A coffee house meeting was organized in Ravenna (Italy) at Fondazione ENGIM Emilia- Romagna on 29th October 2021. In order to demonstrate that the Municipality of Ravenna has a particular attention to young people and especially to those who can have problems of inclusion due to their nationality, religion, the colour of their skin, or other, the municipality decided to organize this second local event in a class of students attending ENGIM Institute.

A short explanation of ENGIM: it is a National Giuseppini of Murialdo Organization, that operates in Italy and abroad in the field of professional training and international cooperation. The structure, in step with the times, strengthens the social impact of its actions and pays attention to the person and approaching the business world with an innovative approach that can be a reference of a consolidated social vocation for a rethinking of Third Sector in a modern key.

Ravenna: coffee house meeting with young people to discuss social inclusion

In order to involve the students, Ravenna-Teatro, in accordance with Ravenna Municipality, invited Alessandro Berti who is an artist and stage director. In recent years Berti has been confronted with important and controversial issues of social discourse: the perception of race, the importance and limits of the concept of cultural appropriation, the dynamics of sexual desire in relation to diversity, racial and otherwise, the repressions and imaginary constructions that prevent a non-prejudicial look.

The discussion was animated through two interactive activities: students were invited to answer some questions about sex linked to racism and the connection between theatre and inclusion. After a short introduction of VALID project to the class and NON SCUOLA theatre Mr. Berti started to talk about his work in the theatre and the reasons for which it is important to reflect on some stereotypes so common in our society even if we talk of solidarity and inclusion. Real topics we face to everyday and that’s why young people have to discuss on these questions and find new ways to cooperate and stimulate dialogue among different cultures.

At the beginning students were very shy and ashamed, but at the end they started to talk and tried to explain their opinions. Some of students come from other countries and one of them is Muslim; they started to talk about the problems of socialization they had arriving in Ravenna and the discussion went on considering the different kind of racism and their personal experiences.

School and theatre together with Local Administrations and citizens can have a big and important role in promoting inclusive actions to strengthen social inclusion and intercultural dialogue… and what is better than a coffee meeting with students to do that?