As peer researchers from HAWK, last June Melda Gökbulut and I had the opportunity to participate in a workshop of the MIMY project in Dortmund, organized by ILS. The workshop included stakeholders and young migrants and focused on barriers to integration and participation of young migrants in Dortmund and approaches that can encourage participation and promote integration.
As peer researchers, we had the role of participants and were encouraged to be actively involved. The workshop was very interesting for us: the methods were diverse and creative, all participants in the workshop were very engaged and everyone had their say making the entire exchange very exciting. We particularly enjoyed the discussion at the end, when ideas on how to improve the chances of participation of young migrants were brought forward. We found the many ideas and solutions, which emerged from the group to counteract racism, especially striking. Our favourite suggestion was setting an antidiscrimination approach in schools, offering various workshops on the subject of racism and including it in regular school classes to educate students about it. This way, people can develop competence and knowledge about racism early in their lives and learn to use a sensitive language.
Since the group members were of different ages, had different experiences and were very diverse in terms of migration background, it was all the more interesting to observe how well the workshop went. The discussion was very respectful and, despite personal differences, every member was included. It was also noticeable that the younger group members were not ashamed to start the discussion or to actively participate in it. In conclusion, I can say that the workshop was very successful for me. I found the discussion about the topic of racism and the stories about how migrants are confronted with everyday racism particularly interesting. Such experiences have remained especially in my mind and I had also felt emotionally accepted during the workshop, during the discussions and had the feeling of really being heard.