Skip to main content
Migration and Home Affairs

Call for participants – RAN Webinar on “Preventing Polarisation by creating a shared identity” on 15 December 2020

Following the Joint RAN Families, Communities & Social Care, RAN Local Authorities, RAN Communication & Narratives and RAN Youth & Education Meeting

Creating a shared identity

Polarisation in cities and communities is characterised by a deteriorating sense of belonging, societal unrest and possibly an increase in the processes of radicalisation. To create a peaceful togetherness, (cultural) differences need to be acknowledged and, at the same time, common ground needs to be found.

This webinar will follow up on a joint RAN FC&S Meeting in collaboration with RAN LOCAL, C&N and Y&E that took place digitally on 10 and 13 November. During this meeting, participants discussed the concept of a shared identity as well as how to overcome challenges to creating a shared identity in their respective context. Together with the Working Group Chairs Milla Perukangas and Angela Antonova, participants worked on a checklist of Dos and Don’ts for creating a shared identity campaign.

The webinar will take place 15 December 2020, 3.30 – 5.00 pm, CET.

In alignment with the checklist that will be published in the following weeks, the goal of this particular webinar is to disseminate the created checklist further and to enable participants to implement a shared identity campaign in their own respective context.

Participants will also learn how to ensure to not unconsciously contribute to polarisation and exclusion. Furthermore, it is intended to spur the debate on how to overcome very recent developments that contribute to polarisation, such as the ongoing pandemic.

Target audience

The target audience of the webinar is threefold:

  • First-line practitioners who work in polarised environments, including social and youth worker, community representatives, local organisations, and teachers.
  • Local authorities, local coordinators and police officers
  • Communication experts


To present some of the lessons learned and best practices, we have invited the following speakers to share valuable insights into why a vision of a shared identity is important and how it can be implemented.

Milla Perukangas is a RAN Families, Communities & Social Care Working Group Co-Chair. She works for the Network for Religious and Traditional Peacemakers, Finn Church Aid, where she functions as a peace practitioner focusing on community-based prevention models.

Werner van Herle and Simon Huybrechts work with the municipality of Mechelen (Belgium). In Mechelen, a comprehensive approach to inclusive working and communication has been established. Werner van Herle will speak about this approach and the outcomes over the past years. Mechelen has also been experimenting with reaching out to youngsters online in recent months. Simon Huybrechts will share the findings of this innovative way of working.

Rebecca Friel is from Odd Arts UK. She has vast experience in delivering creative programmes that aim to build bridges, reduce polarisation, confront, and overcome the idea of the 'other' using theatre and wider arts.


The webinar will be moderated by Rik Scheele, part of the RAN Staff with longstanding experience within municipalities.

The meeting will be held online in English.

If you have any further questions, contact r [dot] scheeleatradaradvies [dot] nl (Rik Scheele) or julia [dot] handleatviolence-prevention-network [dot] de (Julia Handle).

If you are interested in participating in this meeting, register via the link here no later than 14 December.