Official Results – SIETAR Europa Elections, 8th June 2021

Thank you everybody that participated in these, the first open elections for President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer for The Executive Committee of SIETAR Europa. The official Results are as follows:

  • President – Carla Cabrera Cuadrado
  • Vice President – Papa Balla Ndong
  • Secretary – Bernd Gibson
  • Treasurer – Martina Pulver

Thank you, Support Team: As Election Commissioner, I would like to thank the good people of SIETAR Europa for their invaluable assistance, work and input: Bee Baumann, Gradiola Kapaj, MRS Christine Longe Legrand, for communications, the nomination process, the videos, social media promotion, and supplying the qualifying membership voting list, amongst many other critical parts of this new process. And, a special mention goes to… Steve Miller for just about everything else – the website, and the technical parts of the election voting process itself.

Thank you, Candidates: To all of you, whether you put yourself forward in the end or not, it was important that you considered the opportunity, and we appreciate the effort, thought and the spirit with which you became part of the story.

Thank you, Voters: With just over 20% of the eligible members voting in the election from SIETARs – Austria, Europa, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Spain and UK; this was about you, the members, becoming more involved, seeing the process through and, hopefully, feeling heard by SIETAR Europa.

And, we must say goodbye too: We thank the departing Execs who, have done so much, and made such a difference over the last couple of years – Tamara Thorpe as outgoing President, Bastian Kuentzle, Vice President, Julia Johannsen, Secretary, & Linda Vignac with Adrian Pilbeam, joint Treasurers.
Legacy: An amazing team that have expanded the capacity, capability and reach, as well as the effectiveness operating status, of this important organisation.

Next?:Please keep involved with SIETAR Europa, and help the new incumbents to find their feet, take over the reins, and start this new chapter with vigour, energy and success.

Thanks All,
Matthew
Matthew Hill
Outgoing Election Commissioner

Statement on Racism in Europe and our Commitments to Action

Since the killing of U.S. citizen George Floyd on May 25th, the world has witnessed communities across the globe rising up against police brutality, with a call to end the global pandemic of racism. The SIETAR Europa Board of Directors has created space and time for the SIETAR community to listen, reflect, grieve, and be civically engaged. Today, we want the individuals, families, and communities affected by police violence and racism to know that we join them in their sadness, anger, and sense of urgency. As an organisaion, we are committed to being anti-racist and striving to become ever more inclusive in all that we do.

SIETAR Europa is committed to the dignity and worth of the human person and to the peaceful resolution of interpersonal, intergroup and international conflicts. Our purpose is to promote intercultural understanding in Europe and to serve as a forum for exchange for our members. We strongly condemn racism within our organisation, the intercultural field, and the larger European context, and are  committed to working towards the elimination of any kind of discrimination, especially when it includes violence.

We acknowledge that racism and the racialisation of specific communities is, and always has been, a powerful and very real measure of domination and exploitation within Europe. We recognise that structural and systemic racism are as deeply woven into the foundations of European societies as they are elsewhere. Since COVID-19, increased policing measures have led to a rise in police violence and racial profiling not only in the U.S, but elsewhere in the world and also Europe. Therefore, we also condemn police violence and the targeting of racialised communities in Europe, and their escalation since COVID-19. Moreover, we condemn the  continued mistreatment of migrants, displaced persons, and refugees on the borders of, and within Europe.

We have been inspired by the revitalised global dialogue on systemic and structural racism and the changes that are happening as a result. As an organisation, we commit to being a part of the efforts to dismantle those very structures so that we can build a society that is truly just and equal. We recognise that it must begin with an honest, humble, curious and open look at the unflattering reality of our own beliefs, assumptions, behaviours, and perspectives as individuals and as an organization.

SIETAR Europa recognises that our organisation’s origins are rooted in a dominant white culture that has benefitted from subtle racist structures and white privilege, with or without our awareness of it. Despite efforts that have been made over the years to check that privilege and be more inclusive, we continue to struggle to include more ethnically diverse educators, trainers, and researchers within our organisation.

To ensure that we are able to live our values and successfully achieve our mission, we commit to:

  1. Educate ourselves and our members on anti-racism, and its intersectionality with the intercultural field
  2. Increase our awareness of the impact of white normative culture within our organizational structure, policies and practices
  3. Create new alternatives to build a more inclusive and diverse organization
  4. Develop open and transparent volunteer recruitment processes at all levels of the organization
  5. Identify and take actions against all forms of discrimination within the organization

Towards our friends and allies outside of SIETAR, we commit to:

  1. Joining the anti-racist movement in Europe
  2. Supporting marginalised, discriminated, and racialised communities in Europe
  3. Support anti-racist organisations and movements led by those very communities within Europe

Over the coming weeks and months, we will develop and share more specific actions and measures of progress of our commitments.It is time to be uncomfortable, to listen, to show solidarity, and help tackle a system that we have benefitted from, consciously or unconsciously.

This is a difficult time in Europe, as it is around the world. And yet it is also a time of increased potential for real, sustainable and positive change. As part of the SIETAR Europa Board’s commitment to educate ourselves and our members on anti-racism, and its intersectionality with the intercultural field, we are launching a new series of anti-racism learning events.

This series begins with the panel discussion, “Anti-racism for Interculturalists” on Wednesday, July 1, 2020 at 6 pm CET, moderated by SIETAR Europa President, Tamara Thorpe.

Click here for more information and to register [link pending]

We invite and encourage SIEAR members who want to help drive this important work to reach out to your SIETAR Europa Board representative or to contact us directly with your ideas and contributions.

Thank you,

SIETAR Europa Board of Directors

 

SIETAR Europa Board Message: COVID-19

Dear SIETAR Europa Members and Friends,

SIETAR Europa has been monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact in Europe. Weunderstand that each of your regions has been uniquely impacted and are at different stages in their response. The SIETAR Europa Board of Directors is in close contact with each national SIETAR, as well as the direct members, and continues to monitor the progress of this pandemic and its impact on our members and organization.

As interculturalists, many of us have learned to accept ambiguity and uncertainty, yet we understand that it creates fear and stress for many others. We hope this is opportunity for communities to come together and innovate, as we have seen with neighbors in Italy singing and making music together, among many other great examples of generosity and caring across the world. Unfortunately, we are also aware that the situation has stoked fear against those who are different to us. There has been scape-goating and blame-hunting of cultural groups by individuals and unfortunately government leaders. SIETAR-Europa calls upon the leaders in Europe and beyond, from majors to presidents, from union-leaders to CEOs, from athletes to artists, to protect the vulnerable, to unite instead of fracture, to servetheir communities instead of themselves.

SIETAR subscribes to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and works towards the elimination of every kind of discrimination based on race, skin-colour, gender, sexual orientation, family and marital status, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Therefore, SIETAR Europa is calling on each of its members to join us in openly rejecting racism, operating from equity, and maintaining a voice of inclusion within our networks, communities, and organizations.

During times of crisis and uncertainty, our values and skill set as intercultural practitioners are more relevant than ever. We believe that times like this call for solidarity and compassion, and it is important for communities to come together across our differences to find solutions and weather the storm.

SIETAR Europa will continue to host our monthly virtual events, and we are encouraging national SIETARs to also host their events online. Let’s continue to build community, learn from one another, and take action towards our values of openness, tolerance, diversity and inclusion.

In solidarity,
The SIETAR Europa Board of Directors