ACP YPN #BHMEU Ambassador roundtable with the UK Permanent Representation

On the 22 OCtober 2019, the ACP YPN organised an Ambassador Roundtable with the UK Permanent Representation to the Belgium and their teams during this #BlackHistoryMonthEU. The roundtable was hosted by:

  • Martin Shearman, British Ambassador to Belgium
  • Laura McCambridge, Agriculture and the Natural Environment Counsellor.

The roundtable is an intimate dinner with the Ambassador and their teams during which 20 young professionals got insight on the work of the Embassy and personal and professional experiences.

The discussion focused on various topics ranging from education, workforce to gender equality within the #BHMEU context.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Here are some of the themes discussed:

Black History Month in the UK British Ambassador to Belgium Martin Shearman, mentioned that one of the many roles of the diplomatic core is to share British culture with the hosting country, in this case Belgium. Seen as #BHM has been a part of the British culture since 1987, there’s a need to share this part of the culture with Belgium. A part that celebrates differences, but more importantly sheds a light on historical issues directly impacting the population today.

Diversity in the UK The Ambassador talked about how the ratio of people of colour in high ranks is much higher (or actually existant) than in Belgium in different categories from the demographic to education as well as the professional sector. He put emphasize on the fact that no country is perfect but pointed out that the United Kingdom is more used to a more diverse environment in all aspects of life.

PAD Women rights Laura McCambridge, Agriculture and the Natural Environment Counsellor agreed, that there is still more to do in terms of women rights specifically regarding women of colour. An effort has been made to increase the opportunity for promotions and professional elevation. The question on language impact on inclusivity and diversity was also raised. The UK population is generally monolingual whereas Belgium is generally multilingual. They are working on making efforts to increase the foreign language use in the governing sector. Again, the question was posed regarding why the UK generally has little to no necessity of learning a new language and it was agreed that language learning in the ACP diaspora, EU and Belgium could lead to the betterment in diversity.

Want to know more about the topics covered? Get in touch with on Chaka Welch Linkedin , Twitter.

You can follow the discussion and contribute using the hashtag #ACPYouthTalk, #BHMEU, #BlackHistoryMonthEU

By IGIHOZO Emelyne, get in touch on Linkedin 

Want to know more about ACP YPN’s mission and goals?

Want to know more, or have a question? Write to us at: acpypn@gmail.com

Keep up-to-date with ACP YPN via the Website, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube

Posted in EventsLeave a comment

ACP YPN #BHMEU Reception on Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace with the UK Permanent Representation

On the 16th October 2019, the UK Permanent Representation to the EU and the African, Caribbean and Pacific Young Professional Network (ACP YPN) organized a reception on Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace with a panel discussion. This #BHMEU panel was moderated by the UK Permanent Representation to the EU Political and Engagement Counsellor, Hannah Cockburn OBE with 4 main speakers:

  • Gemma Cairney– Founder of Boom Shakalaka Productions Ltd, 
  • Linda Nooitmeer  President of Ninsee (Institute of Slavery and its legacy in the Netherlands) 
  • Dr James Southern FCO Historian, Author of ‘Black Skin, Whitehall: Race and the Foreign Office, 1945-2018’ 
  • Adélaïde Hirwe – ACP YPN Program Manager. 

The issue of diversity and inclusion still continue to challenge us in society, working together as a first step in overcoming these obstacles and challenges related is fundamental. 

The four panelists presented what they believe to be the main barriers for Black people in organizations and industries. 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Adelaide Hirwe on a more technical note, affirmed that according to European Network Against Racism (ENAR) data, people with foreign sounding names have 35 % less chances to be called for a job interview in the flemish side. She also added that even after employment, 20 % of Belgians prefer not have a foreign colleague let alone as a chef and one out of three foreign do not feel welcomed at the workplace. She emphasized on the purpose of the ACP YPN #BHMEU initiative which is creating a platform for discussion for People of African descent (PAD) on  their common experiences in institutions, politics, private sector employment” 

Gemma Cairney on the European identity 

“I’m glad we are having this painful discussion…One of the most amazing things of being european is that we are mix of so many things and that’s what I grew up to believe, I feel so much as an international person..the color of our skin should be celebrated and the mix and our reference points that we have to offer, whether that being on a political scale which is currently one of the most important thing to represent the European voice..” She adds on what media can do in this #blackhistorymonth EU and that is shake up things from the top!by letting some young kids create new media, by investing in them. 

James Southern points out how crucial it is to change mentality at the Civil service level, he says “Nationality and Britishness are very close linked…identity and security are closely linked in the mind of foreign officials…it has been a battle to turn this foreign office into a diverse”.

Linda Nooitmeer emphasized on the importance of action. She explains that instead of trying to change those at the top, we must focus on our situations and ourselves and take more action from our positions.

You can follow the discussion and contribute using the hashtag #ACPYouthTalk, #BHMEU, #BlackHistoryMonthEU

By IGIHOZO Emelyne

Want to know more about ACP YPN’s mission and goals?

Want to know more, or have a question? Write to us at: acpypn@gmail.com

Keep up-to-date with ACP YPN via the Website, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube

Posted in Events Leave a comment

 

ACP YPN launches Black History Month EU second edition (# BHMEU)

On the 8th October 2019, the African Caribbean Pacific Young Professionals Network (ACP YPN) launched the second edition of Black History Month European Union in the EU capital Brussels. The #BHM-EU 2019 initiative was in conjoint collaboration with the amazing Expo #SOKL, dedicated to one month of decolonial actions organized by the Belgian-Congolese collective ‘Faire-Part’.

It was in this friendly environment that the ACP YPN hosted with other partners – European Network of People of African descent, Adept platform, European Parliament Anti-racism and Diversity Intergroup, the Leadership Conference, Each One Teach One, European Union and the International Decade for People of African Descent 2015-2024, European Network Against Racism, etc) the beginning of the # BHMEU 2019. The aim of the gathering was to exchange on Black History Month EU but also on the integration of the African Caribbean Pacific (ACP) and EU youth, with discussions on mutual experiences. Attendees from diverse background, Luxembourg, United Kingdom Belgium, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, etc all took part in debates on ACP inclusion, discrimination, raising awareness while networking.  

IMG BHM56

Our next upcoming events on the Black History Month EU will focus on our main objectives which are 

  • spreading awareness on the United Nations International Decade for People of African descent 2015-2024 
  • Advocating for the official launch of the Decade in all member states.
  • Reaching out to potential #BHM organizations across Europe and last but not least,
  • Highlighting and promoting the participation and integration of People of African descent in all fields of the public sphere,  

With Black History Month initiatives in Belgium, Portugal, Norway, Germany, France and in the United Kingdom during this month of October , it is with great enthusiasm and hope that these movements lead as examples of dialogue, justice, economic, social, civic and political inclusion of PAD communities in European countries and help expand the BHM across Europe. 

Check out our full programme on #BHM- EU 2019 on  https://www.blackhistorymontheu.com

You can follow the discussion and contribute using the hashtag #ACPYouthTalk, #BHMEU, #BlackHistoryMonthEU

By IGIHOZO Emelyne, Get in touch on Linkedin

Want to know more about ACP YPN’s mission and goals?

Want to know more, or have a question? Write to us at: acpypn@gmail.com

Keep up-to-date with ACP YPN via the Website, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube

BLACK HISTORY MONTH EU 2019 (#BHMEU)

BLACK HISTORY MONTH EU (BHMEU) is a commemorative month dedicated to celebrating the impact of the People of African Descent (PAD) community in the history and the future of the European Union. The idea of expanding this initiative stemmed from the Black History Month held in the United States, United Kingdom and the Netherlands.

As a network that provides a platform for young people to play an active role in policy-making processes nationally, regionally and internationally, we aim to ensure equal opportunity by promoting and facilitating the integration of the perspectives of ACP and EU youth.

We launched last year BHM EU, in 2018, to bring Black History Month to the Brussels Bubble and to the EU institutions with three main objectives:

  1. To encourage exchange and dialogue on mutual experiences in the young PAD community;
  2. To highlight, promote and foster the participation of young PAD in politics, institutions, entrepreneurship and the Information Communication Tech sector;
  3. To inspire a greater network of PAD.

Our main objectives for the BHM-EU 2019 are as follows:

  1. Spread awareness on the UN International Decade for people of African descent 2015-2024 across Europe around its three pillars: recognition, justice and development — and
  2. Advocate for the official launch of the Decade in all member states;
  3. Reach out to prospective BHM-EU partner organizations across Europe;
  4. Promote and highlight the participation of PAD in all fields of public sphere;

We hope to expand BHM-EU across member states for it to become a movement for economic, social, civic and political inclusion.

You can follow the discussion and contribute using the hashtag #ACPYouthTalk, #BHMEU, #BlackHistoryMonthEU

For more information on #BHMEU 2019 and to read how you can get involved, visit the #BHMEU website https://www.blackhistorymontheu.com

Want to know more about ACP YPN’s mission and goals?

Want to know more, or have a question? Write to us at: acpypn@gmail.com

Keep up-to-date with ACP YPN via the Website, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube