Warsaw Agenda

May 28

Opening of the 2016 Fellowship: WELCOME! Let’s Get to Know Each Other

This day is conceived as a smooth transition of all participants into the program: those fellows who arrived the day before will, first of all, have an opportunity to adapt to a new environment in Warsaw, to reenergize after the travel and to get to know each other informally. The aims of the day are to get to know each other and to familiarize with the nearest environment. In the morning the fellows will have a chance to get to know each other in a program setting by sharing personal experiences in human rights work. The last program element is a guided walking? tour through Warsaw in order to explore especially how history of Warsaw is interconnected with Polish history and what are the links between past and present.

  • Introduction by Przemysław Iwanek & Jarmiła Rybicka, HIA Poland 
  • Who is Who?
  • Bring an Object - Who are we as Human Rights Activists?
  • (In)Visible History and Vibrant Present in the Streets of Warsaw
  • Guided tour through Warsaw, part 1 with Adrian Grycuk, guide
  • Free time and informal networking  

May 29

Let’s Get to Know the Fellowship 

The second program day is devoted to exploring the program in a more detailed way, to clarifying the expectations and to agreeing upon the ‘rules of the game’. It consists of 3 sessions. In the first session will take a form of a short introduction to the program by the HIA staff and a discussion on expectations. In the second session the group will discuss and agree upon rules/obligations during the program in form of a contract. Additionally, the staff will provide some practical information about the stay in Warsaw (transportation, health, safety, etc.).The third program element is the second part of the guided walk tour through Warsaw, this time in the Praga district which will give some ideas on how ethnic/religious diversity in Poland might have looked like in the past.

  • Introduction by Przemysław Iwanek & Jarmiła Rybicka, HIA Poland
  • Let’s Talk about the Fellowship 
  • Let’s Talk about You in the Fellowship
  • (In)Visible History and Vibrant Present in the Streets of Warsaw
  • Guided tour through Warsaw, part 2 Adrian Grycuk, guide
  • Free time and informal networking
  • Welcome Dinner and Get-Together 

May 30

Solidarity, Resistance and Democracy

The day starts with a debriefing session after a guided walking tour through Warsaw’s streets. Then, content-wise the day is dedicated to exploring the phenomenon of the Solidarity social movement, its leaders, values and methods of resistance, and current legacy. Why this movement was so successful and influential not only for Poland but also for other parts of Europe? What are the universal lessons learned which are relevant nowadays and what are the actions that could be critiqued especially from today’s perspective? Which good practices could be inspirational for other countries or which could be seen as troublesome (and why)? From this point of departure we will examine the current situation in Poland through the lenses of current constitutional crisis, as well as through the perspective of human rights challenges seen from the office of Polish Commissioner for Human Rights. During the day there will be also a session led by HIA Poland staff presenting HIA Poland’s contribution to pre-empting prejudices and the promotion of human rights ideals/culture through its activities/initiatives.

  • Introduction by Przemysław Iwanek & Jarmiła Rybicka, HIA PolandMenora
  • 'Warsaw-Book’ – Sharing Impressions from the Guided Tour through Warsaw – Fellows’ Discussion
  • S/solidarity & its Limits with Konstanty Gebert, journalist and activist
  • Democracy in Danger? - the Constitutional Crisis with Katarzyna Śmieszek, Committee for the Defence of Democracy 
  • Fellows‘ Discussion
  • Pre-empting Prejudice: Raising Awareness and Instigating Change by HIA Network & HIA Poland
  • Summary & Closing
  • Poland and Human Rights: the Big Picture with Adam Bodnar, PhD, Commissioner for Human Rights  

May 31

From Hate to Extermination: Genocide Step by Step 

Notwithstanding, in the context of the project the fellows will firstly have the chance to deepen the historical knowledge on the WWII as well as the Holocaust that was carried out by Nazi Germany on Polish territory. The historical realities of those times will be reanimated with the help of a documentary film on the Warsaw Ghetto. A film screening and site visit to Treblinka will lead to discussions on the relevance and legacy of the Holocaust as well as on linkages with other genocides and possible actions to prevent genocides. Secondly, the day is also thought out as an opportunity to commemorate the victims as well as an opportunity for personal reflection on this chapter of history and its relevance today.

  • Introduction by Przemysław Iwanek & Jarmiła Rybicka
  • Seeing is Believing – “The Warsaw Ghetto 1940-1943”, Jewish Historical Institute documentary movie
  • Sharing Impressions, facilitated by Tomasz Cebulski, PhD, guide, historian and political scientist
  • Travel to Museum of Armed Struggle and Martyrology in Treblinka by bus
  • Never Again? The Legacy of the Holocaust guided by Tomasz Cebulski, PhD
  • Fellows’ Discussion, facilitated by Tomasz Cebulski, PhD
  • Travel to Warsaw by bus 

June 1

Significant ‘Others’: Poles & Jews

This day will be a journey through 1000 years of the history of Polish Jews – from the Middle Ages until today. Fellows will try to find answers to questions such as: how did Jews come to Poland? How did Poland become the center of the Jewish Diaspora and the home of the largest Jewish community in the world? How did it cease to be one, and how is Jewish life being revived? In contrast to Western Europe, after the WWII Poland turned from a very diverse country into a more homogenous one due to the war, the Holocaust and the communist policy to eradicate any form of social difference. As diversity was a challenge even before the WWII (the Second Polish Republic was a state struggling with consequences of diversity), communist propaganda managed to brain-wash many Poles that the newly ‘introduced’ homogeneity was not only good, but also one of the successes in this part of the world. After over 45 years of living in a communist/socialist freezer with very limited freedom of speech, Polish society is facing several challenges resulting from a more visible and growing diversity.  

  • Museum of the History of Polish Jews: Inside Out with Professor Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, Museum of the History of Polish Jews Polin
  • Sightseeing: the Core Exhibition, Museum of the History of Polish Jews Polin
  • Past & Present Faces of Anti-Semitism in Poland with Anna Zielińska, Jewish Community in Warsaw and Daniel Słomka, HIA Senior Fellow
  • Fellows’ Discussion
  • Individual sightseeing of the Core Exhibition

June 2

Roman Catholic Church, Transformation, Construction of the “Other” with Prejudices & Stereotypes

The day will help fellows to explore what is the role of the Roman-Catholic Church in the Polish history and today. In the past the Church often served as a sort of real and symbolic asylum/shelter for the dissidents. During Socialism people who disagreed with the uniform Communist Party-line organized the Solidarity movement, while the Church tried to galvanize the society together against the common enemy – the ruling regime. As much as it enabled to exercise some sort of freedom (personal, artistic and the like) and mobilizing resistance, it looked for ways of strengthening ‘Polishness’ and being together on particular terms. After 1989 the situation has deeply changed and the Roman Catholic Church needs to ‘compete’ on the free ‘market’ of diverse ideas. The second focus of this day concerns the system transformation after 1989 and the shaping of the so-called Third Polish Republic. This transformation was an impetus for the democratic system to be (re)installed as well as for the market economy to dominate on a macro level. At the same time, on a micro level of an average family it meant first of all a radical change: it was a new social order with new rules. As certain groups could not cope with new challenges, transformation also generated marginalization and exclusion, and caused socio-economic divides within the society.

  • Introduction by Przemysław Iwanek & Jarmiła Rybicka, HIA PolandMenora
  • The Roman Catholic Church in Poland: Transformation, Power and Women with Zuzanna Radzik, Tygodnik Powszechny
  • Poland’s Socio-economic Transformation – a Success or a Failure? with Tomasz Janyst, Fundacja Kaleckiego
  • Output Phase: Why, What, When and How? with HIA Poland Staff
  • Prejudices & Stereotypes vs. Hate Speech: What Leads to What? with Mikołaj Winiewski, PhD, Center for Research of Prejudice, Warsaw University
  • Fellows’ Discussion
  • Summary & Closing 

June 3

Poland Now – Other ‘Others’

With reference to the previous days, the fellows will continue exploring the nuances of the Polish democracy and civic society especially  by focusing on challenges with the presence of migrants. After over 44 years of living in a communist/socialist ‘freezer’ with a very limited freedom of speech, Polish society is facing various difficulties that have been caused by a growing diversity. Opening borders after 1989 made Poles to question the prevalent notion of country’s homogeneity due to several factors such as: the influx of migrants into the country; (re)discovering diversity within the country exemplified by Poland-based national and ethnic minorities; the possibility to freely travel and cross borders again. The fellows will explore what are the key challenges with integration and inclusion of newcomers as well as will learn some good practices developed by selected NGOs. At the end of the day, a much wider perspective will be discussed, which refers to regional and global implications of migration and other types of crises affecting Poland and other European countries.

  • Introduction by Przemysław Iwanek & Jarmiła Rybicka, HIA Poland
  • Racism in Poland  with Jacek Purski, Institute for Social Safety
  • Migrants as Aliens? Challenges of Integration and Inclusion, Agnieszka Kosowicz, Polish Migration Forum 
  • Living on the Margin? Roma in Poland with Olimpia Świst, Nomada Association
  • The “World in Focus”: Future Conflicts: Trade, Finance and Migration as ‘Weapons’ of the 21st Century with Edwin Bendyk, Polityka, Mark Leonard, European Council on Foreign Relations, Agnieszka Lichnerowicz¸ TOK FM Radio journalist and Prof. Witold Orłowski, chief economist of PwC Poland 

June 4

Fellowship and Beyond

  • Introduction by Przemysław Iwanek & Jarmiła Rybicka, HIA PolandMenora
  • Fellows’ Discussion
  • Action Project & Output Phase, part 1
  • The Fellowship so Far: Sharing Impressions 
  • The “World in Focus” Continued
  • “Islamistan”: Islamic Radicalism and the Future of Multicultural Societies in Europe with Claude Guibal, French journalist, reporter and author of books and Agata Skowron-Nalborczyk, PhD, Co-chairman of the Joint Council of Catholics and Muslims, member of the editorial staff of “Sociology of Religion” magazine
  • Toast for Freedom
  • Networking with Senior Fellows

June 5

Day off

June 6

Other ”Others” in the Polish Context: LGBTQ and Women

We will begin this day with a reflection about from what perspective do we see the world and where are we in a social structure. We believe that acknowledging how we ourselves are involved in existing power structure will enable us to become more sensitive, mindful and efficient activists. Second aim of the day is to explore the process of forging the new social order and its consequences on two case studies: LGBTQ and women. These will be presented by representatives of an NGO as well as informal social initiative groups, which will share their approaches towards and experiences with human rights violations (especially hate speech) and good practices in responding to them. 

  • Introduction by Przemysław Iwanek & Jarmiła Rybicka, HIA PolandPM
  • From what Perspective Do We See the World? with Dominika Cieślikowska, trainer
  • Do We Have the Voice to Speak Up against Discrimination of Women? with Sylwia Wodzińska, Senior Fellow of Warsaw Program 2014 and Founder of #MamyGłos initiative
  • LGBTQ Community – the Movement, the Rights, the Equality with Marta Turska, Piotr Godzisz, Lambda Association
  • Fellows’ Discussion
  • Summary & Closing 

June 7

Introduction to Community Organizing, Part 1

Participants will take part in the training on how to raise awareness on human and minority rights with a special focus on community organizing using social campaigns and various kinds of social action. We will be introduced to Saul Alinsky’s community organizing model through the analysis of a successful civil rights campaign in France.

Second part of the training will be dedicated to the method of ‘owning your story’. 

  • Introduction by Przemysław Iwanek & Jarmiła Rybicka, HIA Poland
  • Introduction by Tara Dickman
  • Going from Horizontal to Vertical: an Introduction to Community - Tara Dickman
  • Going Vertical: Workshop 1 - Tara Dickman
  • Owning Your Story - Tara Dickman
  • The One on One - Tara Dickman
  • Conclusions

June 8

Introduction to Community Organizing, Part 2 

The overall goal of the day is to get to know how to develop and implement social or advocacy campaigns on social media. Participants will be asked to reach out and research problems and needs of selected groups facing discrimination within the society and to develop innovative strategies for counteracting these human rights infringements. We will gain basics of how to build good press relations, from framing a message to making it attractive to journalists.  

  • Feedback and Questions
  • Going Vertical: Workshop 2, Tara Dickman
  • Steps towards Good PR - Tara Dickman
  • Media Training - Tara Dickman
  • Conclusions 

June 9

Warsaw – a City of Grassroots Activities & Social Change (with help of Social Media) 

Systemic transformation had its enormous impact on perspectives of and prospects for the young generation. Although the collapse of communism brought freedom and market-driven economy, many young people, and not only them, are concerned about the Polish democracy in the making and liberal economic revolution, which took place straight after 1989 and reshaped social structures from the very bottom to the top. The recent emergence of the so-called ‘city movements’ proves that the current make-up of the political scene should not be taken for granted. When it comes to addressing social and economic issues at the local level, these new voices and actors have reinvigorated the public discourse. Additionally, the social change advocated in this context has increasingly been instigated by the means of social media, which are thriving and reshaping how we communicate.

  • Introduction by Przemysław Iwanek & Jarmiła Rybicka, HIA Poland
  • Challenges for Modern Cities with Jan Śpiewak, MJN – The City is Ours, HIA Senior Fellow (New York Fellowship Program 2008), Kuba Grzegorczyk, Warsaw Tenant Association and Marta Żakowska, Res Publica
  • Hate in Poland: How to Monitor it and Counteract it?
  • Case Study: HejtStop with Miłosz Hodun, PhD, HejtStop initiative
  • Social Change! Internet and Social Media! with Alexey Sidorenko, social activist
  • Fellows’ discussion 

June 10

Research – Work with Community Organizations

Fellows will engage in some direct actions and community work in cooperation with one of the following NGOs: Foundation Ocalenie, Aim High Initiative, Forum for Dialogue and Foundation for Freedom. We will take part in activities close to the interests of communities involved. With hindsight of last two weeks fellows will be able to get more from their activities. We believe that this grass-roots experience and discussions with communities will allow fellows to come up with thoughtful strategies for addressing refugee crisis, xenophobia, discrimination, rise of the extreme via means of social campaigns. Campaigns run in cooperation with experts from the field and communities might have a considerable potential for igniting sparks of social change, and equip fellows with new attitudes.

  • Introduction by Przemysław Iwanek & Jarmiła Rybicka, HIA PolandMenora
  • Group preparations 
  • Meeting and working with community organizations, part 1 featuring Ocalenie Foundation, Aim High, Forum for Dialogue, For Freedom Foundation 

June 11

Training on Social and Advocacy Campaigns

The day is devoted to the skills’ training with the aim to explore how to create and develop interesting campaigns and how to get other people to care about them (discuss, share, critique etc.). By the end of the day fellows should have a draft brief of a campaign they will run. At this stage fellows can contact our graphic designers for further guidance if needed.

  • Social and Advocacy Campaigns in Action with Marek Dorobisz, Strategic Copywriter and Creative Director working for top Polish brands including: Onet.pl


  • Equality Parade 

June 12 

Day off

June 13 

Work with Community Organizations, Part 2 

During this day we will continue our cooperation with Ocalenie Foundation, Aim High, Forum for Dialogue and For Freedom Foundation. Fellows will contribute to NGO’s daily work as volunteers with specific frames and goals of a given project. At the same time they will get to know the community and share their ideas for social campaigns with them. It is highly recommended to make use of this time to create some content which later might be used for social campaigns. 

  • Work with community organizations: Ocalenie Foundation, Aim High, Forum for Dialogue, For Freedom Foundation

June 14

Social and Advocacy Campaigns 

Fellows will share with each other their results and the content they created so far.  

  • Introduction by Przemysław Iwanek & Jarmiła Rybicka, HIA Poland
  • Groups feedback part 1
  • Groups feedback part 2  

June 15

Social and Advocacy Campaigns

During this day fellows continue they work on their campaigns. HIA Staff will meet with each group on their request for feedback session.   

June 16

Reflecting on Further Actions

By this day fellows will have started their campaigns and published first content on-line or off-line. Additionally we will have a chance to talk with dr Judith Goldstein about HIA activities, vision and its contribution to human rights education. Fellows will present their Action Project ideas.

  • Introduction by Przemysław Iwanek & Jarmiła Rybicka, HIA Poland
  • Implementation
  • Run a Campaign! Starting with the first content on-line/off-line
  • Let’s Talk about HIA and Activism Beyond with Dr. Judith Goldstein, Founder and Executive Director, Humanity in Action
  • Action Projects: How to Link Output Phase with One’s Activism? Part 2
  • Fellows’ Discussion
  • Implementation 

June 17

Searching for Good Practices and Drafting Reports

During this day fellows continue they work on their campaigns. HIA Staff meet with each group on their request for feedback session.  

  • Introduction by Przemysław Iwanek & Jarmiła Rybicka, HIA PolandPOLIN
  • Implementation

June 18

Social and Advocacy Campaigns 

During this day fellows continue they work on their campaigns. HIA Staff meet with each group on their request for feedback session. 

  • Introduction and Announcements
  • Implementation
  • Lunch Break
  • Informal Networking with Diplomacy & Diversity Fellows 

June 19

Day off

June 20 

The fellows are requested to work on their final presentations in the Pecha Kucha format, which will introduce the public into their work and findings/results. 

June 21

Presenting Campaign Results

This day is meant as a celebration of the whole fellowship as well as show-time. The fellows should do their best to share their findings and ideas with others in an interesting and engaging manner. It will be also a time for collective brain-storming/feedback on how to make the already existing ideas more effective and interesting. 

  • Welcome & Introduction with HIA Poland staff
  • Hate Speech and Discrimination in Poland with keynote speaker Prof. Monika Płatek, TBC
  • Presentations, Session 1
  • Presentations, Session 2
  • Groups 5 to 8
  • Q&A
  • Summary & Closing
  • Farewell Dinner

June 22

Closing of the Warsaw-based 2016 Fellowship

The aim of the meeting is to share impressions after the whole experience, exchange some ideas for improvement of the program for the future as well as to fill in a feedback questionnaire. Finally, the details regarding  the travel to International Conference will be discussed. 

  • Group Travel to the Conference by plane
  • Sharing Impressions, Evaluation & Closing Remarks

June 23-26

Seventh Annual Humanity in Action International Conference in Athens