Berlin Agenda

May 27

Evening Reception

To mark the beginning of this month together, the Fellowship program begins with an Evening Reception in Berlin-Prenzlauer Berg. Fellows, Senior Fellows and Members of the Board of Directors of Humanity in Action get together for an evening of getting to know each other over food and drinks. 

  • Evening Reception with Cornelia Schmalz-Jacobsen (Honorary Chair of Humanity in Action Germany), Board Members, Senior Fellows, Fellows 

May 28

Welcome to Humanity in Action

The Fellows get to know each other and the team. The staff introduces the program and provides practical information about life in Berlin. At the end of this day, the Fellows reach consensus on their own rules for discussions and interactions in the coming weeks. 

  • Welcome to Humanity in Action and Sharing Expectations with Johannes Lukas Gartner (Program Coordinator) and Luisa Maria Schweizer (Program Director) 
  • Introduction to the Program and Practical Information 
  • Getting to Know Each Other 
  • Personal Experience: Bring an Object 
  • Agreeing on Ground Rules for Discussions  and Debriefing Sessions
  • Wrap Up 

May 29

Without Papers

The Fellows embark on a guided tour that is organized by Grenzgänger Berlin e.V. The tour seeks to give insights into the day-to-day life circumstances of undocumented migrants living in Berlin. It explores their daily struggles in matters such as access to education, healthcare, and living space from various different angles. 

  • Guided Tour: Without Papers with Alexander Mattern (Guide, Grenzgänger Berlin e.V.) 

May 30

Diversity Training 

In a peer-based and cross-medial training the Fellows learn about various forms of inequalities, group-focused hostility, and discrimination. The training deepens the Fellows’ understanding of different phenomena of everyday discrimination and assists them in developing strategies to constructively handle these. The training seeks to support the Fellows in reflecting on the current state of the discourse on ‘diversity’ in Germany and offers core reflections on efficient dialogue in educational settings. 

  • Diversity Training (I.) with Lorenz Narku Laing (Peer Diversity Trainer; Chairman, Schwarze Jugend in Deutschland e.V.; Member of the Board of Directors, Humanity in Action Germany; Humanity in Action Senior Fellow)  
  • Diversity Training (II.) with Lorenz Narku Laing 

Only in case of good weather: 

  • Travel together to Tempelhofer Feld (former airfield)
  • Networking Picnic with the Fellows of The DO School 

May 31

Culture of Remembrance

Until 1945, more than 200,000 people from all over Europe were imprisoned at Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp, built by the SS in 1936. Tens of thousands died of hunger and diseases as a result of forced labor or systematic extermination. From 1945 to 1950, the Soviet Union used the site as a labor camp. Over a decade later, in 1961, the German Democratic Republic (i.e. East Germany, 1949-1990) founded the Sachsenhausen National Memorial. The Fellows today examine the histories connected to this place, particularly the Holocaust, and the persecution of minority groups and political opponents under National Socialism. The Fellows will connect these histories to the present and reflect on their impressions. There will also be the opportunity to share knowledge on and experiences with the remembrance culture in their own countries.

  • Overview of Fellows' Expectations with Dr. Russell Alt-Haaker (PhD Graduate of Washington University in St. Louis)
  • Guided Tour: Memorial and Museum Sachsenhausen with Dr. Russell Alt-Haaker 
  • Debriefing with Dr. Russell Alt-Haaker 
  • Travel back to Berlin

June 1

Origins and Mechanisms of Discrimination | Social Entrepreneurship for Inclusion

This day outlines two essential theoretical frameworks that may serve as reference points throughout the rest of the program: social-psychological origins and mechanisms of discrimination as well as the concept of group-focused hostility. These theories are not the only approaches to explaining discrimination, but they provide a useful perspective on the range of real-life phenomena that Fellows will discuss with experts, representatives of different minority groups and NGO activists over the course of the Fellowship. 

In the afternoon, the Fellows learn about creative ways to ensure inclusion and accessibility. Last but not least, our Fellows from Poland present their views on the current situation of human and minority rights in their home country. 

  • Introduction to the Day
  • Social-Psychological Mechanisms of Discrimination with Anna Stefaniak (PhD Candidate, University of Warsaw, Humanity in Action Senior Fellow)
  • The Concept of Group-Focused Hostility with Simone Rafael (Editor-in-Chief, Netz-gegen-Nazis.de, Amadeu Antonio Foundation)
  • Case Study: Social Heroes – For Inclusion and Accessibility with Silke Georgi (International Affairs and Fundraising, Sozialhelden e.V.)
  • Spotlight Session Poland: New Government, New Human Rights? 
  • Revisiting Ground Rules for Discussions and Debriefing Sessions  
  • Fellows Discussion 
  • Wrap Up

June 2

Forced Labor – Past and Present

Today, the Fellows examine forced labor during the Nazi era before discussing examples of labor exploitation today. The former labor camp Berlin-Schöneweide, the last well-preserved labor camp in Germany, illustrates the historical organization of labor exploitation by the Nazis. A visit to the Foundation “Remembrance, Responsibility and Future” (EVZ) gives insights into the ways Germany has dealt with its history of forced labor. Lastly, contemporary forms of labor exploitation and human trafficking are addressed alongside a presentation of innovative campaign methods against these phenomena. 

  • Guided Tour: Documentation Center Forced Labor
  • Travel together to Berlin-Mitte
  • The Foundation Remembrance, Responsibility and Future – History and Present Projects with Martin Bock (Program Manager, Foundation Remembrance, Responsibility and Future) and Christa Meyer (Program Manager, Foundation Remembrance, Responsibility and Future)
  • Travel together to Berlin-Prenzlauer Berg 
  • Forced Labor in Germany Today with Paula Riedemann (Project Coordinator, Ban Ying Coordination and Counseling Center) 
  • Fellows Discussion Over Dinner 
  • Wrap Up

June 3

Post-War History and Questions of Identity | Introduction to the Action Project Phase

Today, the Fellows engage with history of post-war Germany at the remains of the Berlin Wall. This memorial site provides a historical lens into the border regime and the Cold War. In the afternoon, the Fellows’ attention is drawn to the ACTION part in Humanity in Action. While all Fellows are required to implement an Action Project within one year after completion of the Fellowship program, the projects may differ significantly in their thematic scope, size, methodology, and number of people involved. The Fellows are provided with examples of Action Projects conducted in the past. The afternoon also gives space for sharing personal project experiences and for brainstorming initial ideas for their future projects. Returning to post-war history, this day culminates in an analysis of the trajectory of Germany’s quest for identity and a look at the ramifications of certain historical developments on German national consciousness and identity.

  • Guided Tour: Memorial Site Berlin Wall with Miriamne Fields (Tour Guide)
  • Travel together to Berlin-Prenzlauer Berg
  • Introduction to the Action Project Phase
  • Working Groups: Share Personal Experience with Project Implementation
  • Share Findings with the Group
  • What are Humanity in Action’s Expectations? 
  • Brainstorming: Action Project Ideas  
  • Germany and Its Quest for Identity with Gülay Gün (Project Manager, Hamburg Museum of Work; Humanity in Action Senior Fellow)
  • Wrap Up

June 4

Translating Knowledge, Skills, and Passion into Action

This afternoon, our Fellows from Bosnia and Herzegovina present their views on collective memory processes and reconciliation in their home country. Afterwards, the Fellows get their first external input on how to maximize the impact of their future Action Project. The Fellows learn to effectively translate their ideas into action.  

  • Spotlight Session Bosnia and Herzegovina: Remembrance and Reconciliation 
  • Rock Your Idea – Bringing Ideas into Action with Martin Gaedt (CEO, Provotainment GmbH)

Optional

  • Interventions – Refugees in Arts & Education - Evening of performances

June 5

Day Off

June 6

Contemporary Art of the Roma and Sinti | Antigypsyism | Germany’s Colonial Past

Today starts with a trip to Kai Dikhas, a gallery exclusively dedicated to exhibiting art of contemporary Roma and Sinti artists from across the globe. In continuation, the Fellows learn about current forms of expression of antigypsyism in the German media, focusing largely on Sinti and Roma, two minority groups whose persecution under National Socialism has continuously been neglected in the public discourse and who remain among the most marginalized communities in Europe. In the afternoon, the Fellows dive into the colonial history of Germany, a topic that is also frequently neglected in the context of memorialization. First, the Fellows embark on a tour through the African Quarter in the district of Berlin-Wedding, where they may see the vestiges of Germany’s colonial past. After the tour, the Fellows learn about the ramifications of the colonial past on the social dynamics of present-day German society. 

  • Gallery Tour: Kai Dikhas with Jobst Moritz Pankok (Founder and Artistic Director, Galerie Kai Dikhas)
  • Antigypsyism in the German Media with Markus End (Lecturer, University of Hildesheim)
  • Travel together to Berlin-Wedding 
  • Walking Tour: Germany and its Colonial Past with Joshua Kwesi Aikins (Political Scientist, Kassel University) 
  • Travel together to Berlin-Mitte 
  • Coloniality and Institutional Racism with Joshua Kwesi Aikins
  • Fellows Discussion 
  • Wrap Up 

June 7

Insights into the Educational System | Berlin’s Memorial Landscape 

The Founder of Humanity in Action, Judy Goldstein, joins the Fellows this morning for a conversation about the origins and aims of the organization. Afterwards, the Fellows learn about the challenges and advantages of history lessons in multi-diverse school classes. They meet representatives of Quinoa, a transformational secondary school start-up for disadvantaged youth in Berlin. In the afternoon, the Fellows are taken on a tour to reflect on three memorial sites in the center of Berlin: the Memorial to the Sinti and Roma Victims of National Socialism, the Memorial to Homosexuals Persecuted Under Nazism, and the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe.

  • Meet Humanity in Action’s Founder – Dr. Judith Goldstein facilitated by Michael Williams (Program Intern)
  • Teaching German History in a Multiethnic Classroom Prof. Dr. Viola B. Georgi, Professor, Hildesheim University
  • Midterm Evaluation
  • Case Study: Quinoa – A Transformational Secondary School with Pantelis Pavlakidis (Head of Fundraising and Evaluation, Quinoa) and Judith Scheer (Head of Backoffice Management, Humanity in Action Senior Fellow)
  • Travel together to Memorial Area 
  • Guided Tour: Memorial to the Sinti and Roma Victims of National Socialism, Memorial to Homosexuals Persecuted Under Nazism, Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe with Anne Stalfort (Activist, TransInterQueer e.V.)  

June 8

Right-Wing Extremism and the NSU | Online Hate Speech | Migration as the New Normal 

Today starts with a visit to the German Bundestag, where the Fellows meet with a Member of Parliament to learn about her involvement in the working group ‘Strategies against Right-Wing Extremism’ and her position in the inquiry committee on the NSU (National Socialist Underground). After a Spotlight Session on the current situation of civil society in Ukraine, the Fellows meet with an expert on online hate speech. They learn about the nature of hate speech online and explore constructive counter-strategies. In the evening, the Fellows attend a public Humanity in Action lecture by a Polish intellectual and journalist, who shares his perspectives on the political and practical realities of what Europe today refers to as its ‘refugee crisis.’ 

  • Strategies Against Right-Wing Extremism and the Bundestag Inquiry Committee on the NSU with Susann Rüthrich (Member of Parliament, Social Democrats)
  • Travel to Berlin-Prenzlauer Berg
  • Spotlight Session Ukraine: The Current Situation of Civil Society 
  • Hands on Hate Speech with Johannes Baldauf (Project Coordinator no-nazi.net, Amadeu Antonio Foundation) 
  • Migration as the New Normal with Konstanty Gebert (Journalist; Special Advisor on International Affairs, Humanity in Action)

June 9

Seeking Refuge and Asylum in Europe

Humanity in Action runs parallel Fellowship programs. This day brings the Fellows from the Berlin Fellowship and the Diplomacy and Diversity Fellowship together. The Fellows take a closer look at the challenges that current migration realities pose. They discuss various responses from within society – from volunteering to hate speech, from ‘welcome culture’ to discrimination. 

  • Introduction to the Day with Antje Scheidler (International Director of European Programs, Humanity in Action) and Luisa Maria Schweizer (Program Director, Humanity in Action Germany)
  • Seeking Refuge and Asylum in Germany – Human Rights Violations Meet Counter Activities with Prof. Dr. Nivedita Prasad (Professor, Alice Salomon University of Applied Science) 
  • Realities of Newcomers and Refugees in Rural Areas - Between a Welcoming Culture and Racist Attacks with Konstanze Ameer (Project Director, Aktion Schutzschild, Amadeu Antonio Stiftung) 
  • Lunch at Restaurant Due Forni
  • Panel Discussion: Europe’s Refugee Crises: No Time for Easy Answers with Ramy Al-Asheq (Editor-in-Chief, ABWAB Newspaper), Maximilian Popp (Journalist, Der Spiegel), and Astrid Ziebarth (Migration Fellow, Europe Program, The German Marshall Fund of the United States) moderated by Linnea Riensberg (Member of the Board of Directors, Humanity in Action Germany; Humanity in Action Senior Fellow)
  • Group Discussion and Debriefing 
  • Wrap Up

June 10

Developing Project Ideas 

This morning, our Fellows from the United States share their insights on the ongoing race for President in the country. The rest of the day is dedicated to the development of project ideas. The Fellows define project goals, target groups, and methodologies. They start identifying the necessary resources for their projects. Through a combination of individual planning, collaborative brainstorming, feedback, and presentations in the plenary, the group works together to support each other in their project development. In the evening, the Fellows are invited to join a vernissage at Galerie Kai Dikhas.

  • Spotlight Sessions United States: Perspectives on the Presidential Elections 
  • Individual Work on Action Projects
  • Share Project Ideas with the Group
  • Working Groups: Feedback on Project Ideas
  • Ongoing Professional Opportunities within Humanity in Action: The Lantos-Humanity in Action Congressional Fellowship in the United States Congress and the Pat Cox-Humanity in Action Fellowship in the European Parliament Anne Aulinger (Humanity in Action Senior Fellow) 

Optional

  • Vernissage at Kai Dikhas by the Artist David Weiß 

June 11

How to Pitch a Project | Organizing Volunteer Teams

Today a professional presentation coach joins the Fellows. The coach will share her knowledge and tips about how to effectively pitch projects. The day closes with input on how to maximize the impact of the Fellow’s future Action Project. The Fellows learn about how to create and manage functioning teams of volunteers.

  • How to Pitch a Project? with Mona Shair-Wloch (Coach and Trainer, Key2Advance)
  • Develop Your Project Pitch with Mona Shair-Wloch
  • Test the Pitch with the Group & Feedback by the Group with Mona Shair-Wloch
  • Input on Project Management – How to Organize Volunteer Teams? with Henry Alt-Haaker (Program Officer, Robert Bosch Stiftung; Member of the Board of Directors, Humanity in Action Germany; Humanity in Action Senior Fellow)

June 12

Day Off 

June 13

Jewish History and Jewish Life in Germany Today | How to Gain Action Project Support

This morning, the Fellows have the option of joining one of two guided tours through the Jewish Museum of Berlin, which was opened in 2001 and which continues to represent one of the largest of its kind worldwide. One of the tours focuses on the commonalities of the three monotheistic world religions Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The other tour examines the responses of German Jews to National Socialism. The day proceeds with a presentation on Jewish life in Germany today and how it has been shaped by immigration. 

In the evening, the Fellows turn their attention to the development of their Action Projects, learning about fundraising strategies to engage financial supporters in their endeavors.

  • Guided Tours: Judaism, Christianity and Islam: A Cultural Historical Comparison or The Jewish Response to National Socialism
  • Individual Tour of the Jewish Museum
  • Jewish Life in Germany Today: A Community’s Changing Face Through Immigration with Boris Moshkovits (Digital Strategy and Communication Consultant)
  • From No-Budget to Low-Budget: How to Engage Financial Supporters With Your Action Project with Anne Stalfort (Fundraiser, arbeiterkind.de)
  • Fellows Discussion 
  • Wrap Up

June 14

Interreligious Dialogue | The Representation of Islam in the German Media

In order to understand how the past has shaped the status quo of the religious landscapes in Germany, this day starts with meeting a theologist, who provides the Fellows with an overview of historical and recent developments in this context. Later this morning, the Fellows examine the representation of Islam in the German media. After Lunch, the Fellows meet with a Reverend of The House of One, the world's first planned house of prayer for three religions and with two interreligious activists who speak about the coalitions and challenges they encounter in their work of fostering Jewish-Muslim encounters in Berlin.

  • From Past to Presence: Religious Landscapes of Germany with Prof. Dr. Andreas Feldtkeller (Professor, Faculty of Theology, Humboldt University Berlin)
  • The Representation of Islam in the German Media with Dr. Sabine Schiffer (Head, Institute for Media Responsibility)
  • House of One: Three Religions Under One Roof with Eric Haußmann (Reverend, The House of One)  
  • Jewish-Muslim Encounters: Coalitions and Challenges with Ozan Keskinkılıç (Activist) and Armin Langer (Co-Founder and Coordinator, Salaam-Shalom Initiative) 
  • Fellows Discussion
  • Wrap Up   

June 15 to June 20 

Individual and Group Work on Action Projects 

Tasks for the Action Period include:

  • IMPORTANCE: Get in touch with your designated target group and check if the project idea addresses real needs.
  • FEASIBILITY CHECK: Determine the scope of your project, its timing, the financial resources needed and its time requirements, and potential partners. 
  • FIND YOUR ALLIES: Who could be potential collaborators during the implementation of the project?
  • INSPIRATION: Find related projects and get inspired. 
  • LITERATURE: Review literature on your project topic. 
  • TEAM UP: Team up with other Fellows and discuss the ideas. 
  • PROJECT PLAN: Include the feedback and suggestions from other Fellows and modify the project plan accordingly.

June 15

Queer Realities in Germany | Action Project Day

This morning is dedicated to discussing contemporary queer life in Germany. The Fellows first meet with a Syrian journalist, blogger, and activist, who joins them for a discussion about the challenges that the German asylum system poses to queer refugees and vice versa. Following on from this, the Fellows meet with a representative of Germany’s largest non-profit LGBTQI rights organization to examine recent developments in queer activism and policy in the country. After these two morning meetings, the Fellows work on their Action Projects.

  • Queer Asylum in Germany: Perspectives on Challenging Realities and Changing Activism with Mahmoud Hassino (Journalist; Social Worker at Schwulenberatung Berlin)
  • Status Quo and Perspectives on German LGB Advocacy and Policies with Markus Ulrich (Press Spokesperson, Lesbian and Gay Federation in Germany (LSVD))
  • Individual and Group Work on Action Projects  

June 16

Artivism | Action Project Day | Connecting Newcomers and Locals 

This morning, the Fellows meet with the spokesperson of the Center for Political Beauty to learn about their politically motivated performance art and to discuss their aims and current campaigns. In the afternoon, the Fellows get to find out about the work of SINGA Deutschland, an organization which connects newcomers, often unexpectedly coming to Germany as refugees, and locals by creating opportunities for them to participate in and co-create projects and activities together. In between these sessions, the Fellows continue their Action Project work.

  • Performance Art – Through the Eyes of the Center for Political Beauty 
  • Yasser Almaamoun (Spokesperson and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Center for Political Beauty) 
  • Individual and Group Work on Action Projects  
  • SINGA Deutschland – Connecting Newcomers and Locals Sima Gatea (Co-Founder, SINGA Deutschland)  

June 17

Action Project Day | (Mis)Representations of Women

The morning period of today is again dedicated to working on the Action Projects. In the afternoon, the Fellows hear about the sexual assaults that took place in Cologne on New Years Eve of this year, focusing on those perspectives that go beyond the conventional headlines that have covered this issue. The Fellows then meet with the editor of a renowned feminist magazine to talk about how women are depicted in the German media.

  • Individual and Group Work on Action Projects  
  • Perspectives on the Reactions to Cologne with Behshid Najafi (Executive Director, agisra e.V.)
  • Depicting Women in the Media with Hengameh Yaghoobifarah (Editor, Missy Magazine)
  • Feedback on Individual and Group Work on Action Projects 
  • Fellows Discussion
  • Wrap Up  

June 18

Reimagine Belonging | Action Project Day

This morning, the Fellows meet for breakfast with a Humanity in Action Senior Fellow, who will present the educational documentary film project ‘with WINGS and ROOTS.’ After this meeting, the Fellows work on their Action Projects. In the evening, they are cordially invited to join an Iftar fast-breaking summer party organized by ‘Über den Tellerrand kochen,’ a powerful civil society initiative seeking to create ‘new togetherness among refugees and locals.’

  • Brownbag Breakfast: Reimagine Belonging – with WINGS and ROOTS with Isabel Schröer (Community Engagement Team Member, with WINGS and ROOTS; Humanity in Action Senior Fellow)
  • Individual and Group Work on Action Projects   

Optional

  • Iftar summer party with refugees and locals, organized by Über den Tellerrand kochen

June 19

Day Off

June 20

Finalize Action Project Plan

Today starts with the last spotlight session in the Fellowship program. The Greek Fellows share their perspectives on the societal consequences of the economic crisis and the austerity measures in Greece. The Fellows then have the chance to refine their project pitches and to prepare their project presentations for the following day’s farewell reception. Lastly, time is dedicated for the Fellows to reflect on the whole experience of the Fellowship and gather feedback beyond the written and oral evaluations of the program that have taken place throughout the Fellowship.     

  • Spotlight Session Greece: The Societal Consequences of Economic Policymaking
  • Refine Pitches and Prepare Project Presentation 
  • Final Evaluation of the Program 
  • Wrap Up  

June 21

Hand in Action Project Plans | Farewell Reception 

By noon of today, the Fellows are required to submit their Action Project plans via an online form. In the afternoon, Fellows, Senior Fellows, host families and board members are invited to a Farewell Reception.  

Farewell Remarks by Dr. Dirk Schmalenbach (Chairman of Humanity in Action Germany) and Luisa Maria Schweizer (Program Director, Humanity in Action Germany)

  • Project Pitches by the Fellows 

June 22

Departure for Greece

The Fellows travel together to Athens, Greece where the 2016 Humanity in Action International Conference takes place.

June 23 to June 26

Humanity in Action International Conference in Athens

The conference starts in the afternoon of June 23. Prior to the start of the conference, the Fellows may enjoy the morning off in Athens. For a detailed conference schedule, please check the conference program. 

Sunday, June 26

Departure for Germany