The Intercultural city aims at building its policies and identity on the explicit acknowledgement that diversity can be a resource for the development of the society.

The first step is the adoption (and implementation) of strategies that facilitate positive intercultural encounters and exchanges, and promote equal and active participation of residents and communities in the development of the city, thus responding to the needs of a diverse population. The Intercultural integration policy model is based on extensive research evidence, on a range of international legal instruments, and on the collective input of the cities member of the Intercultural Cities programme that share their good practice examples on how to better manage diversity, address possible conflicts, and benefit from the diversity advantage.

This section offers examples of intercultural approaches that facilitate the development and implementation of intercultural strategies.

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Neuchâtel Action Week against Racism

Raising awareness of diversity, equal opportunities and non-discrimination
Each year in March
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Every March for the last 20 years, the Service de la cohésion multiculturelle (COSM) (Multicultural Cohesion Service) and the Forum tous différents tous égaux (FTDTE) (All Different-All Equal Forum) have organised and co-ordinated the Semaine neuchâteloise d’actions contre le racisme (SACR) (the Neuchâtel Action Week against Racism). This involves a close partnership between the state, associations and individuals (the FTDTE organises its activities in an informal manner, and the number of members varies each year).

Although the SACR was successful for many years, the number of partners tended to decrease to the point where, for several years, only three or four of them still took part in it (with a lot of effort), in order to stage a day of activities (concerts, etc.), with little attendance.

In the last two years (since 2016), the COSM has sought to give fresh impetus to the SACR: by increasing the number of partners; by targeting a wider geographical area; by increasing the target audience (through street events or events in institutions).

New partners are sought and new ones (associations, cultural institutions, schools and other bodies) join each year. A steering committee was set up with persons (volunteers) possessing different skills and networks who are able to rally different institutions and/or target groups. Independent volunteers take part in the general organisation (for example, social networks). The COSM co-ordinates it all (organisation of sessions, programme, fundraising, communication, etc.).

Most of the partners work with volunteers or contribute to the project themselves, which makes it possible to put on many more events, with a budget that has scarcely increased. It has also been agreed not to invest too much in communication in order to leave more room for manoeuvre for the activities.

Between 2015 and 2017, the SACR events increased from one event in one location for one day to more than 30 activities over a ten-day period. The 2018 SACR events are being prepared with new partners.

There has been an increase in the number of participants (the estimate for 2017 was: 33 events, 13 associations, 16 institutional partners and cultural stakeholders; 7 000 people reached, including the participants in a football tournament; media feedback).

The project is implemented in co-operation with schools, preschools, institutions such as the Musée d’histoire naturelle (Natural History Museum), the Centre Dürrenmatt Neuchâtel, the botanical garden, the cantonal museum of archaeology, the Public and University Library, and bookshops and leisure centres.

Public bodies (the canton, Confederation and municipalities) and charitable organisations are asked to provide financing.


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