Vision statement

Photo by Sofia Yala N’Lolo – licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

We envision the 2021 conference of the Afroeuropeans Network, “Intersectional Challenges in Afroeuropean Communities,” in Brussels as an academic, activist, and intellectual space centering Blackness in Europe—including, but not limited to, Black identity, Black art, Black politics and Black struggle. We wish to articulate a clear framework specifying our values and vision for this conference.

This is a conference for, by, and with Afroeuropeans[1]
  • with the contribution of their allies;
  • in dialogue with other marginalised groups.

As conference organisers, we also wish to centre the following:

  • intersectionality, in terms of both the content and structure of the conference. We affirm the importance of understanding the multidimensionality of identity and the intersections between ‘race’, ethnicity and other identity markers;
  • solidarity, in terms of connecting with each other and supporting each other’s struggles;    
  • self-awareness, in terms of participants reflecting on their epistemological positions;
  • sustainability, in terms of the resources we all use in relation to the conference and beyond. 

As conference organisers, we outline the following guidelines for interaction and communication:

  • Respect the boundaries of other conference participants.
  • Do not make assumptions about how people may or may not self-identify.
  • Contest ideas, and not people. We envision this conference as a space for constructive dialogue and disagreement, and not for personal attacks.
  • Accept constructive criticism. We are all a work in progress.
  • Remember to listen. Everything is not about you!
  • Recognise that allyship requires work.
  • Be considerate of others’ labour, be it emotional, mental, physical, or otherwise.

[1]On terminology: We understand Afroeuropeans or Black Europeans as referring to people of African descent living in Europe, “black people born or raised in Europe or with an EU citizenship” (ENAR European Network Against Racism. 2013. General Policy Paper on People of African Descent and Black Europeans, p. 8), and people racialised as black in Europe. We equally subscribe to the definition of the UN Working group on people of African descent: ‘People of African descent may be defined as descendants of the African victims of the trans-Atlantic slave trade, (…) Africans and their descendants who, after their countries’ independence, emigrated to or went to work in Europe, Canada and the Middle East (UN Working Group on People of African Descent. Identification and Definition of People of African Descent and How Racial Discrimination Against them is Manifested in Various Regions, E/CN.4/2003/WG.20/WP.3.)