I am Steve Emejuru from the Di Donato School Parents Association, a beautiful school here in Esquilino, Rome called di Donato.
It is an exemplary school and I am very happy to be invited to speak to the young and undergraduates, the students on the topic of colour fractures and political participation in Italy today.
The Esquiline is an open field of research, an area of Rome, one of the seven hills of Rome that welcomes the unwilling.
I wanted to remind you that we are not just passing through, we have come here to stay.
It is important to emphasise that conflict is the heart of politics, it makes us grow, and what is not good and scary are the lies that political discourse is soaked in. We are invaded by Africans! You hear it everywhere, but they are lies: Germany hosts almost 1,500,000 refugees, for example, and those who come to Italy actually want to continue their journey to get around the European country. Another lie is related to religious discrimination, and describes migrant populations as a danger to the Judeo-Christian identity of Europe.
I would like to thank all the constituent mothers and fathers who saw very far with Article 3 Italian Constitution: it is on the basis of Article 3 const. that the law was changed in 2013 and competitions in the administration were also opened to foreigners with long-term residence permits, as well as participation in local authority politics, but there is still a strong social barrier of racism and discrimination for which laws are not enough.
In Italy, despite public discourse steeped in hatred and racism, we have not experienced, for example, terrorism, and even where there have been terrorist attacks such as London, the mayor is Pakistani, Muslim and voted in because he is capable. The prime minister is an Indian and he became prime minister because he is capable, not because he is Hindu.
In Italy we must first work on the formal obstacles: without citizenship you cannot vote.
Then we need to work on society, and the Di Donato school is an active laboratory that has been training for many years, many children with over 50 countries of origin, most of whom have never visited the country of which they have citizenship, because it always rains when it rains: a trip to New York costs 200 euro, but a flight to African or Asian countries costs from 1,000 euro upwards per person.
We continue our daily work and from the bottom we obtain results that infect the whole community: starting from the children’s needs we have obtained the pedestrianisation of via Bixio, convinced that neighbourhoods, streets must be experienced day and night, concretely realising not integration, but inclusion, which means ‘I do together with you’, we participate together for change without leaving anyone behind, this is the message of the Di Donato school and this is the message I would like to share with young people to encourage them to take the floor to change politics and public discourse.