May 9th, the national debate: Multiculturalism in the UK

Organised by The Prisma at the House of Commons; the theme of the debate is highly controversial and the current government is against it. But it is immigrants and the British people who will make the final decision.


Multiculturalism Social  12Planned in a format that allows the participation of guests, as well as being covered by a number of different British media outlets, the debate will be a spoken tool, naturally associated with a topic that is particularly relevant to London: multiculturalism. This is because in London 37% of the population was not born in the UK.

Terms such as inter-culturalism, multiculturalism, mixed-race and ethnicity are in common use. Multiculturalism is something that some people consider dangerous, believing that it “has not worked and has created more segregation”. But others consider it to be a reality that is not only necessary but inevitable in a country that has always been multicultural, willingly or not.

el multiculturalismo1Today, with the economic crisis, it has become very easy to blame immigrants for the crisis, and the concept of multiculturalism is back on the table.

The Prisma (an online paper dedicated to the integration of immigrant communities, multiculturalism, freedom of belief, religion, culture, sexuality and expression, and human rights) has decided revisit the issue, to address it in depth and examine the “health” of multiculturalism in the UK.

El multiculturalismo  7The debate is entitled Multiculturalism in the UK: Does it have a future?, and it will bring together many different voices familiar with the subject as panellists. The audience will be encouraged to play an active role in the debate.

The debate, hosted by the MP Jeremy Corbyn, will take place in the House of Commons, and will deal with topics at that have been extremely relevant in Britain over recent decades, violence in cities, the economic crisis, even racism and what politicians often class as terrorism.

Some of those participating in the debate include:

– Mónica del Pilar Uribe (Founder, Managing Director and Editor-In-Chief of The Prisma), A Colombian journalist specialising in politics and human rights, author and co-author of several books on conflict resolution, workers and indigenous rights. Founder and director of Prisma magazine in Colombia, for which she was nominated for Best Contribution to Colombian Journalism, a ‘Simon Bolivar’ National Journalism Award. She has been invited as a special guest to a number of different international conferences to give talks on the conflict in Colombia, human rights, indigenous peoples in Latin America, mega-projects in Third World and independent journalism.

El multiculturalismo y 4– Jeremy Corbyn MP (Panellist and host): Member of Parliament since 1983. Jeremy prioritizes human rights and the needs of the poor in his political platform focusing on issues concerning affordable housing, minority groups, and asylum-seekers and by promoting an agenda of peacekeeping around the world. Jeremy has attended and spoken at human rights peace conferences in Beijing, Mumbai, New Delhi, Rwanda, UN/Geneva and other parts of Europe).

– Abdullah al Andalusi (Panellist):  International speaker, thinker and intellectual activist for Islam and Muslim affairs. He has researched many subjects including Islamic revivalism (nahda), theology, philosophy, the physical sciences, and political philosophy. Abdullah has given extensive talks and written articles rationally critiquing Secularism, Liberalism, Secular Democracy and Materialism.

Alison-beddoe-rosendo Zita Holbourne (Panellist): A trade union and community activist, a writer, poet and visual artist. Zita is a member of the PCS National Executive Committee, the TUC Race Relations Committee, Co-founder and National Co-Chair of Black Activists Rising Against Cuts (BARAC) UK, a member of One Society Many Cultures and a member of the National Executive Council of ACTSA (the successor organisation to the Anti Apartheid Movement). She is a contributor to the book Defending Multiculturalism and has used art and poetry to promote cultural awareness, equality, justice and black history and achievement. In 2012 Zita won the Positive Role Model Award at the National Diversity Awards.

el multiculturalismo4– Claudio Chipana Gutiérrez (Panellist): Peruvian philosopher. He has participated in several international events on Latin American philosophy. His independent research projects have covered issues related to philosophy, Latin America, migration and multiculturalism. Founder of The Philosophy Cafe in London. He is a member and former coordinator in the Latin American Recognition Campaign (LARC) in London.

– Nigel Pocock (Panellist):  Social scientist and theologian, lecturer at a large number of institutions, mostly within the African and African-Caribbean community. Consultant to various bodies concerned with the legacy of slavery, and has assisted with material for the Wiltshire Museum Service, Bristol City Museum, BBC History On-line, Natural History Museum (Darwin and Slavery), and many others. His work has been published in various journals.

surreallistic blue habitacionMike Jempson (Panellist): Author, journalist, lecturer and trainer. Currently a part-time senior lecturer in journalism at the University of the West of England, he has been Director of the journalism ethics charity MediaWise since 1996, and was Visiting Professor in Media Ethics at Lincoln University for 6 years. He is vice chair of the NUJ Ethics Council and has devised and delivered training programmes for journalists and NGOs in more than 45 countries – most recently in China, Egypt and Kazakhstan – working with UN agencies, the Media Diversity Institute and the International Federation of Journalists. He also edits Bristol Globe, an annual magazine celebrating diversity on behalf of the City of Sanctuary movement www.cityofsanctuary.org/bristol/globe

el multiculturalismo y sus críticos 5Date: Thursday 9th May 2013

Venue: The House of Commons – Committee Room

Time: 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm


To attend the event, please sign up on the website or send an email to: theprisma.debate@theprisma.co.uk

  • We regret that the number of places is limited. It is essential that your reserve a place in advance.
  • Please arrive 10 to 15 minutes before the start in order to pass through the security checks. Tell the security staff your name and the name of the debate.
  • Only one reservation per person/organisation will be accepted.
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