Democracy and participation, Communities



Who is behind this?

Johny Pitts


United Kingdom

Idea Sketch | Proposal


Idea pitch

It's almost 100 years since the birth of the Harlem Renaissance, which brought together and empowered black communities from across the diaspora. In researching this period we discovered its success was due to the connection & conviviality of formerly dispossessed people. Using Afropean as a hub, we'll create a Harlem Renaissance in Europe for the 21st century by producing an interactive online map of black European artists, organisations & professionals, to promote engagement & networking.

Why does Europe need your idea?

The Second EU Minorities & Discrimination Survey revealed 90% of immigrant communities don't know their equality bodies. Our map will not only connect communities with local orgs, but like-minded communities. Giving them agency will challenge the rise of far right racism on an electoral level.

What is your impact?

A successful outcome would be the strengthening of links amongst black diaspora communities who feel 'of and not of' Europe, and their engagement with EU wide issues as a group. 3/4 black people voted 'remain' during Brexit, but the turn out was low. We want to change how black communities function.

How do you get there?

We'll use the information and networks we already have - nearly 10'000 subscribers - to create the foundation of this interactive map, and we'll then put a call out for contributions to valuable resources and integrate that information. The goal will ultimately be to make the map user-generated, organic and evolving, with suggestions uploaded if they pass our vetting process. Nothing, to our knowledge, currently exists that brings this information together in such a user friendly & visual way.

What is your story?

As somebody born black & European, I have constantly tried to occupy a territory that embraces both positions as non mutually exclusive. The lack of information about the black European diaspora has meant I, like many others, initially had to look to America for inspiration. I want that to change.

Who are you doing it for?

We would do this firstly for ordinary black European citizens, and secondly for organisations working toward social inclusion. Finally we are doing this for the well being of Europe, so that democracy better reflects ALL of Europe's demographics.

What do you need from the Advocate Europe community?

I would love to know how effective people think our idea could be in influencing policy, and how we might get exposure within NGOs as well as governmental circles. How should our map look and what information should we give precedence to?




Nat Illumine

Idea created on Jan. 15, 2018
Last edit on May 22, 2018