Dr. Alina Dolea, Associate Professor in Strategic Communication and Public Diplomacy and Deputy Head of Department in Humanities and Law, received a letter of thanks from the UK Modern Slavery and Organised Immigration Crime Unit (MSOICU).
Dr. Dolea contributed with expertise and insights from her research on Romanian diaspora community in the UK to the Romanian and Roma Cultural Resource, a deliverable that MSOICU developed for the Home Office. In addition, on September 13, 2023 she delivered the webinar for the launch of the resource together with a Romanian NGO representative and a Romanian police officer in the UK, a format that was considered very successful.
There were over 80 police officers in the pilot webinar – the handout and the recording of the webinar have been since shared with all police force modern slavery leads and related stakeholders.
For the handout and the webinar, Dr. Dolea provided a historical background on the formation of the Romanian nation and the Romanian Roma community (including their discrimination and Holocaust during WW2), key aspects of Romanian and Roma cultures (language, religion, family life).
She explained the main reasons for emigration and the emotional costs of migration, the issue of lack of trust in authorities, but also trust in each other (fractured during Communism).
She also provided recommendations for communicating and engaging with Romanian and Roma victims or potential victims of modern slavery and organized immigration crime, as well as a list of further readings that were incorporated in the final documents.
On Friday 25 January an audience of seventy-five people gathered in the EBC’s airy 2nd floor lecture theatre to hear a distinguished panel of speakers offer their thoughts on social cohesion in Britain, and on whether the idea of ‘multiculturalism’ which has underpinned much policy and practice in recent years has had its day. Critics of multiculturalism argue that it has impeded integration and increased tensions between different cultural groups. The first speaker, Prof. Ted Cantle of the iCoCo Foundation and the University of Nottingham, argued that a new vision – of interculturalism – was necessary, with more emphasis on transnational identities and on social cohesion. Prof. Ann Phoenix of the Institute of Education agreed, while also stressing our capacity for switching between identities across different sectors of life. Jamie Bartlett of the thinktank Demos reported on research into politics and community relations online, where exchanges between different groups seem to lead to greater polarisation. Jasvinder Sanghera of the national charity KarmaNirvana argued that multiculturalism’s tolerance of some cultural values had brought a failure to challenge oppressive practices such as forced marriage. David Aaronovitch of The Times advised careful use of the word ‘multiculturalism’, which has a multiplicity of definitions, and saw greater interaction between groups as the best way to promote social cohesion. The half-day event ended with a lively and rich discussion between audience and panellists.
The event was organised by Prof. Richards, chaired by Stephen Jukes, Dean of the Media School, and supported by the BU Public Engagement unit and the School’s Politics and Media Research Group. Thanks are also due to IT Services for their help with recording the proceedings, and to the BA Politics & Media students who provided invaluable assistance on the day. Another Media School event at the EBC dealing with a major socio-political issue, this one on the Leveson inquiry and the future of the media, is scheduled for Friday 8 February. The event was primarily a public engagement one, not an academic conference, and the audience included a good mix of people from local authorities, the voluntary sector and the police as well as BU academics and students from three Schools. It was also linked to a Media School research agenda on political extremism being pursued by Prof. Barry Richards and Dr. Roman Gerodimos: levels of extremist activity are linked inversely to those of cultural integration and social cohesion. And it was an example of how BU can create spaces for its own staff and students to engage in debates about key societal issues of the day. The videorecording of it will shortly be available on the BU YouTube channel.
BU colleagues may be interested in this half-day conference organised by the Media School on Friday 25 January 2013, at which a panel of leading experts and commentators will examine the future of social cohesion in Britain. This event is supported by the University’s public engagement programme, and is linked to the development of a research agenda focussing on political extremism. It will address key questions including: What are the main lessons to date of our experiences of ‘multiculturalism’? Where do the major fault lines in British society now lie? Can an inclusive public sphere be created in the age of social media? This afternoon of leading-edge ideas, debate and research will be of value to anyone with a professional, academic or citizenly interest in community relations, cultural difference and social conflict in Britain.
The speakers will be:
David Aaronovitch of The Times
Jamie Bartlett of Demos
Professor Ted Cantle CBE of the iCoCo Foundation
Professor Ann Phoenix of the Institute of Education
Jasvinder Sanghera of KarmaNirvana
Stephen Jukes, Dean of the Media School at Bournemouth University, will be in the chair.
The conference will be held in the University’s Executive Business Centre, a short walk from Bournemouth train station. The conference doors will open with tea and coffee at 12.30 p.m., and the final session will close at 5.30 p.m. There is no fee but registration is essential. To register, go to http://buybu.bournemouth.ac.uk/Multiculturalism-and-after.aspx
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