How do we make ALL IN possible? What is inclusive youth work? What does intersectionality mean and where does it fit within this framework?
Those were the questions that we tried to answer with the group of youth leaders and youth workers during the local training in Sofia in the end of January.
At the intersections
A central point within the discussion of inclusion took the intersectional approach. Intersectionality was the buzzword of the training. Some had heard of it in advance, others had a vague idea about it, for most it was a completely new concept. We did our best to explain and visualise the concept. Intersectionality is centred around the concept that different social categories (race, socio-economic status, gender, etc.) intersect in a way that creates new ,unique, interrelaterd systems of discrimination and oppression. It also raised the questions around identities, power and how even with our best intentions in mind we are not even aware of who we are leaving out of the conversation and our work. The discussions around power, identities and privilege also opened the space for reflection in what ways they affect our day-to-day practice.
Bringing everyone IN
Since the participants came from diverse background from working with different marginalised groups (LGBTI youth, women, Roma youth, refugees) we had a space to have an in depth analysis on issues surrounding gender, sexuality, asylum seekers, Roma people. Making sure that we have the understanding of each of these aspects was key when trying to think of ways to create an inclusive environment for ALL. The discussion surrounding the accessibility of the physical spaces where we work was essential for our understanding of how youth work and the general social context interplay.
The environment of the training provided for an indepth discussions and raised the issues of the scope of our role as youth workers, brought closer people working in different fields of youth work and allowed us to put the intersectional lenses.
We are happy that we had the opportunity to inspire the participants to work inclusively, to show them that they can think from another perspective in order to build a more accessible and more beautiful world.