The aim of the first Network Meeting – which was co-organized with the European Network Against Racism (ENAR) – was to build a network of organizations for people of African Descent in Europe and to create a Demand Catalogue prior to the European Elections in May 2014. More than 15 advocacy groups from Europe drafted the demand catalogue prior to the elections of the European Parliament in May 2014.
Following the positive outcomes such as connecting Black political groups across Europe, mapping of issues that affect people in different parts of Europe, contribution to the visibility of Black people in Europe and using strategic advocacy tools to empower Black organisations to demand policy change for issues that they are facing, a 2nd Network Meeting was held in Berlin in November 2014: 130 years after the colonial “Berlin Conference”. See video.
This Meeting strategically developed the Network by dividing it into three stakeholder Working Groups focused on specific tasks and each with a designated team leader:
- Action Team
- Advocacy Team
- PR & Web team
During the 2nd Network Meeting the name European Network of People of African Descent (ENPAD) was also established.
During the 4th meeting, the Network has adapted a new team called Ubuntu looking at questions of Human Resources and Community building within the Network. Outside of this the General Coordinator holds the responsibility to represent the Network, focus on the overall governance and vision of the network. The Network currently consists of 18 organizations in 8 European countries, with one outstanding invitation to the network.
The 3rd Network Meeting in March 2015, which was held in in Amsterdam, focused on the actions previously taken (interventions, declarations, press work and media representation), evaluated the current working structure and further developed the framework of the network. See video.
The 4th Network Meeting in October 2015 focused on mission statement, recruitment and the structures around membership and membership fees, an HR/Ubuntu strategy, the agenda and drafting concepts on Racial Profiling, Blackfacing, Immigration and Reparations, but most importantly the core was about the formalization and educational aspects, addressing power and privilege.
The 5th Network Meeting in April 2016 were online conference calls with all coordinators and coordinator’s teams to reflect on ENPAD’s working structures, group culture and work ethics. We aimed to ensure productivity, and to continue our growth as an individual and collective.
During the 6th Network Meeting in 2017, we hope to pick up where we left off at the last personal meeting, allowing for a more indepth planning of campaigns around Blackfacing, Reparations, Racial Profiling, Immigration, (Decade), which are results of the mapping process of the last Network Meeting. This exercise has left us with a broad understanding of what is happening in the different contexts, but also established ideas for possible coalitions. With the right preparations for the meeting, we can look in more detail at the implementation and have an appropriate frame for the working fields. ENPAD does not aim to produce new topics but looks at the activities in communities and picks them up.