The Narrative Change Academy has started

The Narrative Change Academy, the first European project of the Young Islam Conference, has started! This year's programme brings together 12 young Europeans who want to address the issue of Islam in Europe and counteract polarizing, racist and Islamophobic attitudes and discourses. After an initial digital session, the participants now met in person for the first time in Berlin.

Together with the two fellows, the 12 young people from France, the United Kingdom and Germany met for the first workshop in Berlin. In addition to getting to know each other and exchanging ideas, the focus was on topical input: the segmentation of society, on which Jérémie Gagné from the think tank More in Common gave input, and Narrative Theory, with impulses from Marlene Gärtner from Understanding Europe. The participants talked about polarizing narratives about Muslims in Europe and ways to change them.

The pilot year of the Narrative Change Academy will now run until February 2024. In several workshops in Berlin as well as additional digital sessions, the participants will acquire skills in strategic communication, especially digital campaigning, and, working with experts, will develop a digital campaign with value-oriented, post-migrant, inclusive narratives about Muslims. At the end of the academy, a presentation of the campaign to European stakeholders is planned in Brussels.

The academy works with the Narrative Change approach. This approach addresses the “movable middle” and focusses on values, concerns, and personal stories. This approach forms an important basis for genuine dialogue and democratic coexistence. The trained Narrative Change Ambassadors will be the first members of a European postmigrant alumni network that will grow year by year and contribute in the long run to enable a broader presence of value-based, post-migrant, inclusive narratives across Europe.

  • All photos by Schore Mehrdju