Mainstreaming has a complex meaning and is lacking translation in most of the languages. Yet, the content it bears with it best fits what we would like to do. So we decided to keep it and try to explain it.
In different contexts, the word “mainstreaming” would have different variations. When used in regards to education, it often means integrating children with special needs in regular schools. When used in regards to gender, it means assessing the different implications for men and women in any policy action.
In the framework of the Youth against Racism project, by “mainstreaming anti-racist awareness and measures” we mean the process of making youth organizations (dealing with issues other than Human Rights and social inclusion) aware of their responsibility for promoting Human Rights and encourage them to take action on it. In other words, to make Human Rights horizontal principle in their work, cross-cutting theme.
On doing that, we have a few main principles:
1. We DO NOT intend to undermine the work that these organizations or bodies are doing. Just the opposite, we support and admire it!
2. We DO NOT want them to change their sphere of work – we certainly don’t expect (and want) them to leave ecology, charity, youth governance, arts, sports, etc. and start doing Human Rights projects.
3. We DO NOT want to force these organizations to mainstream anti-racist measures in their work. We rely on our educational and communication methods to CONVINCE them that it is important and will then provide support for them, when they express the desire to participate.
4. We believe the best way for mainstreaming anti-racist measures in youth work is by the development and adoption of anti-racist youth organizational policies.