The ‘XEIX’ project wins the Diversity Advantage Challenge
The winning project promotes the participation of new communities in the district via local retailers’ associations. The 10,000 euro prize is awarded by the Council of Europe.
The XEIX project was started in 2012 with the aim of progressively involving the Chinese community in local associations in the Fort Pienc neighbourhood of the Eixample district. In 2014 the initiative was extended into the Sant Antoni neighbourhood in order to work with the Pakistani community.
XEIX organises activities such as training courses and stimulation for local commerce, extra-curricular Chinese classes and the introduction of elements of Chinese, Pakistani and Indian culture into public facilities’ programmes. It also provides training for professionals on immigration, anti-rumour strategy and the breaking down of stereotypes.
At present the local retail network Associació de Comerciants Eix Fort Pienc has a total of 16 Chinese members and 4 Pakistani members, representing 20% of the overall total.
The Diversity Advantage Challenge awards by the Council of Europe recognise innovative initiatives to promote coexistence and cultural diversity, which have a positive impact on communities, organisations and business. Some 50% of the score depends on how innovative the project is, with 30% awarded for the project’s impact on society and 20% for sustainability and potential suitability for other places. There were 63 candidate projects for the awards.
The councillor for the Eixample district, Gerard Ardanuy, explained that “This encourages us to start preparing to expand the initiative into three more neighbourhoods”.