Overview of the three day event



The three day event seeks to bring together Roma and non-Roma activists, researchers, professionals, and policy makers to explore how local, national, and European organizations can promote greater involvement of Roma persons and communities in decisions and policies affecting their lives.

In the last two decades a complex network of organizations emerged specialised in the so-called “Roma issue”, comprising non-governmental and inter-governmental organizations, expert bodies, foundations, activists, and politicians. These actors have managed to raise the attention of international organizations and national governments to the plight of Roma; however, the social status of Roma has not improved significantly, with a large proportion of them sill living at the margins of society.

The event seeks to explore how to go beyond exerting external pressure on governments in order to overcome the historical marginalization of Roma and to facilitate their substantive participation and empowerment. In what ways could Roma participate in policies affecting their lives beyond taking part in limited forms of political consultations? What are the preconditions for the emergence of a strong and autonomous Roma civil society? How could large NGOs reach Roma communities at the ‘grassroots’?  How to combine the struggle against racism, the promotion of democratic solidarity, and the reinforcement of an open Roma culture that allows for diverse and multiple identities? What lessons can be learnt from the experiences of Roma self-governments and ethnic political parties? How could universities, churches, companies, and media empower Roma?

The event series comprises a conference and two workshops. In the framework of the conference high level policy-makers, senior scholars, and prominent Roma intellectuals and activists engage a broader audience. The first workshop brings together primarily young Roma researchers, activists, and professionals to discuss their own views about and experiences with Roma empowerment; whereas the second workshop provides a forum for a limited number of young researchers to discuss their theoretical works on the topic. There are two separate calls for application, but the selected participants of the two workshops are encouraged to join each others’ discussions.

Venue: Corvinus University of Budapest, Közraktár utca 4-6. (the new building of the university)

Date: 29 – 31  May 2013

Organizers: Andrew Ryder, Crina Marina Morteanu, Iulius Rostas, Marius Taba, Marton Rovid, Timofey Agarin

Supporting organizations: Corvinus University of Budapest, University of Bristol, European Academic Network for Romani Studies, Roma Education Fund, Roma Research and Empowerment Network, UACES Collaborative Research Network Romanis in Europe

Contact: romaempowerment@gmail.com