Let’s start to create diversity
In cooperation with 400 African associations and supported by the German Federal Office for Migration and Refugees, The African Network of Germany (TANG) started its “Create Diversity” project (“Vielfalt gestalten”) this past year. “Create Diversity” is a call to action to media and community-based and political sectors to be inclusive of the interests and contributions of people of African ancestry. To that end, the project provides a supportive network to those of African backgrounds; stimulates cooperation and exchange between African-descendant and other peoples in Germany; and helps facilitate migrants’ professional access to various sectors. intercultures was invited to the project as a provider of intercultural workshops carried out for the benefit of participating African association representatives.
TANG was founded in May 2013 with the aim to create a network among people of African ancestry that would support them in developing their full potential as German residents and/or citizens. It was set up after the idea was conceived at “Africa in Germany”, an event hosted by German President Joachim Gauck and attended by Germany’s 50 African ambassadors, German-African stakeholders and many other high profile figures of African ancestry. Cameroonian-born politician, Dr. Sylvie Nantcha, who has lived and worked in Germany for over two decades, is the nationwide founder and coordinator of TANG.
A platform for intercultural awareness
One effort of the “Create Diversity” project is to facilitate migrants’ professional access to associations and federations, and exposure to African cultures on the part of fellow residents of Germany. Opening such organizations as a platform through which intercultural competence is developed offers an opportunity for members to increase their awareness of others, self-reflect and develop effective and culture-sensitive techniques for interacting across cultures.
During six, two-day trainings in five cities, Board members of various African associations in Germany deepened their knowledge about intercultural matters. Participants were media and culture-makers, migrant advisers and managers of religious communities. It was important to intercultures that many of the 54 African countries of origin as well as all federal lands were invited to participate.
Activate the potential of cultural diversity
Bulgarian, German and Indian-born intercultures Consultants who have lived the experience of immigrating were selected to deliver four workshops on three interrelated themes of cultivating diversity in, 1) media coverage, 2) community associations and 3) in political spaces. Consultants’ approach to the workshops were varied, though the primary learning objective for all stakeholders was the same—to activate the potential of cultural diversity. Between the separate sessions they facilitated for TANG participants, our consultants used a diverse selection of media to describe current cultural trends in Germany; the value-add of emotion and how to communicate feelings in alternate ways; discussed how to reduce race-based prejudice in the face of stereotypes, and more.
Wir freuen uns auf Ihren Kontakt!
The above article was included in our Mar. 2016 intercultures e-newsletter.
In our December 2015 special e-newsletter edition, we shared intercultures’ interest in increasing our work with African cultures. We anticipate building upon this work—and possibly working in partnership with you—in the year to come.
Photo credit: TANG