National Integration Conference to take place in Galway next week

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galway daily news immigrant council ireland

The Immigrant Council of Ireland’s National Integration Conference will take place over three days next week, with the final day taking place in NUI Galway on Thursday 13 May.

The third National Integration Conference is open to the public, free of charge and those interested in joining any conference sessions must register in advance on the Immigrant Council website.

The conference will together a range of voices, including migrant experts, activists, and allies.

Among those featured in the line-up for the Galway event, are Meath County Councillor Yemi Adenuga, and Esther Osayimwen, a Migrant Support Worker with the Galway City Partnership Bridge Project.

25-year-old teacher Victory Ike, An Post’s first black employee in the West Kola Oworu, and Manager of social enterprise Bounceback Recyling Martin Ward are also in the line-up for the event.

Held annually, the event features a range of authoritative perspectives on migration and integration, to help promote effective migrant integration and inclusion in Ireland.

Tuesday’s session will take place at the Morrison Hotel, Dublin and the Wednesday session will be fully online.

Commenting in advance of the Conference, Teresa Buczkowska, Integration Manager with the Immigrant Council of Ireland, said that the main aim of the Integration Conference is to provide a platform for migrant and refugee voices to lead the conversation on migrant and refugee inclusion in Ireland.

“It is also an important opportunity for migrants, leaders from migrant rights organisations, and people working in the diversity and inclusion space to come together and share their experiences and insights, so that we can learn from one and other, and work towards building a more diverse and inclusive society in Ireland.”

She said that it is great to be able to host the event in-person this year again, so that people have the opportunity to meet and form those important connections.

“We’re also delighted to be hosting one of the days of the Conference in Galway.

“This is a first for the Immigrant Council – but we feel it’s important that we ensure our work spans across Ireland, and reaches migrants in all corners of the country.

“Our theme for this year’s Conference is ‘coalition building’ – and it is a topic that is particularly pertinent today, in the context of diverse minority communities coming to Ireland seeking a safer and better quality of life.

“Having a unified, joined up approach across civil society organisations, key stakeholders and government is vital if refugees in Ireland are to be given access to the services and supports they need – and that includes refugees from all countries.

“When we work together, we are stronger and can reach far more people, with far greater impact. I look forward to exploring the ways in which we can work towards achieving change together, over the course of the Conference next week.”

Speaker Line-up

Speakers confirmed for the Conference include:

  • Roderic O’Gorman TD, Minister for Children, Disabilities, Equality and Integration;
  • Senator Eileen Flynn;
  • Ines Khai, Guadeloupean singer/songwriter;
  • Lucky Khambule, South African former asylum seeker and activist, and co-founder of the Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland;
  • Shamim Malekmian, Immigration reporter for the Dublin Inquirer;
  • Cllr Uremu Adejimni, Mayor of Longford and member of Longford County Council;
  • Dr. Lucy Michael, member of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission, Fingal Together;
  • Dr. Salome Mbugua, researcher, gender equality activist and human rights advocate, founder of AkiDwA;
  • Rosemary Kunene, CEO, Dignity Partnership;
  • Dr Suha Shakkour, Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, Arts Council Ireland;
  • Islamiyah Saudique Kadejo, CEO of GOCOM Radio;
  • Cllr Yemi Adenuga, Meath County Council;
  • Laura McDermott, Boston Scientific;
  • Kola Oworu, An Post;
  • Victory Ike, Secondary School Teacher;
  • Martin Ward, Bounceback Recycling;
  • Megan Maria Browne Ayers, Connemara Wool.

Programme of Events

The Conference will focus on migration and integration best practices, cultural identity, local integration, and coalition building. Some of the panel discussions and key-note speeches taking place over the course of three-day Conference include:

Tuesday, 10th May

  • 10am – 10.50am: Keynote speech: Sister Stanislaus Kennedy, Founder, Immigrant Council of Ireland.
  • 10.55am – 11.55am: Panel discussion on ‘Coalition Building for Equality’.
  • 2.30pm – 3pm: In conversation: with Lucky Khambule from Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland (MASI) and Shamim Malekmian from Dublin Inquirer.
  • 3pm – 4pm: Panel discussions on ‘Local Integration’.

Wednesday, 11th May

  • 10.15am – 10.30am: Keynote speech: Salome Mbugua, Akidwa.
  • 10.30am – 11.30am: Panel discussion on ‘The Power of Migrant Women’.
  • 2pm – 3pm: Panel discussion on ‘Beyond Migrant Art’. 

Thursday, 12th May

  • 10.30am – 11.30am: Interview: Islamiyah Saudique Ayaba-Kadejo, CEO of GoCom Media, the premier ethnic minority interest and multilingual community Radio in Ireland and Cllr. Yemi Adenuga.
  • 11.30am – 12.30pm: Panel discussion on: ‘Trailblazers – Innovative migrants who are walking the path so that others may follow’.
  • 14.00 – 15.00: Panel discussion on: ‘Business barriers & breakthroughs’.

The full programme with details of speakers and conference sessions can be accessed here.