The UK Migrant Voices for Change Project

GMT 18:24 Tuesday ,11 January 2011

 Migrant Voice - The UK Migrant Voices for Change Project

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The UK Migrant Voices for Change Project is a project for individuals and organisations who are concerned about the way migrants are portrayed in the media, the public attitude towards them and the impact of policies on their lives and want to engage in positively influencing the immigration debate and changing public attitude.

The Network

The UK Migrant Voices for Change Project has a network with hubs in London, Birmingham and Glasgow.  The network is an opportunity to engage in an ongoing discussion to develop migrant-led short and long term media and communication strategies and work leading up to the next general election, to positively influence the debate on migration.

Background

The 2010 Parliamentary election in the UK exposed the vulnerability of migrants and their poor representation and participation in the ongoing debate on migration. Immigration was repeatedly raised as an equally important election issue alongside the deficit and the NHS, and was presented as a cause for concern for both politicians and the general public. Negative claims about migrants, refugee and asylum seekers were often made but only occasionally challenged. Migrant Voice believes that migrants need a coordinated approach and a strategy to influence the public and media’s perceptions. Migrants need to develop and publicise new messages that transcend all previous notions of identities that have been (involuntarily) applied to them.

What we do

The UK Migrant Voices for Change network draws on the lessons from the last two parliamentary elections and our work to date and engages members in discussion about the causes of negative perceptions and public attitude; the way the debate on migration has developed in recent years; the way it is heading and the implication for migrant communities. Through a series of meetings we explore the role migrants need to play; the key messages they need to develop; and what is needed to build migrants' skills and confidence to get the messages across. The network also hosts a number of public meetings to initiate and facilitate an open dialogue with the media, the host community, opinion formers and policy makers about media reporting and public perception of migrants and migration. The project works to build a strong and confident migrant partner able to work with other actors concerned with the debate on migration.

How to get involved

Individual migrants (migrants, refugees and asylum seekers) as well as organisations, media professionals, academics, policy makers, and other institutions and members of the public are welcome to join the network.

About Migrant Voice

Migrant Voice is a migrant-led organisation with the aim to strengthen the voice of migrants in the media and public domain by increasing their skills and confidence in developing and conveying key messages about their realities to promote a more balanced media coverage and public debate on migration.  The UK Migrant Voices for Change Project is funded by the Barrow Cadbury Trust, The City Bridge Trust and the Open Society Foundation.

 

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