Speaking for Ourselves

New round of Migrant Ambassadors programme launched in the West Midlands

New round of Migrant Ambassadors programme launched in the West Midlands

Sundus Abdi

 Migrant Voice - New round of Migrant Ambassadors programme launched in the West Midlands



This month, we kicked off our first event as part of this year's West Midlands Migrant Ambassadors programme.

Attended by migrants from different backgrounds and immigration statuses, the team delivered an engaging session on media training at the Birmingham Midland Institute.

Participants learnt about the inner workings of journalism, how to source stories and how to format a pitching email to editors.

The programme aims to equip ambassadors with journalistic skills, whilst also building their confidence in voicing their experiences as migrants in the media.

Editor Daniel Nelson helped support the delivery of the programme and offered advice to trainees.

Migrant Ambassadors in training were also able to share their experiences of migration, the UK’s complex immigration system and their constant dehumanisation in the media with one another. One attendee, Bwalya, said: “This session helped me to understand myself and others.”

Another participant, Smollet, added: “The training was well organised and there were detailed explanations about each step of pitching. It was my first time on this programme, but because of the information given to us I knew how to achieve my goal.

“I have a passion to help people, even before attending this session I have helped people with their immigration problems. The only way to get justice is to be the voice of the people. I know when I finish this training, I will have the right knowledge to do this.”

This year’s West Midlands programme will invite guest journalists to speak to members too. At the first session, Birmingham Live reporter Aida Fofana joined the session to share her views on what news journalists look for in a story. Aida will also be joining subsequent sessions.

The previous Migrant Ambassador programme was held online via Zoom due to lockdown measures, so excitement is high for direct in-person events, being held at Migrant Voice’s new West Midlands office at the Zellig building in Digbeth.

Migrant Voice media facilitator Adam Ali said: “The programme aims to create conversations around media representation for migrant communities in the West Midlands and to highlight areas where more needs to be done.

“It’s not just about journalists writing about migrants to tick off a ‘diversity’ box, it’s about ensuring migrants are part of that representation, that their voices are included, their ideas and critiques are taken on board, that stories essentially about them don’t get published without them.

“What we do is empower migrants by helping them understand the inner workings of news media, by meeting journalists and editors and by pitching and following up stories about their communities. These are both stories about their journeys and struggles but also positive stories about issues important to their neighbourhoods.”

The sessions are set to continue in Birmingham throughout the remainder of the year, to help develop the confidence of trainees and create the next cohort of Migrant Ambassadors, ending with a celebration and the presentation of certificates for those who complete the programme.

Upcoming sessions are due to take place online and in-person at the Migrant Voice Birmingham office on the following dates:

Saturday 22nd October - 12pm-2pm

Saturday 5th November - 12pm-2pm

Saturday 19th November - 12pm-2pm

Saturday 10th December - 12pm-5pm

Participants must join the next session in order to complete this year’s programme.
For more information or to sign up to the Migrant Ambassador programme, please email [email protected].

new round of migrant ambassadors programme launched in the west midlands

Get in touch

Migrant Voice
VAI, 200a Pentonville Road,
N1 9JP

Phone: +44 (0) 207 832 5824
Email: [email protected]

Registered Charity
Number: 1142963 (England and Wales); SC050970 (Scotland)

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