Over twenty five LGBTQI young people have gather for the Conference on Ethnic Identities: “Bring Everyone In”, organised by IGLYO and COC Netherlands in Amsterdam, and funded by the European Youth Foundation. Day one of the conference started us listening to touching stories of going through hardships to reach the light at the end of the tunnel. This commonly used phrase actually became one of the first messages that participants heard, and it brought a focus on the past, as well as on a better future.
Even though it is only the first day, participants have already spoke about being collectively responsible for transmitting the learnings of the conference further on to people who are not able to be present and for self-organising to be able to stay in touch after the end of the conference. After that, the group went into introductory sessions which laid a baseline understanding of frequent terms, concepts, and introduced some controversial topics that revolve around the theme of combating racism and ethnic discrimination. The day was concluded by a guest speaking about their personal experience of being discriminated and bullied by people from two different cultures, while belonging to both and being completely accepted by neither; participants went off in smaller groups and tried to find answers to questions on how racism and ethnic discrimination are experienced in different parts of the world. This was the end of Day 1 and we are all looking forward to starting a new day of sharing, learning, discovering and working together to bring everyone in