Held at AmnestyInternational's HQ in Shoreditch, this conference examined public attitudes and media representation of migrants and we explored strategies to enable migrants to engage in the public conversation on migration.
It was the first joint event of the newly established 'Migrant Voices for Change Network', with membership from migrant and refugee communities' leaders and professionals, media experts, academics and other stakeholders from London, Birmingham and Glasgow.
There was a multitiude of information and ideas on offer and this is just a summary of our personal highlights:
- Hearing Ayesha Saran (The Barrow Cadbury Trust), Ruth Smeeth (Searchlight Educational Trust) and Myriam Cherti (Institute for Public Policy Research) talk in relation to understanding attitudes to migration. In particular, research carried out by Searchlight Educational Trust, 'Fear and Hope', gives a fascinating insight into the prevailing attitudes in the UK of multiculturalism and migration.
- A discussion by journalists into the portrayal of migrants in the media and advice on how to turn the tide on the negative representations of migrants. Those present were, Daniel Nelson, Diane Taylor (The Guardian), Josh Neico (Evening Standard) and Jeremy Dear (NUJ).
- Don Flynn (Migrants Rights Network) and Ruth Smeeth's (Searchlight Educational Trust) workshop on developing communication strategies. A lot of great ideas about how to get your message out to your target audience effectively and developing a successful strategy and campaign.
- In the small group discussion of all the representatives from Glasgow, we put together a strategy for the network including how to involve all relevant agencies and communicate effectively together about getting more migrant voices heard in the media and the debate around migration.
Many thanks to Nazek Ramadan, Anne Stoltenberg and all at Migrant Voice for organising this great event.