Last week Monday (April 12th), the LDE GMD Centre welcomed nearly 70 scholars, practitioners, and students to be part of our inaugural conference as a centre. Initially intended to take place last year in a physical space, the conference was held in a digital forum this year. Despite the virtual format, the conference was a successful demonstration of the coming together of people interested and passionate about migration and diversity-related migration.
Prof. dr. Marlou Schrover (Leiden University) opened up the conference with an exceptional welcome speech and offered a brief history of how the LDE GMD centre came to be. Prof. dr. Peter Scholten (Erasmus University) was the moderator of the conference and soon after gave the floor to the keynote speaker, Prof. dr. Ash Amin (University of Cambridge). His keynote, titled 'Framing belonging beyond nativism: lived identities and everyday cohabitation in Europe' inspired many attendees.
We live in times where majorities are presented as victims and minorities as perpetrators - prof. dr. Ash Amin.
Following the keynote, participants were divided into their breakout room of choice, as selected while registering for the conference. We presented participants with ten breakout rooms to choose from; with themes ranging from sexuality and migration to spatial segregation and tackling inequality. Participants were able to listen to both scholars and practitioners and provide them with follow-up questions after their presentations. After two hours, participants reconvened in the main plenary and were able to provide input and feedback on the conference, what they'd like to see from the centre, and possible future endeavors.
The conference was a brilliant success, given the digital realities most of us have had to accommodate this past year. The LDE GMD centre looks forward to hosting more participants in the future and is excited for the new endeavors that will come our way.