From ordinary racism to institutional racism @Fall University Liège


1st December

From ordinary racism to institutional racism: How can we better identify and stop the spiral of exclusion?

Today’s voluntary sector is faced with new challenges in the area of racism.

We are no longer just faced with the unfortunately well-known realities (prejudice, hostility, discrimination, injustice, exclusion, etc.) but also with aggravating trends that can be observed in all spheres of society:

These include: the denunciation and criminalisation of anti-racist groups, police violence ranging from face checks to arbitrary arrests and the repression of social solidarity movements, the trivialisation of extreme right-wing ideas, conspiracy theories and fake news, etc.

It is true that so-called integration policies now permeate the whole of society through the policies of associations, trade unions, schools, the FOREM and the CPAS: positive discrimination in employment, integration courses, citizenship courses, inclusion strategies, multicultural events, etc.

These practices are not insignificant, but they are not free of paternalism or assimilationism and sometimes produce the opposite effect to what they advocate.

On the other hand, new forms of action are emerging, such as the social movement Black Lives Matter, decolonial initiatives based on statues, folklore, historical or fictional narratives and the march of privilege: these must also be debated.

The aim of our university is, on the basis of first-hand accounts and researcher analysis, to track the dynamics of contemporary racism by promoting relevant strategies for emancipation.

Join us to take part in this vital debate! Register now for our autumn university on the fight against racism!

Focus on the Culture :

Finally, we will be investigating the presence of racism in culture. Since culture reflects the mentality of the time, it is a special sphere in which to reflect how a society lives. That’s why we feel it’s necessary to reflect critically on what is all too often taken for granted. This is also true of our voluntary work: are we really working to empower our audience or are we unknowingly working to assimilate them?

How does the school, caught between its duty to work critically and to acquire the values, habits and customs of society, deal with other cultures? Is it not aware of the risk of becoming a veritable assimilation machine? What is the responsibility of the media when they systematically include the origin of a foreigner in news stories? Does the voluntary sector itself, with its practices and methods, really try to avoid paternalism or exclusion? Where do we stand with our folklore and its colonial heritage? What impact might the statements of certain political parties have on public debate? What kind of slippage can we see when sport holds the hand of a certain nationalism? Or when, on the other hand, it is presented as an ideal of integration and the fight against racism?