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REACT

No awareness – no progress

To tackle the social exclusion of Europe’s largest minority requires an understanding of the problems REACT: Responsibility Empowerment Activism Citizenship TransparencyRoma face and the dedication to solve them. And it requires both a sense of urgency to act and a perspective of concrete opportunities for progress. Roma and non-Roma share the responsibility to create this awareness and translate it into results.

With this campaign, developed between October and December 2011, ERGO Network (European Roma Grassroots Organizations Network) and its members have contributed to a common effort reaching out to citizens – Roma and non-Roma – media, and governments to commit to making Europe an qeual place for Roma.

REACT – ERGO Network’s campaign was conducted primarily in 4 countries: Albania, Bulgaria, Romania and Italy and additionally addressed European decision makers. The objectives of the campaign aimed to:

• Challenge and change negative attitudes towards Roma
• Enhance political will to realize concrete improvements

The REACT campaign was supported by the European Commission as part of the pilot project on Roma Inclusion methods. ERGO has closely monitored the campaign progress and outcomes in order to determine effective, replicable and evidence based campaign approaches.

 

The REACT campaign conducted by Policy Center for Roma and Minorities (PCRM) in Romania and Italy

The REACT campaign conducted by PCRM aimed to challenge negative attitudes towards Roma in Romania and Italy. In a context of persistent anti-Gypsyism in both countries, PCRM used a combination of channels, messages and partnerships to reach a general public and address the negative understanding many people have over Roma issues. Center stage was the harsh environment of the ghetto area in Ferentari, Bucharest, which is dominated by extreme poverty, criminality, violence and lack of opportunities. Through a documentary, accompanying video clips and public actions, an image of life in the ghetto reached a broad audience.

Campaign activities around sports events addressed the perception of Roma among a wider audience. They promoted the message of “racism-free sports” and involved sports celebrities and federations. PCRM encouraged clubs, associations and other stake-holders to carry the message further. In Italy, PCRM developed a partnership with Unione Italia Sport per Tutti (UISP) and cooperated in the organization of the Mondiali Antirazzisti and Vivicitta events in 2011, both of which were focused on anti-Gypsyism.