Monday, 22 February 2010

Migration and Citizenship in a Changing Community - conference in Leeds

A conference looking at the challenges of migration and citizenship at a local, national and European level will be held in Leeds next week.

Migration and Citizenship in a Changing Community has been organised by the Leeds Social Care Community Forum, in partnership with Europe Direct, and will be held at the Ramgarhia Sports and Leisure Centre on Tuesday 2 March, 9.30am to 4pm.

The conference will bring together a panel of people to discuss better ways of working with our European neighbours to tackle the challenges of changing societies. It will highlight the key issues for Leeds; access to services, community cohesion, dedicated support programmes and education, and consider these as part of the European Commission’s role in promoting communication with cities across Europe facing the same challenges.

The conference is free and open to all diverse communities, stakeholders, practitioners and partners, from the private, public and voluntary sector. Lunch will be provided and will include halal, vegetarian and kosher options.

Councillor Peter Harrand, executive board member with responsibility for adult social care said:
"Leeds has a growing migrant population who make a significant contribution to the city's economy, It is important that we help immigrants to settle into their new environments as quickly as possible so that they feel comfortable and can start to play their part in their local communities.”

The day will include panel discussions, workshops, question and answer sessions, and an informative quiz session. The conference is delighted to welcome the following speakers to the panel:

Clinton Cameron MBE – a Jamaican-born prominent community activist in Chapeltown and Harehills, formerly the chair of the board of governors of Leeds Met and founder member of the Chapeltown/Harehills Law Centre. Clinton currently chairs REEMAP, a charity whose aim is to raise educational aspirations and improve achievement amongst young people. His other current activities include service on the North-East Leeds Primary Care Trust, the Leeds Initiative and the West Yorkshire Enterprise Partnership.

Almamy Taal – exiled investigative journalist from West Africa with a long history of campaigning on issues of asylum, migrants’ rights and human rights. He is a member of the UK Exiled Journalists Network (EJN); co-founder and vice chair of the West Midlands Exiled Journalists Action Group (EJAG); co-founder and vice chair of MARCO – Migrant, Asylum Seeker and Refugee Community Organisation); British Refugee Council West Midlands’ communication representative from 2006 to 2008 and a board member of West Midlands Strategic Migration Partnership and the Regional Refugee Forum.

Christian Krappitz – European Commission representative in the UK. Christian will discuss the European view of migration and citizenship and what this means for people in cities like Leeds.

John England - deputy director for adult social care at Leeds City Council. John has worked for Leeds council since 1979. He is a qualified social worker and received his MBA in 1992. He takes a lead on planning and strategy for the directorate, and the wider scope of Leeds City Council. John develops joint strategic direction with various partners with a wider focus on the health and wellbeing of the people of Leeds. John, amongst other responsibilities, takes a lead on equality and diversity and acts as one of a number of senior equality champions across the council.

Participants will be encouraged to take part in one of the following workshop options:

• Health and social care – ‘making it real’ - community solutions through community involvement
• Migration Partnership – Migrant Hub Access Point
• Valuing diversity guidance – children and young people
• Sharing experience – communities view of real life experiences
• Hidden communities: removal of social barriers – community cohesion

The conference will be held in the Ramgarhia Sports and Leisure Centre, Leeds, LS7 3AP from 9.30-4pm.

The conference is free and open to all diverse communities, stakeholders, practitioners and partners, from the private, public and voluntary sector. Lunch will be provided and will include halal, vegetarian and kosher options.

For tickets or further information please contact Howard Beck on howard.beck@leeds.gov.uk or 0113 247 6957.

ENDS

For media enquiries, please contact;
Claire Macklam, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1578
Email: claire.macklam@leeds.gov.uk