ICJA’s second workshop day held in Berlin on 12.03.2020

On 12.03.2020 we organized the second STAR E multiplier event with workshop character and presented the publication “Managing Organisational Change – Tools and methods to become a diversity-sensitive NGO” to an interested expert audience. The expert audience consisted of different representatives* of NGOS, who are active in the area of youth, voluntary work, political education and organisational development. The event started with a lunch reception where the participants had the opportunity to get to know and talk to each other.

After a short introduction to the guests and team, Andreas Schwab, the international coordinator of the STAR E project introduced the Erasmus+ Key Action 2 Partnership project, its results and the experiences made since ugust 2017 as well as plans for the coming months. We then continued with a panel discussion. It was  moderated by Martha Bienert and  included professionals that have to do with diversity in different fields of work: Maria Gehre (Diversity Expert at VereinT Zukunft bilden e.V.), Stephan Langenberg (Managing Director ICJA volunteer exchange worldwide), Christian Baier (Managing Director of SOCIUS Organisationsentwicklung gmbH). The discussion focused on diversity and the use of the handbook from the perspective and practice of these organisations. Many participants stated that they were enthusiastic about developing their organisation into a more diversity sensitive organisation. They agreed with the experts and organizers that some of the methods of the handbook can be very helpful to stimulate the necessary reflection on the internal structures and management practices of organisations. They particularly liked the way the methods and tools are presented in the 2 handbooks and found it easy and convenient to work with them

After a short coffee break, which was also used to continue the dialogue on a personal level, Christian Baier presented the handbook “Managing Organisational Change Tools and methods to become a diversity-sensitive NGO” and went into more detail about the development, the structure of the publication and the different methods. This was followed by the practical application of the “Guerrilla Gardening” method, in which the participants first gathered ideas for a diversity-rich change for their own organisation in individual work. This was followed by an exchange of ideas in partner work. Finally, the participants had the opportunity to present their results voluntarily to the plenum.

There was a very positive feedback on the method “Guerilla gardening”. It helped participants to immediately feel part of the solution in making their organisations culture more diversity-oriented and -sensitive. Interesting ideas for change processes were generated and three participants even were encouraged to present their ideas in the final plenary session. Last but not least the organizers  received positive feedback from the attendees: The event and workshop had enriched the participants as  it contained theoretical input, a practical exercise and enough space for discussions and questions.

We would like to thank all participants for their active participation and express special thanks to Maria Gehre, Martha Bienert, Christian Baier and Stephan Langenberg for their interesting input and great moderation.

ICJA’s workshop day held in Berlin on 20.02.2020

On 20 February 2020 we held the first STAR E workshop day with representatives of 22 NGOs working in the field of youth, volunteering and political education in the Global Village in Berlin Neukölln. The conference started with a culinary reception, which gave possibilities to meet and talk to other participants. After a short introduction to the project STAR E and the experience made since August 2017, we had two lectures by guest speakers. They reported on their experience in working with groups with a high level of diversity and sensitizing participants about racism in a white dominated environment. This triggered many questions and an intense discussion.

After a coffee break which was also used to continue the dialogue at personal level, two experts presented the first handbook “Standing Together Against Racism – A Training Handbook-” by actively involving the attendees in doing the method “Don’t act like me” which encourages participants to do a self- and then group reflection about racist incidents they have experienced or witnessed in their life. After this reflection experience and good discussions in the groups we went into the final round of exchange with the speakers in the plenary. A very positive feedback was given regarding the methodology of this workshop as it contained both a theoretical input, a practice exercise and enough room for discussions and questions. As one participant put it in the final evaluation round: I felt warmly invited to participate and taken along the programme!

The positive experience will be continued – the second workshop day will take place tomorrow on March 12!  We will have a panel discussion and  present the second publication “Managing Organisational Change – Tools and methods to become a diversity-sensitive NGO”.  Around 25 representatives of around 20 organisations (mainly from Berlin) have registered to this event. We look forward to an interesting exchange and dicussion!

Upcoming events: Conferences for Multipliers by ICJA in Berlin

Einladung zu den Fachtagen für Multiplikator*innen des ICJA Berlin

see English version below

Unsere Publikationen sind fertig!

Daher möchten wir Sie gerne auf eine spannende Tagungsreihe im Berlin Global Village hinweisen und sind dankbar für die Weiterleitung der Informationen an Interessent*innen.  

Fachtag 1 „Standing Together Against Racism – Methoden für die Antirassismus-Arbeit und Empowermenttraining in der politischen Bildungsarbeit“ in der Braustube des Berlin Global Village am 20.02.2020 (13:00-17:00 Uhr) (derzeit ausgebucht)

Fachtag 2 „Tools for Change – diversitätsorientierte Veränderungsprozesse in NROs“ in der Braustube des Berlin Global Village am 12.03.2020 (13:00-17:00 Uhr)

Es werden Ergebnisse des mehrjährigen europäischen Kooperationsprojekts „Standing Together Against Racism in Europe” in Form von zwei Publikationen präsentiert. Des Weiteren werden Fachimpulse zum jeweiligen Themenfeld gegeben, Vernetzungsmöglichkeiten für Akteur*innen der schulischen und außerschulischen Bildungsarbeit angeboten sowie Methoden und Tools von Expert*innen vorgestellt.

Wir freuen uns auf Ihr Interesse und Ihre Teilnahme! Bei weiteren Fragen melden Sie sich gerne bei Andreas Schwab (aschwab@icja.de) oder bei Nina Stephainsky (nstephainsky@icja.de).

zur Anmeldung / Please register here!

Our publications are ready!

Therefore, we would like to draw your attention to an exciting series of conferences in the Berlin Global Village and would be grateful if you could forward the information to interested parties.

Conference 1 “Standing Together Against Racism – Methods for Anti-Racism Work and Empowerment Training in Political Education Work” in the “Braustube” of the Berlin Global Village on 20.02.2020 (13:00-17:00)

Conference 2 “Tools for Change – Diversity-oriented Change Processes in NGOs” in the “Braustube” of the Berlin Global Village on 12.03.2020 (13:00-17:00)

We look forward to your interest and participation! If you have any further questions, please contact Andreas Schwab (aschwab@icja.de) or Nina Stephainsky (nstephainsky@icja.de).

Transnational Meeting Čadca October 2019

Mid-October 2019 the STAR E participants were invited to Čadca, Slovakia. Three days full of new experiences, intensive work and exchange of ideas and good practice were waiting for us.

Starting with a talk by Jana R. about racism and xenophobia in Slovakia, we learned a lot about minorities in Slovakia, the political situation and the challenges facing segregation and racism in the country. Afterwards each organization presented their current state in the project, what they’ve done so far, what they’ve planned to do in the next months. During a traditional Slovakian dinner in the evening we met the current volunteers from our host organization Keric.

The next day was fully concentrated on the training activities introduced in the handbook. We tested two more methods to get to know them better and become more self-confident as future instructors. Furthermore, testing helped us to improve our written instructions in the handbook. In the following editorial meeting, the editorial team members agreed on the last open questions and discussed about how the handbook needs to be adapted for the online version on the website. Meanwhile the other participants thought about a method to be used at their multiplier meetings. This method should be easy to follow, function as an appetizer for the handbook and not too long as time is limited. Afterwards each partner organization had time to brainstorm about their own multiplier meeting. Who will be interested in the handbook? Why? How to contact them? How to get them interested in the handbook? What is needed to hold the meeting? When? Who is going to do the work? What is going to happen?

Before we already had to say good-bye to each other the next day, we had a presentation about dissemination by ICYE UK member Hannah K. in preparation for disseminating the handbooks. Furthermore we discussed about our final meeting in Denmark.

Thank you to Keric for hosting us in Čadca. Thank you to everybody contributing to this transnational meeting. We achieved a lot and had a wonderful time together.

European Parliamentary Elections

Release of UNITED’s Index of Discriminatory Parties in Europe

Who are the parties and politicians spreading hatred and intolerance in Europe?

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

A week before the European Parliamentary Elections (23 – 26 May 2019), UNITED is launching an online Index of Discriminatory Political Parties who spread hatred and discrimination in Europe, trying to undermine the achievements we’ve made in terms of equality, solidarity and diversity.

With close to 100 million European citizens still undecided how they will vote, we appreciate the challenge of casting an informed vote.

UNITED’s Index of Discriminatory Political Parties in Europe
therefore provides a crucial overview of political forces that we do not want to see in the European Parliament.

UNITED greatly appreciates the valuable feedback received by our member organisations and volunteers on ground. Without your support this index would not have come to existence!

“We want to return to normality. We want to live in Poland, not in the eurokolkhoz Land, not in the Republic of Polin Friends, not in some rainbow republic in which Jews, sodomites, communists impose on Poles not only how to rule, what is the state system, but also how we are to raise our children, about what history we can remember, what traditions we are allowed to cultivate.” – Confederation (KORWiN), Poland.

“Part of our organism–an important part: our immune system, that which should protect us–has turned against us. We’re being weakened, undermined, surrendered in every respect. Malevolent, aggressive elements are being smuggled into our social body in unprecedented numbers, while true causes and consequences are kept hidden.” – Thierry Baudet, Forum for Democracy (FvD), the Netherlands.

“For our children, to leave behind an Islamic caliphate with sharia law in our cities is not something I want to do and I’m going to do everything in my power to avert this sad ending for Europe.” – Matteo Salvini, Lega Nord (LN), Italy.

These are just few of the examples of racist, hateful, discriminatory messages spread by politicians running for the European Parliament in 2019. Unfortunately, there are many more.

We must not let these forces gain more power by being elected to the European Parliament. This is why we need to continue our fight. Please keep reporting by filling in this form, so that we can expand the index and better inform European citizens whom not to vote for!

We are also using social media to track and call out any incidents of hateful and discriminatory discourse. Follow our actions on Facebook and Twitter, and help us hold nationalist and xenophobic parties accountable. If you come across any unacceptable rhetoric, raise your voice, call them out, tag us in your post, so together we can #MakeThemSmallAgain!


We also encourage you to keep organising activities motivating young people in your area to vote in the EP elections! If you need a last-minute inspiration, check out our activity suggestions – we developed quiz, game and activity ideas for you!

Happy Voting and see you on the brighter side!

Yours truly,

UNITED and its Campaign Preparatory Group

European Parliamentary Elections 2019
Website | Facebook | Twitter

UNITED is the pan-European network against nationalism, racism, fascism and in support of migrants and refugees, supported from more than 550 organisations from 48 European countries. How to join the network: see www.unitedagainstracism.org/supporters.
This campaign has been made possible with the support of the Council of Europe (European Youth Foundation) and the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union.
The information contained herein does not necessarily reflect the position nor the opinion of our sponsors. Sponsors are not to be held responsible for any use that may be made of it.
UNITED E-News is an irregular email service to over 12,000 organisations and contact persons active in the working fields: anti-racism, refugee support, anti-fascism, against antisemitism, migration, minority issues, intercultural youth work, against nationalism, etc.
You have received this E-news because your organisation or institution is listed in the UNITED online database and/or Addressbook Against Racism; you have attended a UNITED event; have participated in a UNITED campaign; are a partner in the working fields above; and/or have expressed an interest in UNITED network’s issues.
If you don’t want to receive E-news anymore, you can unsubscribe at this link. If you would like to subscribe with a different e-mail address, please fill out the form on the UNITED website.

UNITED for Intercultural Action
European network against nationalism, racism, fascism and in support of migrants and refugees
Postbus 413 – NL 1000 AK Amsterdam
phone +31-20-6834778 – fax +31-20-6834582


I attended the ICYE STAR-E meeting in Helsinki. Other UK Trustees, as well as staff, have benefited from attending the STAR-E meetings: these are a great opportunity to learn about our federation partners and to be part of vital joint initiatives which become stronger and more effective from the intra-federation collaboration. Inter-cultural exchange is a fact in our relationships and partnerships, not just in our name.

ICYE UK is proud to be a part of STAR-E and has been enthusiastically involved at every opportunity. We are incredibly grateful to ICJA for facilitating this opportunity to gain a fresh perspective on antiracism from true experts like UNITED. It has been a privilege to be able to send representatives to all STAR-E training seminars, and the information and ideas they have brought back to ICYE UK have been invaluable.

ICYE UK has already integrated a number of training methods learned at STAR-E seminars in to our own training camps and hope that these new training approaches will help educate our volunteers about racism and their role as global citizens.

ICYE UK has also been given the opportunity and the methods to look at our organisational prejudices. It is our hope to make ICYE UK an even more transparent and accessible organisation, open to the widest possible range of potential volunteers and partner organisations.

ICYE UK is looking forward to the next transnational meeting and promoting the publications to wider audiences. We plan to engage with both our host partner organisations in the UK and our global partners around the world to share our learning and to enable more individuals and organisations to benefit from the outcomes of STAR E.

“STAR E – Be the Change!”: Training on Diversity-Oriented Change Management and Organizational Development

“Great trainers, great group atmosphere, interesting concepts. I hope this opportunity will be taken seriously in my organization and will be actually applied in practice.” (Please find here the final activity report: FinalActivityReport_BeTheChange_Berlin_2019_ns )

The training course “Be the Change!” was developed as an accompanying measure and opportunity to train employees, co-workers and active members of the participating organizations in the field of diversity-oriented organizational development and change management. The training sessions constantly interrelated the values of diversity-orientation, anti-discrimination and inclusion in youth and voluntary service organizations with reflections and practical learning about how to instigate critical dialogue and actually start with and facilitate change processes in NGOs.
The training took place from 18th to 22nd of February 2019 in Berlin. The host organisation “ICJA Freiwilligenaustauch weltweit” was pleased to welcome 20 representatives of its partner organizations from Denmark, Finland, France, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Poland, Russia, Slovakia and the United Kingdom. The training programme was run by the expert organization SOCIUS Organisationsberatung gGmbH.

Group Dynamics:
Even though the program lasted only five days, the group grew together very well even if there was a diversity of age and background. While some participants knew each other since a long time, others had never met. The facilitators were well prepared for the high degree of diversity within the group and implemented many innovative team building and relaxing energizers, allowing participants to express their mood and wishes even dancing. On the one hand, the group itself accepted every activity, never complained and tried to use every opportunity to learn what was offered by the facilitators. On the other hand, the facilitators were flexible, adapted very well the content and methodology to the mood of participants and situation in the group. The coffee breaks were tasteful and interesting at the same time since everyone brought their own snacks and sweets from their home country. People exchanged thoughts and their experience with struggles and strategies and also laughed a lot together which helped to strengthen the bonds of friendship within the partnership.

Seminar Content and the Relevance for the STAR E Partnership:
The program established four competence areas needed for understanding and working towards change with a focus on diversity, anti-racism and inclusion. A wide variety of methods was applied and background information was provided. Participants constantly were encouraged to contribute and reflect about how the seminar content could contribute to bring about change in their organization. After having laid the theoretical basis during the first days, the last two days were very active. Participants could implement the just learned methods to their organizations’ change processes.
In summary, after the training the participants were very happy with the results and looked forward to make use of the newly discovered tools. The training contributed a great deal to the participant’s understanding of the role of change management in working towards diversity and against racism within/ with their organizations. This learning experience will enable them to strengthen their role and profile in combating racism and becoming facilitators of dialogue and inclusion. It could be felt that this outcome was crucial as it will greatly enhance the work of the STAR E (Standing together against racism in Europe) partnership project.

Finally, we would like to thank the facilitators from SOCIUS, Joana Ebbinghaus and Simon Mohn as well as the participants and partner organizations for their great cooperation and highly valuable contributions!

UNITED COnference on Coexistence

Good news, for those who did not apply yet, we are extending the deadline for nominations to take part in our upcoming UNITED conference, which is now 31 March. You can find more information about the conference’s topic and programme here.

You can nominate your delegates by using this form. Be aware of the financial conditions of taking part in this conference. Please note that only the selected participants will receive an answer with more details regarding the conference.

What can you expect if you take part in a UNITED Conference?

A large number of fellow Human Rights activists
Information on good practices
Possibilities on network building
Ideas for funding and partnerships
Open discussions on relevant topics
Local context and a wonderful experience of Albania!

About the Conference

UNITED gladly invites you to nominate Delegates for our upcoming UNITED Conference near Tirana, Albania, taking place from the 15 to 20 May 2019. The conference will focus on coexistence, not only as a general value of understanding and peaceful living within a community, but as a practical strategy that can help facing the current challenges of Europe on many different levels.

Since coexistence is a broad topic and can involve several aspects of life, UNITED has decided to make the working and understanding easier, so to facilitate the learning and the communicating process. For this reason, the conference will include:

Panel discussions with experts that will help clarify what coexistence means.
Successful examples and good practices of coexistence.
Focal working groups on Communication, Campaign, Advocacy, Education and Community Building as basis for a coexistence strategy.
Practical workshops on how to raise funds for a strategy.
Chance for networking and initiating joint actions to pave the way for future cooperation.
We look forward to your nomination!

Organizational change training for more diversity

“Now I have a clearer idea of how we can really make change processes, the last time I had an overview, now I really understand,” said one of the participants of the training “Be the Change” which took place in Berlin 2 weeks ago. About 20 colleagues from all over Europe came together for 5 days to train accompanying change processes towards a racism-critical and diversity-sensitive organization. The training was facilitated by Joana Ebbinghaus and Simon Mohn.

During the training programme, various models and practical tools of Organizational Development were introduced and applied to the participants’ own organizations. Special rituals were a wake-up dance every morning and the reflection with a learning partner every evening. Apart from conveying new ideas for self-led organizational change, the participants also tested the feasibility of the models in practices, since they are meant to be comprised in a manual afterwards. The latter ought to have a look on facilitating organizational change through the lense of diversity.

The training course “Be the Change” was an accompanying measure of the Erasmus+ Key Action 2 project #star_e.  “Standing Together against Racism in Europe” is a 3 year project coordinated by ICJA Freiwilligenaustausch weltweit in cooperation with 8 partner organizations from different corners of Europe, one of them being SOCIUS. The partners in this project strongly believe in the credible, holistic fight against racism at all levels of their work. Together with the experts from SOCIUS they currently work on the creation of a manual on how to accompany diversity-oriented change processes in international youth and voluntary service organizations.