Event: ‘Engage to Change: Integration – Where Next?’ – May 24 @ 6pm

25 April 2012

You are invited to attend the Migrant and Refugee Communities Forum: 

Engage To Change
Integration – Where Next?
Thursday, May 24 2012
6:00pm – 8:00pm
Key Note Speaker : Don Flynn , Director of Migrants Rights Network

The government’s Creating the Conditions for Integration strategy transfers responsibility for integration to local areas, without refering to any models or guidance about what successful integration looks like, whilst also hijacking integration as yet another excuse to speak about security and extremism. Resources, of course are not attached to any of it. It was also disappointing for those of us working on the integration of new citizens that the government completely ignored our efforts, expertise and contributions.

The list of challenges for integration is growing longer by the day: changes to legal aid, changes to housing and other welfare benefits, changes to family reunion visas, student visas, lack of ESOL, changes to UKBA, hardening of attitudes and increased xenophobia… And together it all means that the voices of migrants and refugees and the opportunities for them to influence civic processes and contribute to change are shrinking at the time when they are needed the most.  Huge numbers of organisations and communities are already doing great work on some of these issues despite funding cuts. We at the Forum feel that we should support each other’s efforts and amplify our voices in the challenging times ahead.

We have invited longstanding campaigner and director of the Migrant Rights’ Network, Don Flynn, to help us set the scene for our challenges over the next 3 years in the run up to the next general election. We are also inviting you, key leaders, experts and advocates in the field of migrant and refugee rights to contribute to this strategic conversation. We want to start a process of joint grass roots organising for an inclusive integration strategy by outlining the concrete steps and action points that are needed.

Bring along your members, invite your partners, and come armed with ideas that reflect your personal experiences, as well as the experiences of your communities, about what works and what you need for better integration.

Places are limited so please book early via events@mrcf.org.uk or call 0208 964 4815
The Forum
2 Thorpe Close
LondonW10 5XL

Nearest tube station is Ladbroke Grove on Hammersmith and City line and buses 7, 23, 52, and 70 also stop on Ladbroke Grove. Refreshments will be provided.

Engage to Change Project is funded by:

The Forum

In case you missed our report and blog series…

1 Comment. Leave new

[…] Integration: Where Next? discussion at the Forum tried to answer this question last week. The situation is this: there is really no meaningful government integration policy to help in the process. Despite the appearances, it is a hollow vision outsourcing integration to local governments without substantive guidance and no money. Instead, long term integration goals are embedded in equality and social mobility strategy, the results of which are to be seen decades from now. The Prevent Strategy also does not help integration as it is singling out identifiable sections of population. This coupled with the ongoing funding and legal aid cuts, the shrinking civil society, immigration policy restrictions targeting migrants already here and those wishing to come and the ongoing negative public narrative on migration left us with a formidable challenge to find a positive angle and see the light at the end of the tunnel. Nevertheless, we managed and here is the good news. The changing landscape offers new opportunities and hubs of activity where community organisations and individuals can work together and change things for the better. […]


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