Newsletter N° 24 - October 2012

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Can cities learn to perceive cultural diversity not as a threat but as an opportunity? How can they make diversity work to their advantage? Can the city become the focus of collective identity bridging ethnic and religious identities? In the context of the Intercultural Cities programme several pilot cities will review their policies through the "intercultural lens" and develop intercultural strategies in order to meet the challenges of a world in motion.

Better and Inclusive Neighbourhoods for all on Tenerife Island (Spain)


In January 2012 Tenerife’s public authorities, civil society leaders and community representatives launched a civil participation initiative with a view to fostering social cohesion and community bonds in a culturally diverse neighbourhood of El Fraile in the Arona municipality in the South of the Island. The idea was born from the cooperation between the project Juntos en la misma direction (Together in the same direction) and the European initiative Puzzled by Policy conducted by the La Laguna University with the aim to incite urban dwellers to participate in shaping migration policies. The El Fraile neighbourhood was chosen due to its longstanding and vibrant migration history and the need to re-consider its human and cultural diversity as a resource rather than equating it with problems and conflicts. The initiative quickly earned the interest of representatives of the local school, church and the mosque, associations of neighbours, mayors, women or immigrants from Senegal, Nigeria, Ghana, Uruguay and Columbia, as well as public authorities such as the Arona Municipal Council, the Department of External Affairs and the Immigration Observatory of Tenerife. (more...)

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Reggio Emilia adopts an intercultural strategy and confirms its reputation as an open, safe and collaborative city


On Already quoted as an "open, safe and collaborative city" in the famous report of the Group of Eminent Persons of the Council of Europe "Living together – Combining diversity and freedom in the 21st century", the Reggio Emilia Municipality confirmed its commitment by adopting a strategic programme (2012-2014) on intercultural governance and dialogue based on the recommendations and learning from the Intercultural Cities Programme and participation over the last two years in the SPARDA Programme, as well as the strategic decision of the authorities to focus on three main objectives: knowledge of the Italian language; socio-cultural mediation; anti-discrimination practices. (more...)

Community-based business support in London Lewisham


Brian Smith runs a small company called "Simple Business Solutions"(SBS). In the present economic climate many initiatives have been curtailed, but over the past 8 years, with some support from the municipality, SBS offered business advice, support and training to ethnic minority entrepreneurs in a particularly difficult situation: refugees, single parents, former convicts, or people with poor credit history. His approach has been to work with business advisers of different origins who are aware of the ways in which different cultures understand business relations. SBS advisors are always self-employed and therefore credible, being under the same market risks and constraints as the people they are advising. (more...)

2012 Intercultural Innovation Award


The United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) and the BMW Group have launched the 2012 edition of the Intercultural Innovation Award. This Award selects and supports the most innovative projects that encourage intercultural dialogue and cooperation around the world. Selected projects must be able to make a long lasting impact and have the potential to benefit the widest possible audience. An international jury of scholars and experts from different regions of the world will assess this year’s applications. Five top winners will be announced at the Awards Ceremony that will take place at the 5th Forum of the UNAOC in Vienna (Austria) in February 2013. Deadline for applications is October 10th. (more...)

A Space for diversity Exchange in Dublin (Ireland)


Exchange Dublin is an all-ages cultural and civic space located in Temple Bar, Dublin. Since its foundation in 2009, the space has been regularly hosting exhibitions, workshops and other cultural activities as well as serving as a host venue for many vulnerable or even marginalised groups. (more...)

Diversity advantage in NGOs


Leadership Diversity in the Nonprofit Sector: Baby Steps, Big Strides, and Bold Stances, by Carleton University’s Chris Fredette, is based on three surveys of more than 420 organizations in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). It finds that a diverse board contributes to overall board effectiveness by, for example, safeguarding and fulfilling the mission of the organization and enhancing fiduciary oversight. (more...)

ICC: Facebook and Twitter


The ICC programme is proud to note that its Facebook "friends" have increased to 312 and its Twitter followers have increased to 389. They are kept informed regularly on ICC progress. Please remember to check out the Facebook page and Twitter.

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