Humanity in Action Poland Receives Intercultural Achievement Award

September 8, 2015 – We are thrilled to share that Humanity in Action Poland has been awarded the 2015 "Intercultural Achievement Award" by the Austrian Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs. The Intercultural Achievement Award is given to the best and most innovative practices and projects that support the intercultural dialogue in the given country and at international level.

This year, hundreds of projects from over thirty countries across five categories entered into the competition. Humanity in Action Poland is the only organization from Poland and received the honor under the "Recent Events" category for their project "Inter@ction Zone Congress."

Pictured: Humanity in Action Poland staff with the Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sebastian Kurz.

The fellow awardees, hailing from Austria, Israel, Serbia and Uganda, were recongized for their work on some of today's most pressing issues; hate speech on the Internet, interreligious and intercultural dialogue, integration of migrants and socially engaged journalism. The ceremony was held on September 2, 2015 in Vienna at the famous "Porgy & Bess" Jazz Club. The event was attended by approximately 350 of the best and brightest in politics, diplomacy, culture, NGOs and the media.

Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs Sebastian Kurz and other prominent guests referred in their speeches to the migration crisis and called for greater joint efforts in finding solutions to this dramatic situation, but also to work towards the integration of newcomers. Whereas the representatives of the awarded organizations referring to their initiatives emphasized the importance of dialogue in finding an agreement between people of different cultures, religions and nationalities and presented successful examples in that field. As pointed out by the organizers, the choice of the ceremony’s venue was not accidental. Jazz symbolizes the non-conformism, openness to experimentation and creative use of diversity and multiculturalism, where improvisation is often better than passivity.

About Inter@ction Zone Congress

The Inter@ction Zone Congress took place from November 7-9, 2014 at the Museum of the History of Polish Jews Polin to order to mark both the International Day Against Fascism and Anti-Semitism and anniversary of Kristallnacht. This was done to highlight Kristallnacht as one of the most compelling historical examples how hate speech can turn into violence.

The conference was divided into three parts over the course of three days. The first part reflected upon the attitudes of the Polish society towards 'the other', meaning a member of different minorities types, as well as the reasons and roots of hate speech. The second day focused on hate speech and was analyzed from the perspectives of various disciplines such as psychology, sociology, law, linguistics, history, political and media sciences. Moreover, the participants could also learn about the perspective of the most vulnerable groups such as migrants, women, youth, Jews, Roma, LGBTQ and religious minorities. The third and final day of the Congress was dedicated to the prevention of possible forms of hate speech and mobilizing the participants to develop various tools to counteract hate speech.  

Thanks to the Congress, 200 participants from all over Poland achieved a set of tangible results: six ideas for social campaigns, cleaned on- and off-line space from hateful comments (1700 instances of hate speech and five fanpages were reported), created twenty types of graphic designs for linen shopping bags with anti-hate messages, designed several lessons scenarios, wrote and performed one unique anti-hate speech hip hop song, prepared one scenario of anti-hate happening, and developed strategies of responses to hate speech using drama method. These tools, developed by young people for young people, helped to promote culture of re-action to human rights violations as well as pro-active attitudes and behaviors.

For more information on the program, please click here (in Polish).  

About Humanity in Action Poland

Humanity in Action Poland stands for active civil society. Therefore, it encourages young people to develop their skills and knowledge needed in actions for human rights, and inspire them to take an effective and creative actions in favor of groups vulnerable to discrimination.
 
Humanity in Action Poland supports young people to become socially oriented leaders in different environments and areas of public life, especially within the activists networks in Poland and Ukraine. 

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