Proud Past, Promising Future: ENAR’s 2023 General Assembly Marks 25 Years of the United Anti-Racism Fight

The milestone celebration was joined by the first EU Anti-Racism Coordinator Michaela Moua. Photo: Jean Tsimangas

Brussels, Belgium – 17 June 2023: The European Network Against Racism (ENAR) welcomed over 80 Network representatives from across Europe at its 22nd General Assembly held between 16 and 17 June. Centered around “Making Racism History,” the event served as a celebration of ENAR’s 25-year journey while addressing present and future challenges to ensure that discrimination and exclusion become relics of the past throughout Europe.

Rethinking The Anti-Racism Movement from Sweden to Italy: ‘We Cannot Have Separate Fights’

Bringing together political and grassroots perspectives, Malcolm Jallow, Swedish MP, Giulia Frova, ENAR Board Member from Italy, and Adla Sashati from the Greek Forum of Migrants, shed critical light on the challenges the anti-racism movement is facing throughout Europe.

‘We cannot have separate fights,” emphasised Jallow during the discussion that touched upon the critical conditions in the Mediterranean, the importance of the 2024 European Parliament elections, and the need to develop an efficient counter-narrative against the pressure of far-right disinformation campaigns. ‘Considering the rise of the far-right movement occupying our political institutions, we need to streamline our narrative. We are fighting the same fight, with one and the same message. That is the only way to make a difference that we want to see.’ 

Charting the Course: Together for a Discrimination-Free Europe by 2050

At a pivotal moment in ENAR’s history, when the movement faces challenges of the rising far right and the backsliding of human rights throughout the continent, the importance of member involvement in future direction is imperative. This year’s interactive sessions invited the members to share their unique civil society expertise in outlining the path forward toward a racism- and discrimination-free Europe by 2050.

New Board Leadership to Steer the Course to Equality and Inclusion

During the Assembly, the members also elected new board representatives and leadership to spearhead the united fight against racism. The newly elected board leadership and members began their three-year terms with ENAR effective June 17, 2023 and can serve a maximum of two terms.

ENAR board members and leadership (from left to right): Giulia Frova, Moussa Sangare, Shaban Sidratu Jah Sesay (Treasurer), Anne Nolan (2nd Vice Chair), Zlakha Ahmed (1st Vice Chair), Nyanchama Okemwa (Chair), and Xavier Donker. Not pictured are Faith Mkwesha, Shahab Saquib, and Rahel Weldeab Sebhatu. Photo: Jean Tsimangas

The board members taking on a leadership role are:

  • Chair: Nyanchama Okemwa – Hand in Hand Against Racism, BE
  • 1st vice chair – Zlakha Ahmed, Apna Haq, UK
  • 2nd vice chair – Anne Nolan, Waterford Integration Services, IE

Other incoming board members are Faith Mkwesha (Sahwira Africa International, FI), Moussa Sangare (Ivorian Community in Greece, EL), and Shahab Saqib (UNITED for Intercultural Action, HU).

25 Years of Unity: Honouring ENAR’s Milestones
The Network embraced the momentous occasion of its 25th anniversary by embracing its members, partners, staff, and allies at a landmark celebration. Together, we honored and commemorated the remarkable milestones of the unified pan-European resistance to racism. The celebration served as a poignant reminder of the enduring strength and unwavering commitment of countless individuals that have propelled the movement forward, inspiring hope for a future free from inequality.

The incoming ENAR Chair, Nyanchama Okemwa, took the opportunity to share her vision for the Network’s role in the anti-racism movement. Photo: Jean Tsimangas


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