Build Common Ground

mobilsemainIn 2015, before the General Election, Migrants Organise worked with community organisations from across the world – Latin Americans, who felt invisible and underrepresented; Kenyans in West London, anxious about the opportunities for their young people; East and North African women, struggling to empower themselves following domestic violence and isolation; Ukrainians who were trying to support friends and family as conflict unfolded at home; domestic workers who were organising in the few hours they had spare on a Sunday – and many more. These diverse groups had diverse interests. Yet, we brought them together and we found common ground: shared experiences of powerlessness, xenophobia and hostility from the press and government, and tireless, thankless organising within communities. We knew that the 2015 election could change our situation, if we organised together. Some communities – Polish and Latin American – had been registering their members to vote to ensure they were a visible, powerful forces in the election. They taught other groups the lessons they had learnt. Collectively, we registered thousands of people to vote.

We knew that our power as voters was with our MPs. We supported migrant community groups in each constituency to meet, plan and organise together. Migrant groups came around the same table to meet with prospective parliamentary candidates and organise hustings. In meetings, community leaders secured concrete commitments on issues that mattered to their communities, a recognition of their power and relationship with their elected representative. More importantly, they began to understand what connected them to other migrant communities in the same area – sometimes shared challenges around buildings; sometimes shared frustrations about working with the local authority; sometimes shared anxiety about a particular local issue – gang violence, housing, racism. In every area, one issue connected migrant communities and brought each group allies in their struggles. From diverse starting points these groups have gone on to build alliances of strength in their local areas. Now, they act together for change and organise from a position of strength.

MRCF Launches Report on Earned Citizenship and Volunteering

MRCF Launches Report on Earned Citizenship and Volunteering

Jul 14 2010

Migrants  and refugees hardly ever get to have a say on any policy that directly affects them. And so was the case…

Should Citizenship Be Earned Through Compulsory Volunteering?

Should Citizenship Be Earned Through Compulsory Volunteering?

Jul 07 2010

The Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009 introduced a longer and more difficult process for becoming a British Citizen, including a type…

MRCF launches new website to mark Refugee Week!

MRCF launches new website to mark Refugee Week!

Jun 14 2010

Welcome to the brand new MRCF website! It has been a long journey for us and I hope you will agree that…

Entitlement to Healthcare Consultation – Again!

Entitlement to Healthcare Consultation – Again!

Jun 11 2010

On the ‘wall of shame’ in my office is an e-mail I received  from the Department of Health (DoH) on 18th November…

Migration on the Agenda

Migration on the Agenda

Jun 11 2010

Let’s have a look at the immigration debate in the post-election coalition honeymoon. While the opposition is looking for a new leader…

Face to Face

Face to Face

Jun 07 2010

Research into the mental health of migrant communities shows that most statutory health services have a poor understanding of their needs and…

Where Strangers Become Friends

Where Strangers Become Friends

Jun 07 2010

Integration is an official term but at The Forum it is translated into a number of innovative initiatives that welcome migrants and…

Good Practice Guide to Interpreting (Arabic, Bengoli, Chinese, English, Somali)

Good Practice Guide to Interpreting (Arabic, Bengoli, Chinese, English, Somali)

Apr 07 2010

This guide was produced to raise awareness of why interpreting is important and how to use an interpreting service correctly in health…

Newsletter March 2010

Newsletter March 2010

Mar 10 2010

This is the March 2010 issue of The Forum’s newsletter. In this issue we discuss the realities of families and individuals who…

Good Practice Guide In Accessing Health

Good Practice Guide In Accessing Health

Mar 07 2010

In 2009-2010, this unique project coordinated by MRCF brought together six BME community organisations to address the recommendations of the Primary Concern report…