Humanity in Action Fellowship in Paris: 2015 Agenda

The 2015 Humanity in Action Fellowship in Paris brings together a group of 22 university students and recent graduates from France, Greece and the United States to explore historic and contemporary human rights issues linked to diversity in France. The highly interdisciplinary program concludes with the Humanity in Action International Conference “Gateway to Justice: The Hague”, in The Hague, Netherlands, bringing together more than 250 participants from all over Europe and the United States.

May 29

American and Greek Fellows arrive in Paris and go to their host families.

May 30

The Humanity in Action Fellows get to know each other and the team. Humanity in Action France staff introduces the program and provides practical information about life in Paris. An innovative guided tour of selected areas of the city center introduces the Fellows to parts of the extensive histories of Paris and French diversity. To mark the opening of the Fellowship together with host families, Senior Fellows and members of the board of directors of Humanity in Action France, this day culminates in an evening reception.

Getting to Know Paris

  • "Paris at glance: a diverse-city tour"

Welcome to Humanity in Action 

  • Lunch and Welcoming Address by Humanity in Action France 

Debriefing from the morning tour 

Introduction to the program’s principles and values

  • Kaoutar Abousmir, Humanity in Action France National Director

Introduction to the Program Logistics and Practicalities

  • Martine Alonso Marquis, Humanity in Acton France Program Coordinator

Getting to Know Each Other: Introduction Game 

  • Edi Ebiefung, Humanity in Action Senior Fellow 2014

Welcome and Program Opening Reception

with Summer Fellows, Senior Fellows and host families 

  • Address by Elsa Jacquemin, Director of Institut des Cultures d’Islam
  • Welcome by Ignacio Peticollot, HIA France Board Member

May 31

After the Fellows reach consensus on the common rules for the coming weeks, this day outlines the theoretical frameworks that will serve as reference points throughout the program. They will also start exploring concepts with prominent experts in the field of history and minorities and discover the history of France’s diversity through the streets of the capital. On a tour through the African quarter of Paris, the Fellows see the vestiges of its colonial past and understand its ramifications on the social dynamics of present-day France society.

“Intercultural Competence: Creating a Safe Space”

  • Noufel Bouzeboudja, writer and journalist 

Agreeing on Ground Rules for Discussions and Debriefing Sessions

Group work and establishment of the Fellowship Charta

  • Martine Alonso Marquis, HIA France Program Coordinator 

“France, the United States, and their Revolutionary Heritage”

  • Anne-Lorraine Bujon, Editorial Director for the program on law and globalization at the Institut des Hautes Études sur la Justice

“The Concept of Minority"

  • Pap Ndiaye, historian and lecturer at EHESS

Guided visit of the Goutte d’Or neighbourhood 

  • Original tour by Kévi Donat

June 1 

French culture is enriched by many origins and traditions, rooted in history: regional cultures, overseas territories, cultural interactions inherited from European history and from colonization, from the French-speaking cultural area, etc. The first days of the programs are designed for the Fellows to reflect on essential concepts and historical developments affecting current trends.

"Race versus Place? Comparing Affirmative Action Policies in the United States and France” 

  • Daniel Sabbagh, Senior Research Fellow at Sciences Po-CERI/CNRS

“Urban police violence and institutional discrimination in France and the United States”

  • Sophie Body-Gendrot, Professor of Political Science and American studies at the Sorbonne and Director of the Center for Urban Studies

Documentary Film: “The Steps to Liberty” 

Debriefing and discussion with the fellows 

  • Moderated by Martine Alonso Marquis and Noufel Bouzeboudja

Perspectives and insights on French Overseas Territories

  • Isis Labeau-Caberia, Humanity in Action Senior Fellow from Outre-Mer 

June 2 

The Fellows will take a closer look at one of the major debates of French cultural policy, which concerns the recognition of cultural minorities, national or foreign, present on its territory. 

"Equal opportunities for the French Overseas youth"

  • Sophie Elizéon, Interministerial Delegate for France Overseas

“D’ailleurs et d’ici: Pulling Minority Voices into French History"

  • Marc Cheb Sun, journalist and editor

Visit and presentation of Génériques, 

  • Sarah Clément, General Delegate at Génériques

“France’s history of immigration in the 20th Century"

  • Louisa Zanoun, historian, head of research and cultural affairs at Génériques 

"Shining Hopes Behind the Shadows" 

  • Fun and original musical in Paris, at Télécom ParisTech! Performances 

June 3 

The Fellows develop their self-reflection about cultural shapings and their understanding of the dynamics of racisms that impact our societies today. On a tour through the Chinese Quarter of Paris, the Fellows encounter a different aspect of the dynamics of diversity of France society.

"Jeunes de Quartier - Neighbourhood Youth, a Political Identity?”

  • Tara Dickman, Community organizer, trainer & strategy consultant   

“The 1983 Anti-Racist March: Thirty Years on"

  • Toumi Djaïdja, Activist and Leader of the Anti-Racist movement 

"Memories of Slavery and Colonialism in Postcolonial France”

  • Françoise Vergès, Historian  

Guided visit of “Black Paris, the Pioneers of the Rive Gauche"

  • Original tour by Kévi Donat

Discussion and debriefing at Comptoir Général 

June 4

Diversity is not an official category of public policy in France. Therefore, the Fellows will encounter two types of policies dealing more or less explicitly with inequalities and aim at promoting equality between citizens or neighbourhoods.  On the one hand, The Cité nationale de l'histoire de l'immigration (national centre of the history of immigration), opened in 2007 in Paris, is the only national museum dedicated to the history and cultures of immigration in France. The Fellows will then examine why France’s urban planning is questioned. 

Guided visit of the Cité Nationale de l’Histoire de l’Immigration

“Understanding Paris’s relations to its periphery” 

  • Bocar Niane, Activist and Humanity in Action Senior Fellow 
  • Slimane Tirera, Director of NewVO Radio 

Presentation and visit of the European Grassroots Antiracist Movement 

  • Benjamin Abtan, Board Member of EGAM  

June 5  

Concern about the place and visibility of Islam in the secular French democracy has stimulated action by the public authorities to counter discrimination. In the next two days, the Fellows will discuss the combination of informal and formal mechanisms that have emerged in France to prevent discrimination, on one hand, and promote integration on the other hand, will be of keen interest, not least of all to other Member States across Europe.

“Political participation of youth from minority groups"

  • Karim Bouhassoun, Advisor to President of Franche-Comté Region

“History of Anti-Racist Movements in France from 1980 to today”

  • Rokhaya Diallo, Founder and former president of Les Indivisibles 

Fellows Discussion 

  • Moderated by Martine Alonso Marquis and Edi Ebiefung

Decrypting a concept "Islamophobia, what’s in a name?”

  • Ijtihad Lefèvre, Activist, Secretary General of HIA Network France

“Voices behind the Veil”

  • Faïza Zarouala, Author and journalist at Bondy Blog 

“Blasphemy as Therapy for Freedom of Expression"

  • a Cartoonist’s Testimonial, by Z.

Debriefing and Discussion with the fellows 

  • Moderated by Martine Alonso Marquis and Kaoutar Abousmir

June 6

“Dealing with islamophobia today" Roundtable discussion

  • Ijtihad Lefèvre, Activist, Secretary General of Humanity in Action Network France 
  • Elsa Ray, Spokesperson, Collectif Contre l’Islamophobie en France 

Guided visit of the Great Paris Mosque 

Fellows Discussion around tea in the Salon of the Great Paris Mosque

  • Moderated by Kaoutar Abousmir 

June 7

No Program 

June 8

Today, the Fellows study another page of France’s colonial history through a topic that is often neglected in the context of memorialization. They also reflect on the increasing number of asylum seekers in Europe. 

“The Memory of the Algerian War"

  • Souad Belhaddad, journalist, writer and actress 

"An invisible visible minority? Asians in France"

  •  Rui Wang, Association des Jeunes Chinois de France 

“How is Europe treating its refugees?”

  • Hélène Soupios-David & Tiphaine Lefebvre,
  • HIA Senior Fellows and Representatives of France Terre d’Asile

“From Syria to Montpellier: Testimonials from Syrian refugees"

  • Alia Mrie & Sami Hawash

Fellows Discussion and Debriefing

  • Moderated by Martine Alonso Marquis and Edi Ebiefung

June 9

The Fellows will explore strategies to counter economic discrimination and social exclusion, through specific case studies. This day is another opportunity for the Fellows to meet local actors of La Goutte d’Or and to get inspiration for action. 

“Promoting diversity and inclusiveness in business: an example of French affirmative action” 

  • Benjamin Blavier, HIA France Board Member, Founder of Passeport Avenir

“Presentation of the Café Social and introduction to the challenges lived by aging migrants”

  • Association Ayyem Zamen  

“An example of local action: Access to health for African women in La Goutte d’Or”

  • Tiphaine Avrillon, social worker at URACA Center

“Intersectional Feminism”

  • Sihame Assbague, Activist, Consultant at StudioPraxis 

June 10

Why and how should the Shoah be "taught" in the 21st century?  Fellows will learn about the transmission of the memory and the lessons of the Shoah. Such issues are at the heart of the Memorial's mission, and of the work of the historians, researchers and educators who come together here to be a source of inspiration open to all, ready to welcome the new generations. The scene will be set for an afternoon workshop on contemporary antisemitism.

Guided visit of the Memorial de la Shoah

Fellows Discussion at the Memorial de la Shoah 

  • Moderated by Noufel Bouzeboudja and Kaoutar Abousmir

Lunch in LeMarais

"Evolution of antisemistism in France from 1945 until today" - Workshop and interactive discussion

  • Fabrice Teicher, President of the Association Passeurs de Mémoires

Debriefing and discussion with the fellows 

  • Moderated by Noufel Bouzeboudja and Kaoutar Abousmir 

June 11

This day is two-fold. First, The Fellows will be presented with the history of the Drancy camp, where 70 years after the start of the deportation of the Jews of France towards nazi extermination camps, the Shoah Memorial inaugurated at Drancy, a new space destined for the history and education of that period, opposite the Cité de la Muette. On the way back to the capital, the Fellows will discover the Indian quarter as part of Paris colorful history.

Guided visit of the Cité de la Muette, Drancy concentration camp

Guided tour of Paris' Little India 

  • Cultural tour with Poonam Chawla

June 12

The Fellows will reflect on “imagined borders”, sexuality, religion and prejudiced perceptions. They will then discover another neighborhood of Paris that has been marked by various waves of immigration. 

“How on Earth can you be Heterosexual"

  • Louis-Georges Tin, President of the CRAN

“Religious education in France” 

  • Marine Quenin, political scientist and founder of ENQUÊTE

Lunch in Belleville

Guided visit of Belleville “Immigration through the decades”

  • Original tour by Kévi Donat 

Debriefing and discussion with the fellows 

  • Moderated by Martine Alonso Marquis and Kaoutar Abousmir

A movie TBA seen from the perspective of a Roma

  • Mirabela Maragelu, Roma mediator and activist  

June 13 

Does interfaith dialogue work? How are our perceptions of the other shaped? The Fellows will discuss means of striving for peace, overcoming ignorance and indifference, and building bridges of understanding and compassion between adherents of different faiths and traditions.  

“Interfaith Dialogue in Europe today” Roundtable discussion

  • Thibaut Tekla, Dialogue Delegate at Coexister
  • Samia Hathroubi, Foundation for Ethnic Understanding 
  • Rafaël Tyszblat, European Mediation Institute 

“History of the Roma"

  • Saimir Mile, Rroma activist, Chair of “The Voice of Roma”

“Take the Roma out of your head and get to know the Roma in front of you”, Perception game

  • Mirabela Maragelu, Roma activist  

June 14

Spotlight on Greece, Presentations by Summer Fellows from Greece

Greece, like many other European countries, has seen the rise of populist parties and politicians who convey a strong and disconcerting anti-immigrant message. Populism is not a new phenomenon, nor is it necessarily linked to the political right or even constrained to politics at all. So what exactly is populism, why is it perceived as a threat to democracy and what are possible strategies to counter it? 

"The Impact of the Crisis: unemployment and other consequences"  

  • Odysseas Konstantinakos

"Seeking Refuge and Asylum: the Situation in Greece"

  • Sylvia Delapaschou

"Civic Engagement: the role of youth and NGOs in Greece"

  • Maria Adamopoulou

"Speaking about Greece: a European Crisis"

  • Kaoutar Abousmir, HIA France Director

"How to respond to hate speech in European political discourses"

  • Marley Morris, Author, Researcher at the Institute for Public Research

Debriefing and discussion with the fellows 

  • Moderated by Martine Alonso Marquis and Edi Ebiefung 

June 15 

From this day on, the sessions will continue the conversations on human rights related topics while the Fellows work individually and in small groups to develop their action project. During "group work on action projects", the Fellows learn how to maximize the impact of their future Action Project and explore how to effectively translate ideas into action.

“Racism and xenophobia in sports"

  • Patrick Mignon, Researcher at the INSEP 

"French football supporters and their links to right-wing extremism”

  • Nicolas Kissis Martov, Journalist at  

“Is football a natural vehicle of nationalism?”

  •  Loïc Trégourès, Researcher and journalist 

Community Organizing Workshop

  • Tara Dickman, Community organizer, trainer & strategy consultant  

Individual and Group work on action projects 

June 16

"Betzavta" is a Hebrew word and means “together”. The title of this method of learning democracy sets the program and philosophical background at the same time. Through a series of workshops containing an interactive task or activity followed by a reflection session afterwards, the goal of the day is for people to delve into their natural patterns and behaviors, while the reflection session afterwards gives an opportunity to reflect on that behavior.

“Democracy with Betzavta: Between the Personal and the Political"

  •  Tali Padan, Director of Mellem Education 

Continuation of the workshop 

Debriefing and discussion with the fellows 

  • Moderated by Martine Alonso Marquis and Kaoutar Abousmir 

June 17

What have diversity policies achieved in France? Are spatial peripheries necessarily marking social peripheries? The Fellows will have to reflect on the realities of the “suburbs” of Paris; discuss the role of the media today and deconstruct common perceptions on minorities.

“Diversity in the Workplace: 11 years on”

  • Soraya Khadir, HIA France Board member, Consultant in Diversity

Social Media Campaigning and Fundraising Workshop

  • Leila Haddouche, HIA Senior Fellow and Social Media Consultant 

“Media Representation of the French Banlieue”

  • Ladji Real, Actor and filmmaker 

 “Diversity in the French Media"

  • Florence Morice, Journalist   

 “Case study: the perception of Roma in the Paris metro"

Prejudice toward Rroma: what people do and what people say

  • A field experiment in Paris metro with Martin Aranguren, researcher at EHESS 

 “Economic discrimination against women and the Pink Tax"

  • Géraldine Franck & Sophie Janinet, Feminist Collective Georgette Sand

June 18

Visit and Presentation of Institut Montaigne, Think Thank 

The Fellows will get a first-hand expertise set with the Institut Montaigne, a French think tank aiming to promote both competitiveness and social cohesion and shape public policy by bringing together leaders from civil society, industry, university, and public administration, fostering independent thinking on policy matters and exploring ideas free from any economic or political preconceptions. The afternoon is then dedicated to the specific case of one vulnerable minority. 

“Economic discrimination, equal opportunities to employment and education”

  • Lucie Piolot et Hugo Micheron

“Transgender Migrants in France”

  • Giovanna from Acceptess-t 

Individual and Group Work on Action Projects with HIA France and Senior Fellow network 

June 19th

Action Projects at a Glance, Presentations by Senior Fellows 

All Fellows are required to implement an Action Project within one year after completion of the Fellowship program, projects may differ significantly in their thematic scope, size, number of people involved etc. The Fellows are therefore provided with examples of Action Projects successfully conducted. In the evening, the Fellows meet with Dr Judith Goldstein, the Founder and Executive Director of Humanity in Action. Through a conversation with her, the Fellows have the opportunity to discover more about the origins and aims of Humanity in Action.

“Training Package for Allophone Families”

  • Barbara Joannon, Project & Advocacy Officer at Forum réfugiés

“Sistas Club” for proactive young females 

  • Yolande Libène, Founder of the Sistas Club

“The Diversity Volcano" 

  • Tonia Asimakopoulou, HIA Senior Fellow from Greece

Hold-Up on Actions Projects Financing

  • Emmanuel Birba, "gangster" at
  • Christian Vanizette, Founder of 

Meeting with Humanity in Action’s Founder - Dr. Judith Goldstein

  • Moderated by Edi Ebiefung, Program Intern    

June 20

Joint Program with Diplomacy and Diversity Fellowship 

The Diplomacy and Diversity Fellowship is a transatlantic educational program from Humanity in Action offering students the chance to explore the changing international dynamics of diplomacy and diversity. On this occasion, the Fellows will be provided with an extensive workshop on networking skills and discover the diplomatic side of diversity.

Individual and Group work on action projects

Workshop on Advanced Networking

  • Martine Alonso Marquis, Director of the Pat Cox Fellowship
  • Amy Hong, Policy Analyst, Development Centre, Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development

Senior Fellow Panel Discussion: Engaging with the Humanity in Action Community

  • Tiphaine Lefebvre (Project Coordinator, France Terre d’Asile)
  • Nabil Berbour (Co-founder, Studio Praxis)
  • Maryna Soula (Senior Fellow, Humanity in Action)
  • Presider: Ignacio Petitcollot (International Development Manager)  

Guided visit of Institut du Monde Arabe

Debriefing and discussion with the fellows 

  • Moderated by Martine Alonso Marquis and Kaoutar Abousmir 

June 21

Ahead of their meeting with Algerian-Canadian documentary filmmaker Nadia Zouaoui, Fellows watch a significant piece of her work that has been rewarded internationally. The rest of the day is dedicated to the development and building of individual action projects. The afternoon gives space for sharing personal experiences about action projects and to make room for more brainstorming about turning initial ideas into actions.

Movie Time: “Nadia’s Journey" 

  • A movie by Nadia Zouaoui, Journalist and documentary film maker

Group discussion with the fellows: Developing Action Projects

  • Moderated by Martine Alonso Marquis and Kaoutar Abousmir

Individual and Group work on action projects

Fellows then have the chance to refine their project pitches and to prepare their project presentations.

Celebrating World Music day (Optional program)

June 22

Fellows meet with Journalist and Filmmaker Nadia Zouaoui to discuss her work and the movie they have watched the day before and then exchange views on the particular issue affecting equality of chances in relation with France overseas territories. The afternoon is dedicated to preparing the Humanity in Action International Conference, focusing mainly on international justice and mass atrocities.   

“Nadia’s Journey” and violence against women 

  • Discussion with filmmaker Nadia Zouaoui

“Equality of chances and access to employment and education for youth in French Oversea Territories”

  • Prof. Eustase Janky, Conseil économique, social et environnemental 

"Judging Crimes Against Humanity, Historical and Legal Aspects"

  • Workshop with Fabrice Teicher, President of Association Passeurs de Mémoires

“Have war crimes tribunals helped to prevent mass atrocities?”

  • Chuck Sudetic, Writer and journalist (via Skype) 

June 23

All Fellows meet to present and receive feedback on the development of their Action Projects. 

  • Presentation of Action Projects followed by exchange of views
  • Lunch
  • Fellows present Action Projects followed by exchange of views
  • Debriefing and wrap up

June 24

  • Fellows present Action Projects followed by exchange of views
  • Lunch
  • Evaluation of the Program
  • Hand in Project Plans
  • Visit of Roma camp Cooking & farewell activities

June 25 

  • General Meeting 
  • Departure for The Hague
  • Arrival in The Hague

June 25 to June 28 - Humanity in Action International Conference 

The Hague, The Netherlands

The Humanity in Action International Conference is the annual gathering of Humanity in Action Fellows, Senior Fellows, Board members, friends and partner organizations.

The 2015 International Conference, titled “Gateway to Justice: The Hague,” will investigate the city’s unique role to shaping international values and institutions. The Hague has become the epicenter of engagement in international issues, especially in regard to peace, justice and reconciliation.  


Back to Humanity in Action France