On February 12, 2021, the Sounding board meeting of the DG Justice funded project ENGAGE “Using contact interventions to promote engagement and mobilization for social change” took place online.
In 2021-2022 ENGAGE will examine the discrimination of Roma people in Europe building on the assumption that anti-Gypsyism and a hostile normative political context create obstacles to Roma inclusion and the social engagement of Roma and non-Roma people alike. The project’s aim is to address the issue of anti-Gypsyism and indifference among members of the non-Roma majority, to increase Roma activism and engagement, and to mobilize the non-Roma population as an ally for social change.
In this multi-method project, Hungarian, Slovak, and Spanish researchers will collaborate with NGOs, civil society representatives, and interested experts at national and European levels. We will develop common methodologies for innovative contact-based interventions to promote social engagement in both Roma and non-Roma, and an online, interactive toolkit for evaluating interventions from the perspective of fit with the normative context, prejudice reduction, and social mobilisation. While the main focus is on Hungary, Slovakia and Spain, ENGAGE maintains a European perspective in data collection and dissemination.
The aim of the sounding board meeting was to obtain feedback from policymakers and practitioners and to start the discussion about the best ways to communicate the project’s findings to stakeholders so that they can be reflected in anti-discrimination policy-making bith at national, and at the EU level. In addition to representatives of the research teams, the meeting was attended by representatives of civil society and national and European policymakers Anna Donáth (MEP, Hungary), Sara Olvera (Roma activist and equality and non-discrimination agent), Tibor Škrabský and Zuzana Havírová (Office of the Plenipotentiary of the Slovak Government for the Roma Communities), Cecília Horváth (Lauder Javne Secondary School), and Dávid Kardos (assistant to MEP, Hungary).
80% of the total project budget (312 842 EUR) will be funded by the EU. The grant number is 963122 – ENGAGE – REC-AG-2020/REC-RDIS-DISC-AG-2020. The project coordinator is Eötvös Loránd University (Budapest, Hungary) and other collaborators are UCCU Alapítvány (Budapest, Hungary), Institute for Research in Social Communication, Slovak Academy of Sciences (Bratislava, Slovakia) and Universidad de Almería (Almería, Spain).