Director Hatem Ben Mansour and deputy director Mari Linløkken visited the Institute of Race Relations in London on a on 7 February. Rhe visit was arranged to keep in touch with one of the Centre’s oldest international partners, and to draw inspiration and experience from the IRR’s 50th anniversary in 2022 for the Norwegian Center against Racism’s 40th anniversary this year.
Hatem Ben Mansour
Hatem Ben Mansour
The Institute of Race Relations in London is an anti-racist think tank, and the institute’s reports and the journal “Race & Class” were a major source of inspiration for the Antiracist Centre, right from the start of our predecessor, the journal Immigranten. The centre’s first leader, Khalid Salimi, had close contact with the IRR’s long-standing leader and one of Britain’s greatest anti-racist thinkers, A Sivanandan “Siva”, the organizations have the same political out-spring, and have followed each other over the years, sometimes in close cooperation. It was therefore important that deputy director Mari Linløkken introduced director Hatem Ben Mansour to her contacts in IRR, director Liz Fekete and the board’s deputy chair Frances Webber, while at the same time being given the opportunity to get to know the younger generation at the Institute.
In the strategy period until 2025, the Norwegian Center against Racism will build a larger international network. We see that the challenges are essentially the same globally, although the degree of severity and scope may vary. With the development towards a greater degree of influencing opportunities for civil society in international institutions such as the UN and the EU, networks and cooperation become internationally important, and the Institute of Race Relations, with its regular publications and investigations of various issues within racism and anti-racism throughout Europe, is a very important partner in this work.
Last year the Institute of Race Relations marked 50 years as an anti-racist think tank, while the Norwegian Center against Racism in October marks 40 years since the IMMIGRANTEN-kollektivet decided to create a center and started the Norwegian Center against Racism from 1 January 1984. We therefore also wanted to draw inspiration from our anniversary celebration during the visit. Over the years, the Center has had from cooperation with IRR. The British debate around anti-racism has often been several years ahead of the Norwegian and Scandinavian, and is still a few years ahead in many areas. In addition, Great Britain is quite unique in Europe with its statistics also on ethnicity. Contact and collaboration with the IRR is therefore important for the Norwegian Center against Racism in order to learn from experiences gained in Great Britain, among other things when it comes to minority health and discrimination or abuse by the police and the criminal justice system. In other areas, the conversation has progressed further in Norway, and it was very exciting to share experiences about both organizational work and politics.
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