below completely providing all data as requested. If you invest more effort in the application it has more chance to be successful!
- Each organisation can nominate
 only ONE representative (living in Europe).
- Priority will be given to nominations from young delegates (under 30 years old) with a minority background
- Sending this form to UNITED does not guarantee that you will be selected for the conference - we receive many nominations.
- Only selected candidates will be informed about the result of their selection 
and receive further information via e-mail in September 2011.
Application procedureOrganisations interested in nominating a delegate should send their nomination (Expression of Interest form below) by email before the deadline:29 August 2011 - 24:00 to macedonia@unitedagainstracism.org 

UNITED Conference:
"Merging Parallel Societies: Toolkit to Unite"
15-20 October 2011, in Macedonia (MK)

Name organisation:
Name organisation in English:
Abbreviation name organisation:
Organisation's address:
Postal code:
Phone organisation:
Mobile phone organisation:
Fax organisation:
E-mail organisation:
Website organisation:

First name delegate:
Family name delegate:
Date of birth:
Male / Female
Private e-mail delegate:
E-mail address to send conference documents:
Personal phone/mobile where you can be reached in emergencies:
Mobile phone:

Special needs (vegetarian, no pork, allergies, disabilities etc.):

Do you consider yourself to be part of a minority?
Yes: (please, specify)

Motivation and aims for participating:

Please describe the work you are doing and the specific projects you have been involved in:

Describe your skills (eg. leading a working group, reporting):

What languages can you work with?:

Indicate the field(s) of your activity:
put a cross before the relevant field(s)
[ ] Anti-nationalism
[ ] Anti-racism
[ ] Anti-fascism
[ ] Migrant / minority rights
[ ] Refugee support
[ ] Human rights
[ ] Youth work
[ ] Roma issues
[ ] General Discrimination
[ ] Other:

Which working group would you like to attend?
Indicate only two priorities; put '1' (first priority) and '2' (second choice) before the relevant working groups

[ ] A. Minority Rights Network
[ ] B. Know it Show it: Critical Thinking about Media
[ ] C. Networking - Connecting People
[ ] D. Roma Rights: Is a Decade Enough?
[ ] E. Name it Blame it: Nationalism and Populism
[ ] F. Get Involved: Speak out for Diversity

Please explain your choice and describe in which way you could contribute to these 2 working groups:

Could you offer a 2 hour thematic training/workshop to the other participants?
Please specify the possible topic:

Have you personally experienced racism and/or discrimination?
Yes: (please, specify)

How will you share the experience of the conference after your return in your organisation, community, country?

Would you need financial support from UNITED for your travel costs?

[ ] No, I / My organisation will cover the travel costs

[ ] Yes /
If yes:
How much will be the total costs of your travel to Macedonia? .......... Euro
Country/City you will start your travel from:
How much contribution would you need from UNITED? .......... Euro

Before answering this question please read the maximum contribution to travel costs, under technical information
Since we have limited sponsored places, delegates that can cover (part of) their own travel costs have a higher chance to be selected.
For those who will need a visa:
(please attach copy of your passport)

First name (as it is written in the passport):
Family name (as it is written in the passport):
Private address of the delegate:
Postal code:

Place of birth:
Country of birth:
Number of passport:
Passport valid until:

Macedonian embassy where you will apply for your visa

Please send this form as soon as possible by e-mail to: 
Deadline 29 August 2011

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