With an impressive diversity of citizens, ideas, cultures, talents and identities, Brussels is a decidedly multicultural and heterogeneous metropolis.
Its dense population encompasses all social classes, with a significant inflow of persons from other countries or other regions in Belgium.
This migratory flow is increasing the population in Brussels while also making it younger and more diverse. Today, the population has individuals from over 170 different nationalities and contains a large proportion of young adults. This diversity represents a crucial asset to the dynamic and potential of our Region.
However, this reality also comes with a number of challenges in terms of social cohesion and equal opportunities.
Specifically, racism and discrimination based on “racial” criteria (such as nationality, skin colour, ancestry and national or ethnic origin) remain all too present (see the KEY FIGURES).
It is for this reason that equal.brussels, at the request of the State Secretary for Equal Opportunities, is conducting this communication campaign to encourage Brussels residents to voice their concerns and take action against racism. To take action as VICTIMS, but as also as WITNESSES! This website is designed to show you the concrete steps you can take against racism, regardless of the way in which you are involved.
The goal of this campaign is to engage citizens and raise their awareness regarding the generalisation principle upon which racism is built. That is, generalising one negative aspect and extrapolating it to a whole group.
Are generalisations absurd?
Everyone spontaneously simplifies and generalises, and thinking in terms of categories is in fact crucial if we want to give some order to the complexity of our thoughts. It is therefore human and necessary to go through this process in order to understand the world around us. Where an issue arises is when we create not only categories to classify our thoughts, but stereotypes as well. Stereotypes are persistent, unwavering and related to notions of power and ideology within a community.
What is unique to stereotypes is the unfair way in which groups or categories of people are considered homogeneous. Basically, we attribute certain behaviours or characteristics to all members of a given group, without taking individual differences into account. The use of stereotypes often results in a feeling of superiority or safety of one’s own group, which explains why they spread so quickly.
This is a complex phenomenon and there is no consensus on the best definition of this term. What we can safely say, at a minimum, is that racism has to do with a set of prejudices and discriminatory practices that are based on an ideology of inequality.
Reports addressed to Unia represent an important source of information for compiling statistics on racist behaviour.
Goods & services
Specific call for projects against racism – 21 March 2017
This call for projects was published on 21 March 2017 on the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. It was drafted on the initiative of Bianca Debaets, State Secretary of the Brussels-Capital Region responsible for Equal Opportunities. The central theme of this call for projects was combating racism and discrimination in the Brussels-Capital Region. Ten projects were selected (for a budget of approximately €100,000). The call for projects was open to proposals from associations wishing to organise an event on this theme between 20/11/2017 and 10/12/2018 (included).
Prévention harcèlement & cyber harcèlement
By: Respect Zone
Context: Bullying and cyber bulling prevention. Awareness-raising in school.
Human Rights Day
Two-day event in rue de la Braie, organised as a “symposium-festival-exchange-workshop-living together”.
Video game against racisme
By: ASBL Arts & Public
Date: 29/10/2017 – 03/11/2017
Where: Maison de la culture in Molenbeek
Context: Video games are also used to spread extremist ideas and recruit young people. The goal of this project: using a video game, get young people to spread messages of citizenry and pluralism.
International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
Issues & Perspectives
Context: Lisanga Forum