Everyday racism at the workplace - How does it feel? What can we do?
Leonardo da Vinci learning partnership
The focus in this partnership is on the form of discrimination that sociologists have called "every day racism". We will specifically be examining this form of discrimination in workplaces and suggesting what can be done to mitigate against and reduce it. To clarify the idea of "every day racism" the definition from Philomenia Essed is helpful: "As a concept everyday racism has been useful in showing that systemic racism is reproduced largely through routine and taken-for-granted practices and procedures in everyday life.... Although everyday racism has such an informal ring that it may sound as if it concerns relatively harmless and unproblematic events, the psychological distress due to racism on a day-to-day basis can have chronic adverse effects on mental and physical health" (http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/csw/essed45.htm) Our aim is to undertake a survey amongst immigrant groups where they will be asked to complete a log where they register their experience of certain forms of every day racism and how it makes them feel. After collection and evaluation of responses from each country the partnership will compare findings and finally develop a paper (digital and on paper) with a) short text about every day discrimination and outcome of the survey b)indicators of hidden discrimination at the workplace for managers and workers unions to recognize the manifestations c) suggestions of improvement i.e. educational programs/training sessions for VET students and on workplaces.
The partner organizations for this project are three and come from Germany, Italy and Scotland.
InterCultural Iceland (Reykjavik, Iceland) - Coordinator - www.ici.is
Angus College (Arbroath, Scotland) - http://www.dundeeandangus.ac.uk/
Centro d´Iniziativa per L´Europa del Piemonte (Turin, Italy) - http://www.ciepiemonte.it/
Chancengleich in Europa (Dortmund, Germany).- http://www.ch-e.eu/en/
We have now had four project meetings discussing with and learning from many different migrant organizations as that is one of the aims of the project, that is, to meet with migrant organizations and listen after good ideas on how to fight everyday racism at the workplace.
The kick-off meeting was held in Iceland where we started planning the next steps of the project. The group went to Tækniskólinn where we were warmly received by Guðmundur Páll Ásgeirsson who gave us a short lecture about the history and development of Tækniskólinn and afterwards took the group around the school and answered questions related to the project subject.
Then we have had meetings in Turin, Italy, meeting up with the Regional Secretary General and Immigration Coordinator of the Confederazione Generale Italiana del Lavoro (CGIL), the largest Italian trade union and the Meeting ANGI (Italian-Chinese New Generation Association) and Immigrant women voluntary legal services.
We had a meeting in London where we had a round table discussion with representatives of 8 anti-racist organizations in London and with Don Flynn, the director of the Migrant Rights Network in London.
Our last meeting was then in Germany where we met again with migrant organizations active in the work against discrimination. First we had a lecture from Prof. Dr. Reiner Staubach at the association Planerladen Dortmund/Non-Discrimination Office ( http://www.planerladen.de/info_en.html ) about their work and how they use different methods to “test” discrimination in the field of housing and in youth clubs and then with some representatives at VMDO in “The House of Diversity”. (VMDO association is an umbrella organization of 34 migrant organizations with different migration backgrounds but you can see more about their interesting work at www.vmdo.de ).
A dissemination conference took place in Scotland on May 13th 2014 where we presented our outcomes and made suggestions for improvement.
We have also distributed out awareness postcards to a number of unions, publich offices and larger workplaces. Some have asked for more...
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