MINELRES: UNITED E-NEWS 14/12/05: UNITED Conference in Sofia

minelres@lists.microlink.lv minelres@lists.microlink.lv
Fri Dec 16 17:59:41 2005

Original sender: UNITED <donotreply@unitedagainstracism.org> 

UNITED E-NEWS 14/12/05: UNITED Conference in Sofia 

Dear colleagues and friends,

please find below the information and nomination form for our next UNITED 
Sofia (BG)

Conference prepared by:
- Association for Unaccompanied Minor Asylum Seekers (NL)
- Bosporus Society Bulgaria (BG)
- Bulgarian Helsinki Committee (BG)
- Legal Centre for Human Rights (EE)
- REFLEX, Reseau No Pasaran! (F)
- The Monitoring Group (GB)
- Society for Free minded Cultural & Political Education Blauschwung (D)
- UNITED for Intercultural Action

All information and the e-nomination form can be found below, as well as on our 
site http://www.unitedagainstracism.org under upcoming conferences. A draft 
programme is attached (pdf).

If your organisation is interested to nominate a representative, please return 
the registration form (below) as soon as possible (deadline 29 January 2006), 
preferably by email to UNITED
- Please fill in this form completely providing all data as requested. If you 
invest more effort in the application it has more chance to be successful!
- Each organisation can register only one representative (living in Europe). 
Priority is given to participants under 30.
- Sending this form to UNITED does not guarantee that you will be selected for 
the conference - we receive many nominations.
- Only those candidates selected for participation will be contacted via e-mail 
± February 15 2006.

Best wishes,
Geert Ates


Speak out! Say NO to racism, discrimination, and exclusion.

Join the UNITED Conference in Sofia (BG), 24-29 March 2006: ³Get active, be 
UNITED: Youth Sharing Visions for Equality²



Do you have a vision for equality?

Do you ever feel discriminated, excluded from social, cultural and educational 
opportunities that should be accessible for all?
Are there institutional barriers in your country, which prevent youngsters 
equal access to education, housing, job market, and social opportunities?
Is your community affected by hate crimes, hate speech, or visible 
Do you consider yourself as part of a minorised group?

Europe is nowadays experiencing a newly renovated rising of discrimination on 
all grounds. Racism, islamophobia, antisemitism, homophobia are not only wide 
spread within society, but they are especially affecting the lives of young 
people. Old and new forms of migration are bringing into society a wide range 
of possibilities for encounters and intercultural understanding, but they are 
most of the time misperceived and misused in the public space as scapegoats. 
Stereotyping and prejudices are strongly embedded in lifestyle, speech, and 
social strategies of young people Europe-wide. At the same time, there are many 
young activist across the continent who could not accept this situation and 
took a stand against discrimination. Many of them joined existing NGOs, others 
founded new ones with the mission of combating discrimination, and with a clear 
vision of the Europe they want to live in.

Are you involved in a youth project in the field of antiracism and anti 
discrimination? Is your organisation active in promoting equal rights for all? 
Does your organization have a good practice to share? Would you like to take 
part in a Europe-wide dialogue on discrimination on all grounds? Do you have a 
vision on how European youth could promote an intercultural action, mutual 
understanding, and ultimately reach a common goal in the fight for equal rights?

If you want to share your point of view, your experience and bring a true 
testimony as a valuable tool for discussion, you have a chance to contribute to 
the working team of delegates from NGOs and NGYOs from all over Europe, who 
will gather in Sofia to open a dialogue, to exchange good practices and to 
develop strategies in the fields of antiracism, intercultural action and 
informal education.

The UNITED conference in Sofia will give you the chance to gain expertise and 
food for thoughts on a selection of themes, which includes minorised groups, 
institutional racism and the conditions of migrants, refugees and asylum 

Discussions will be stimulated by the following lectures and panel-discussions 
by experts in the field and testimonies:
- The Roma issue. A European overview, the Bulgarian context and antizyganism.
- Institutional racism: the spinal cord of racial discrimination and exclusion.
- The new outcasts of Europe: migrants, refugees and asylum seekers.

Good practices will be exchanged, and new strategies developed in the following 
working groups:
- Minorized groups : equality and participation
The point of view of the youth, their autonomous strategies on integration and 
equal access to opportunitiesŠ

- Beyond borders: migrants, refugees & asylum seekers
Internally displaced persons, migrant workers, women migrants, minor migrants, 
refugees, asylum seekersŠ
- Here and now: far right & extreme nationalism
The groups, the parties, the ideologies, the dangerous extent of their 
- Racism reloaded: Islamophobia & Antisemitism
Common or different basis, common struggleŠ
- Education & intercultural learning in multicultural societies
How to experience different approaches to fight discrimination and build a 
common future on an equal basisŠ
- Constructing the other: stereotypes in public space
How the prejudices and stereotypes are built and widespread within society, 
scapegoating in the public space, strategies for reactionŠ

UNITED is the largest European anti-racist network of more than 560 
organisations. Through its conferences anti-racist 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 November 2005 in 
Cyprus more than 85 delegates representing organisations from 38 European 
countries analysed the situation of refugees, migrants and the new challenges 
of islamophobia and antisemitism and planned common strategies for 
intercultural dialogue in Europe.


Arrival of participants - Until ca 17.30
20.00 - "Breaking the Blocks", Informal opening reception

What is UNITED?
Presentation of co-organisers: Bulgarian Helsinki Committee and Bosporus 
Society Bulgaria
Personal introductions of participants

Discussion groups "The Danger of Words" - Definitions and concepts most used in 
anti-racist/anti-fascist work

"The Roma issue", European Overview, Bulgarian context, Antiziganism - Lecture 
and questions

Thematic Working Groups -key issues-
A- Minorized groups: equality & participation
B- Beyond borders: migrants, refugees & asylum seekers
C- Here and now: far right & extreme nationalism
D- Racism reloaded: Islamophobia & Antisemitism
E- Education & intercultural learning in multicultural societies
F- Constructing the other: stereotypes in public space

"Europe in Action": An update on the status of European level campaigns and 
events (plenary session)

Info Market
with the participation of local NGOs
21.30 International Snacks

"Institutional Racism: the spinal cord of racial discrimination and exclusion" -
 Presentation and discussion

Continuation of the Thematic Working Groups -sharing practices-

Activities Promoting Diversity - Project presentation
Roma project
Bulgarian project

Continuation of the Thematic Working Groups -sharing practices-

Short presentation of UNITED campaigns:
€ 21 March - European-wide Action Week Against Racism
€ 9 November - 'Kristallnacht' Commemoration
€ 20 June - International Refugee Day / Fortress Europe - No More Deaths
(plenary session)

Political Café
Video Evening

Continuation of the Thematic Working Groups -developing strategies-

Presentation of the results of the Thematic Working Groups
(plenary session)

Study visit to ³Moderno Predgradie ­ Modern Suburbs²: visit to the neighborhood 
and to a local school.
Presentation of local Roma Projects

City Tour in Sofia
Free time in Sofia

Dinner in Sofia in traditional Bulgarian Restaurant with live Folk music

Political Café

"The new outcasts of Europe. Migrants, Refugees and Asylum Seekers"
(panel discussion)

Campaign Working Groups
€ Campaign against fascism/antisemitism
€ Campaign in support of migrants, refugees & asylum seekers
€ Campaign against racism
€ Youth campaign against exclusion
€ Using media in/for campaigning

Activities promoting diversity - project presentations
"Under the stars of Europe" (BG) - Equal opportunities for young people 
deprived of parent care with diverse ethnic origin
"School without Racism" (B)

Presentation of results of the Campaign Working Groups
(plenary session)

Open Forum - with participants input

Evaluation of the conference

Intercultural Evening & Farewell Party

Evaluation, future planning, fundraising strategies

Departure of participants



Working methods (see draft programme attached)
.. plenary sessions, working groups, lectures, political cafés, presentations, 
debates, intercultural 'games', information market, cultural activities, open 

The conference is planned for ± 75 participants (living in Europe) who 
represent (inter)national anti-racist, anti-fascist, 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) 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.

The 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.

Financial conditions: Participation fee - contribution to travel costs

The participation fee of the conference is:
100 Euro for participants from Western Europe: A, B, CH, CY, D, DK, E, F, FIN, 
GB, GR, I, IS, IRL, L, M, N, NL, P, S (group 1)
60 Euro for participants from Central Europe: BH, CZ, EE, H, HR, LV, LT, MK, 
PL, RO, SI, SK, TR, YU (group 2)
30 Euro for participants from Eastern and Southern Europe: AL, ARM, AZ, BY, GE, 
KZ, KY, MD, RUS, UA, UZB (group 3) + BG

Full board and lodging and the complete program is included.
Organisations that paid their supporter fee to the UNITED Network will receive 
a 50% reduction of the participation fee. (for explanations about how to become 
a supporter see http://www.unitedagainstracism.org under 'joining the network')
UNITED can contribute to your travel costs up to a maximum of 350 Euro. In 
special cases the amount can be raised to 450 Euro for people travelling long-
distance from Eastern Europe (group 3 above).
For distances under 800 km (one way) UNITED reimburses only bus, train and 
ferry tickets. For distances over 800 km UNITED can contribute to flight 
tickets (APEX, economy class, youth fares if possible). If this creates 
insurmountable problems for you, contact the secretariat before the conference.
Please look for the cheapest and most environmentally friendly possibility to 
travel. You will be expected to attend the whole meeting and to prove your 
travel expenses with an original invoice and the original tickets.
The cost of your visa can be reimbursed by UNITED.

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. 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.

Date and place
The conference will take place near Sofia (BG) and will start on Friday 24 
March 2006. Departure is foreseen for Wednesday 29 March 2006. You will share a 
room with other people. If you wish to arrive earlier or stay longer (on your 
own costs), we can help you arrange your stay.

Further information
Please, note that sending the expression of interest form does not guarantee 
your participation in the conference. Only those candidates selected for 
participation (this will be known in February) will receive further information 
e.g. visa invitation, explanation 'how to get there', a final program, list of 
participants, etc. Feel free to contact us (by email) after February 15 to get 
information about your nomination.

Application procedure:
Organisations interested in nominating a delegate should send their nomination 
by email before the deadline of Sunday 29 January 2006 - 24:00 to 



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):

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
[   ] Other:

Which working group would you like to attend?
Indicate clearly two priorities, put '1' and '2' before the relevant working 
[   ] A- Minorized groups: equality & participation
[   ] B- Beyond borders: migrants, refugees & asylum seekers
[   ] C- Here and now: far right & extreme nationalism
[   ] D- Racism reloaded: Islamophobia & Antisemitism
[   ] E- Education & intercultural learning in multicultural societies
[   ] F-Constructing the other: stereotypes in public space

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

Have you 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?
If yes, why and how much?
(Before answering this question please read Œcontribution to travel costs¹ 
under technical information)


For those who will need a visa:

Private address of the delegate
postal code:

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

Bulgarian embassy where you will apply for visa:
Fax number Bulgarian embassy:

Address to send your original invitation letter
postal code:


Please send this form as soon as possible by e-mail to: 
info@unitedagainstracism.org. Deadline 29 January 2006

Only those candidates selected for participation will be contacted via e-mail ± 
February 15, 2006.

This conference is part of the project 'A European Youth Vision - UNITED 
against discrimination, racism and xenophobia'. The event is part funded by the 
European Commission Youth Programme and the Council of Europe Youth Directorate.

The information contained herein does not necessarily reflect the position nor 
the opinion of our sponsors. Sponsors are not to be held responsible for any 
use that may be made of it.


UNITED is the pan-European network against nationalism, racism, fascism and in 
support of migrants and refugees, supported by over 560 organisations in 46 
European countries.
How to join the network: see http://www.unitedagainstracism.org 'joining the 

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persons active in the working  fields: anti-racism, refugee support, anti-
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Regular postal mailings, containing publications such as Addressbook Against 
Racism, Calendar of Internationalism, Campaign reports, Posters etc. are sent 
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UNITED for Intercultural Action
European network against nationalism, racism, fascism and in support of 
migrants and refugees
Postbus 413   -  NL 1000 AK Amsterdam - phone +31-20-6834778  -  fax +31-20-
6834582 - info@unitedagainstracism.org  -  http://www.unitedagainstracism.org 

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