COE: Spaces of Inclusion (EU)

Applied ICD

Community Media Institute. (2018). Spaces of Inclusion – An explorative study on needs of refugees and migrants in the domain of media communication and on responses by community media. Council of Europe.

This report documents an effort to discover the potential of local initiatives, specifically of community media, in responding to the arrival of increasing numbers of migrants and refugees in the EU. One of the goals of the project was “to promote the media’s contribution to intercultural dialogue” (p. 8).

The main research question posed was:

What role do media in general and community media in particular play for (recently arrived) refugees and migrants in response to their particular needs and with regard to their human right to freedom of expression, which includes the right to information?

The majority of participants in the study were those with recent experiences of displacement living in Austria, coming from diverse geographical, social, and professional backgrounds, and the primary research method chosen was ethnographic interviewing. Researchers learned that establishing community media could help in multiple ways, specifically by:

  • bridging language barriers
  • providing a less constrained space for alternative narratives and self-representations as well as for socially recognised positions for refugees and migrants from where they can speak their own voice
  • giving access to knowledge, in particular for coping with the new environment
  • establishing and integrating networks, and
  • accommodating the needs of (language) learners (p. 25).

“Community media appear mostly in form of community radio. The participatory approach to content production leads to the fact that they manage to include marginalised groups and contribute to community development, social inclusion and intercultural dialogue.” (p. 46)

Using Radio for ICD: Common Voices Radio (Germany)

Applied ICD

Common Voices Radio: multilingual Radio for Halle and surroundings, Halle, Germany.

“Common Voices Radio is a radio show made by refugees and migrants in Halle and surroundings. We’ll pick up questions, issues and problems which are relevant for refugees and discuss them on air. Together we want to use the radio as a bridge in order to create a more sympathetic community…Who’s going to support me in case I don’t understand the latest letter from Ausländerbehörde (foreigners‘ registration office)? Where can I find a language course without charge? What do I bring along if I’m invited to a birthday party by German friends? Send us your questions and we’ll answer them on the radio. or find us on Facebook!”

Common Voices Radio was highlighted as an example of good practices by the Council of Europe’s Spaces of Inclusion report.

Planning for Multiculturalism in Architecture

Applied ICD

Anju George. (25 April 2023). Planning For Multiculturalism: The Case For Equity And Justice In Communities. Canada Architecture News.

Intercultural dialogue that provides a platform for authentic dialogue, which engages marginalized people, individually and as a collective force, should normatively take into account critical multiculturalism as a social movement that provides opportunities for minority groups to live together in a diverse society symbolized by mutual respect and understanding.

“Multicultural planning has slowly but steadily been growing in importance. There have been arguments that speak to the failure of multicultural planning advocacy translating into effective multicultural planning practice. Multicultural planning has been discussed with respect to marginalized and/or disenfranchised groups predominantly, but not so much on pluralistic planning pertaining to multi-ethnic groups. As minority groups have often been pushed to the sidelines, inclusive physical and/or spatial planning may actually be the answer to effecting change. But the research on inclusive physical planning within multicultural planning literature is limited at best. The concepts of equity and justice have not been analyzed as much either within the realm of multicultural planning. This article (and my future research) will help to have those discourses within multicultural planning, and can aid in formulating a policy framework for multicultural spaces in Canadian communities than can incorporate the tenets of equity and justice.”

This is an interesting article combining intercultural dialogue with spatial planning that may be of interest to CID followers.

Repair Cafes: Sustainability, Community, Intercultural Dialogue

Applied ICD

Repair Cafés, started in Amsterdam in 2009, now exist around the world, in over 2500 locations.


The explicit focus of a repair café is the circular economy (ensuring that objects are repaired rather than turned into trash). At the same time, such efforts build community among those who participate, introducing neighbors who might never have met otherwise. And the result is intercultural dialogue, as evidenced by the offer of a PHD Studentship to study “‘Repair Cafes’ as a way to build translocal networks and communities” at the University for the Creative Arts in the UK.

Using Sports to Start Intercultural Dialogues

Applied ICD

Within the framework of the Sport for One Humanity initiative, established by Turkish Airlines and supported by the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC), the representatives of selected civil society organizations working on grassroots sport-based projects participated in a five-day capacity building workshop in Madrid, Spain.

By supporting innovative sports-based interventions that foster a culture of peace, mutual understanding, and cooperation, ‘Sport for One Humanity’ affirms the need for intercultural dialogue and diversity in developing solutions to global challenges.

Representing organizations based in Cameroon, India, Kenya, the Republic of North Macedonia, Mexico, the Philippines, Uganda, and Vietnam, the participants were selected from among 600 applications from 83 countries following an intensive competitive process. The series of trainings focused on a diverse range of topics to bolster the organizations’ capacities and enhance their impact, including project design and implementation, monitoring and evaluation, communications and advocacy, as well as resource mobilization, partnerships, and fundraising.

Facilitated Dialogue: An Emerging Field of Museum Practice

Applied ICD

Foteini Venieri. (25 February 2022). Facilitated dialogue: An emerging field of museum practiceEXARC, 2022/1.

Overall, the data collected showed that the project highlighted the importance of intercultural coexistence and communication.

In 2020, Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett argued that a museum should be understood as a forum rather than a temple (in Badior, 2020). Venieri takes this as a starting point, and studied ways in which several types of museums could serve to facilitate dialogue. She found that “Recently, science and history museums are initiating facilitated dialogue-based programming to address a variety of present-day issues that affect society at large and/or local communities. As the field of facilitated dialogue-based programmes develops, questions around the aims, techniques, and challenges of such initiatives in museums emerge. This paper explores the theory and practice of facilitated dialogue in science, and history museums as well as its implications for the museum field.”

Badior, Daria. (14 July 2020). Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett: “A 21st century museum is a forum not a temple”.

IncluCities: Thematic Toolkit (EU)

Applied ICD

Thematic toolkit. Developed by IncluCities, an EU project.

The IncluCities thematic toolkits offer practical, tested guidance and inspiration to help cities to reach European standards in key areas of migrant integration. The toolkits are designed primarily for local governments, and are particularly useful for smaller local administrations in Europe and beyond, as well as for partners such as NGOs. The content of these toolkits results from the crucial part of the IncluCities project, the benchmarking done by seven associations of local and regional governments and eight cities, with the support of the consultancy MigrationWork. These benchmarks helped to define a work programme for the mentoring schemes.

In each toolkit you will find an IncluCities thematic benchmark drawn from a Europe-wide review of cities’ experience in working on each of the four themes:

1 Gender-sensitive integration
2 Building a ‘city for all’
3 Labour market integration
4 Language learning support

The IncluCities benchmarks are qualitative standards for integration policies based on good practice and accepted standards from across Europe. They are good tools for self- assessment and goal-setting. They consist of a set of key factors that define the critical conditions for success. Each key factor is illustrated with a section why and how, and guiding questions. Where relevant, the key factors were illustrated with good practice examples from the city or association acting as a “mentor” in the project. Additional factors help to specify the context in which the city operates.

Derry Café Tackling Loneliness in the Migrant Community

Applied ICD

Maria Cassidy and Mike McBride. (29 December 2022). Derry café tackling loneliness in the migrant communityBBC News NI.

The North West Migrants Forum in Londonderry, Northern Ireland, has organized the Social Connection Café. Director of programmes at the forum, Lilian Seenoi-Barr, said the café gave people from all backgrounds an opportunity to connect with others.

We wanted to tackle loneliness and isolation by providing a space where people feel welcome and at home. We wanted to create a connected Derry, where people can feel like they are home, even if they are originally from far away.     -Lillian Seenoi-Barr

People who attend the café can get food, hot drinks, play board games and also have the opportunity to speak to people from different cultures and backgrounds.

The North West Migrants Forum (NWMF) is a network of individuals working together to tackle racial inequality and prejudice. Based in Derry/Londonderry, NWMF was first founded in 2012 with the fundamental goal of supporting and advising members of black and minority ethnic (BAME) communities who reside in Northern Ireland.

International House: DiversiTea and Coffee (USA)

Applied ICD

International House residences were founded in BerkeleyNew YorkChicago, and Philadelphia, as well as several dozen sister student residences around the world.

I-House (as it’s known) had the goal of bringing about intercultural dialogue from its founding. The initial idea of establishing international student dorms was the result of the discovery that some of these students were having difficulties in meeting locals. John D. Rockefeller, Jr. provided the funding for the US facilities in New York, Berkeley, and Chicago, as well as one in Paris (now a language school), through the 1920s and 1930s (the one in Philadelphia found separate funding).

International House…is a place where outstanding postgraduates from all over the world live together and learn about the similarities that bind them regardless of their race, religion, or country of origin.

I-House in Berkeley was particularly controversial, as not only a vehicle for international and interracial student housing but “the first co-educational residence west of the Mississippi” when it was built in 1930; all of these were uncommon at the time, and thus controversial. I-House Philadelphia was built later than the others in 1970, and the residence closed in 2019, although the organization still supports international students.

All of the I-Houses work not only to facilitate integration of international students with one another and local residents, but to bring international cultures to locals through cultural celebrations and educational programs. I-House Philadelphia was particularly active in this area, through the establishment of a Folklife Center hosting frequent events, as well as the Philadelphia Festival of World Cinema in the 1970s (the latter became the Lightbox Film Center, and still exists). Today I-House Berkeley is particularly strong in creating activities to strengthen ties across residents, as through their  Center for Intercultural Leadership Programs.

Source articles:

International House at the University of California, Berkeley: An informal history.

Bareche, Dhoha. (1 December 2022). International House is more than just a dormitory. The Daily Californian.

Winkin, Y. (2002). L’architecture comme support de la mémoire sociale. Le cas d’une institution résidentielle à finalité communautaire. Recherches en Communication, 18, 55-70.


Let’s Build a Roof Over the World: Art for Peace

Applied ICD

Estonian art for peace is an exhibit created as part of the “Let’s build a roof over the world” project organized by the Fermata Arts Foundation, based in Avon, CT.

“Let’s Build a Roof Over the World” is an international project spearheaded by Fermata Arts Foundation, the Connecticut-based organization that promotes intercultural dialogue between New England states and post-Soviet countries. A total of 1,375 students and professional artists from 13 countries participated in this project, including Estonia, Moldova, Ukraine, the United States, Kyrgyzstan, and other post-Soviet countries. A total of 221 exhibitions have been organized in nine states.

Through the framework of social truth and the role of art in promoting peace, each school approaches the theme with a different focus. “The Peace in the World” is the theme of the current Estonian exhibit, which has been circulating throughout regional libraries. The previous exhibit from Moldova approached this theme through a mythological lens. An upcoming exhibit from Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan will center on the theme of “Ideal Home” – older students have created architectural models of houses, and younger students will explore fairy tale homes.

Source article: Smith, Valentine. (2 November 2022). Estonian Art for Peace at KHL [Kellog-Hubbard Library]. The Bridge.


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