Promoting Inclusion and Participation of Minorities and Marginalized Groups in European Cities

The At Home in Europe project of the Open Society Initiative for Europe works to advance the social inclusion of vulnerable communities in a changing Europe. Through its research and advocacy activities, the project explores the political, social, cultural and economic participation of minority and marginalized groups in Western Europe. It places a high priority on local community and city level practices that mitigate discrimination and seek to ensure equal treatment for all.

Since November 2013, the At Home in Europe project has published a number of city reports on Somali living conditions in seven European cities. The reports will examine the ways in which municipal authorities and civil society counter growing social, political, and economic tensions and consider the needs of Somalis in key decision making.

To coincide with the release of the reports, the At Home in Europe project seeks to support projects which aim to increase the participation of minority and marginalized groups at the city level, including those of Somali origin and descent.

The main objectives for the call are to support city-based initiatives which have innovative approaches to enhancing opportunities for full and equal participation for all with a focus on one of the following areas:

  • Education and employment
  • Identity and Belonging
  • Media
  • Civic and political participation
  • Safety and security

The At Home in Europe Project has defined seven cities for this call:

  • Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Helsinki, Finland
  • Leicester, United Kingdom
  • London, United Kingdom
  • Malmö, Sweden
  • Oslo, Norway
Eligibility Criteria

Projects centered on the active engagement and increased participation of ethnic minorities, including those of Somali origin and descent, are eligible for support. This could include:

  • Capacity-building of community-based organizations;
  • Building platforms to monitor and tackle ethnic and religious discrimination in education and/or the labor market and/or policing;
  • Developing effective interaction and dialogue between local communities and public service providers;
  • Activities using arts and culture to counter racism and discrimination, and/or foster a sense of identity and belonging at the local/national level;
  • Initiatives which engage, train, and provide individuals from minority and marginalized communities with the skills and opportunities needed to enter the labor market;
  • Innovative projects to improve economic participation of minority and marginalized groups, particularly women and refugees;
  • Activities which support active participation of youth;
  • Communications and social media outreach to improve representation and engagement.

Preference will be given to proposals that clearly and realistically frame their project support and outcomes to show how they may affect or influence city-level policy debates/decisions in the target policy arena.

Registered NGOs and formal civil society organizations with a proven track record in previous related work at local or national level are invited to apply. Support will be given to new or existing projects.

Ineligibility Criteria

The following will not be considered:

  • Individual research and scholarships;
  • Stand-alone training, conferences, or general public awareness raising activities;
  • Party political affiliated activities.

A limited number of grants (up to $25,000) are available. We are seeking to start projects from March 2014. In addition to a grant, collaboration with the Open Society Foundations will provide opportunities for promoting your organization and initiative through our networks and advocacy activities in the rest of Europe.

Concept notes of no more than three pages (1,500 words) must be submitted online through the Open Society Foundations Grantee Portal by no later than March 3, 2014. The concept note should explain the goal, major activities, outreach and communications plan, and budget for the proposed project in U.S. Dollars. Concept notes should be submitted in English.