We are an international group of people, mostly from CEE, trying to promote anti-racist thinking and practices in our local contexts. However, almost all of us have been raised in places where we belong to the majority culture and race. There is only one Roma voice in our group. We believe this plays an important role in the development of this Toolkit. When it comes to the topic of racism, we are most qualified to speak and write as people who are trying to act as allies to communities facing racial and ethnic oppression.
As such, this toolkit’s main intended audiences are young people, youth workers and educators working towards becoming allies. Some of the materials are made by and for educators, working with young people in formal and non-formal environments. Other materials were made by and for young activists and peer educators. Even though a lot of the content deals with quite complex topics, we have tried to approach it in a way that is accessible for young people from different backgrounds and experience levels.
Some other parts of who we are which have informed our experiences in preparing this Toolkit:
We include students, workers, under-employed and unemployed. All of us are university educated or are planning to attend university – a lot of our parents did too. We include people of various genders, though the majority of us identify as women. Some of us belong to the category of ‘youth’ and others do not. There are some migrant experiences in the group, but no voices of refugees, asylum seekers or displaced people. We are able-bodied with some experience of invisible disability. A variety of sexualities are represented. These are only a few of the other axes influencing our writing and action.
A good example of how this all relates to intersectionality can be seen by looking at the issue of ‘freedom of mobility.’ More and more we find ourselves with the opportunity to flow through the EU’s borders, but until very recently almost all of our passports kept these opportunities closed to us. Still, these experiences are not the same just because we all hold the same passport. Even when we start to experience work and mobility privileges related to official EU inclusion, some of us still find our way hindered or blocked due to other characteristics. For example, due to a lack of money or because of race. To only look at nationality is not enough to understand the issue and the systems at play. We must step back and look with a broader lens.