On the resilience of diverse communities in times of crisis: ALDA at an EMEN webinar

Jun 16, 2020


In the framework of the third annual event of the EMEN (European Migrants Entrepreneurship Network) project, the EMEN Consortium has been hosting a series of webinars with the common theme of “Unlocking diversity” on each Monday of June.

With a focus on the noteworthy added value that diversity brings to our societies, each webinar in the series analyses the way that diversity specifically contributes to the development of new businesses and to the better inclusion and integration of vulnerable groups into society and cities – in line with the engagement of the EMEN Consortium in creating an effective ecosystem at the EU level in support of migrant entrepreneurs through the setting up of three Communities of Practice, i.e. coaching and mentoring; access to finance; and professionalisation of migrant entrepreneurs’ associations.

On Monday, June 15th, in particular, the second webinar was held with ALDA’s participation on the topic of “Resilience of diverse cities and communities in times of crisis“.

The session produced an insightful discussion on the crucial role of local authorities in facing the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic on their territories, as well as in keeping up with related challenges like the reduction of inequalities, or the need for digitization: in a context of crisis and swift changes, it was argued, cities and communities are – more than ever – the pivotal stakeholders in sustaining and promoting diversity and integration at the local level.

Panelists included

  • Professor Maurice Crul, who presented the “Becoming a minority” project on the lives of people without a migration background in ethnically diverse neighborhoods in six pilot cities in Europe, and pointed out that diversity benefits community life both economically and socially;
  • Irena Guidikova, Head of the Inclusion and Anti Discrimination Programme at the Council of Europe, who discussed how the Intercultural Cities Programme of the CoE reveals that “unlocking diversity” is most definitely the way to reduce inequalities, develop cities’ potentiality and positively contribute to everyone’s living;
  • and ALDA Secretary-General Antonella Valmorbida, who detailed the many lessons that should be learned from the ongoing health emergency, and presented both EMEN and other ALDA projects with the aim to foster diversity and promote inclusion at the local level – namely WEMIN, Integration and Empowerment of Migrant and Refugee Women; EPIC, European Platform of integrating Cities; and LIME, Labour Integration for Migrant Employment.

It is in fact ALDA’s strong belief that local communities are without doubt the first place of action for positive changes, and Antonella Valmorbida also highlighted how the synergies between local authorities and civil society should be more and more enhanced in this Covid-19 outbreak as they have proved to be most effective for effective reaction. This reflects the very core of ALDA’s mission, too: the strengthening of the resilience of local communities and the promotion of diversity.

This episode of the EMEN webinar series can now be watched HERE, on the Youtube channel of EMEN lead partners AEIDL, the European Association for Information on Local Development.

EMEN – European Migrants Entrepreneurship Network: crossing borders for financial and business development services is a 3-year project within the COSME programme with a 12-partner Consortium which works on developing, sharing and promoting support schemes for individual migrant entrepreneurs and for social and inclusive enterprises benefitting migrants.

Visit the dedicated project website: