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EASP – European Association of Social Psychology

RKTS Grant Report by Anca Minescu

03.11.2022, by Media Account in grant report

Establishing the Latino-European Social Psychological Research Network focused on Migration, Displacement and Inclusion (La-EU-MIDI)
1-3 September, 2022

Human Rights, Inequality and Morality of Social Inclusion Thematic Group meeting, 26th May 2022.
Human Rights, Inequality and Morality of Social Inclusion Thematic Group meeting, 26th May 2022.

The Latino-European Social Psychological Research Network focused on Migration, Displacement and Inclusion (La-EU-MiDI) was a project sponsored by the Research Knowledge Transfer Scheme funding from the European Association of Social Psychology (EASP). We aimed to bring together Psychology scholars and practitioners working with displaced populations from around the world, with a particular focus on Latin America.
Human migration, displacement and the inclusion of newcomers in host societies is a global challenge. There is a gap in the dialogue between academic social-psychological researchers and practitioners/organisations working in the field with migrants, refugees and asylum seekers. Therefore, La-EU-MiDI is an inter-sectoral and inter-continental network facilitating exchanges between social psychological research knowledge and the expertise and needs of practitioners working in the field.

La-EU-MiDI was originally planned, developed and hosted by the Migration & Diversity Research Lab (Department of Psychology, University of Limerick, Ireland) under the supervision of Dr. Anca Minescu and Dr. Pablo DeTezanos-Pinto, in collaboration with several researchers from Latin America and Europe, from the Erasmus Mundus Global-MINDS Master’s in Psychology of Global Mobility, Inclusion and Diversity in Societies . These are the volunteers managing the project:
● Dr. Anca Minescu (Project Director, RKTS Grant proposal UL)
● Dr. Pablo DeTezanos-Pinto (Conference Program and Interpretation Coordination, RKTS Grant proposal,UL)
● Leticia Scheidt (Project Manager and Conference Co-Chair, RKTS Grant proposal, PhD Candidate UL)
● Liliyana Mbeve (Conference Chair, PhD Candidate UL)
● Dr. Maria Chayinska (RKTS Grant proposal)
● Beatriz Gómez Moreno (Conference Organizer and Website Support, RKTS Grant proposal, Global-MINDS alumna)
● Diana Lizarazo (Conference Organizer and Social Media Promoter, RKTS Grant proposal, Global-MINDS alumna)
● Tainara Paulon Protásio (Conference Organizer, RKTS Grant proposal, Global-MINDS alumna)
● Barbara Guahyba (Conference Organizer)
● Itumeleng Magoai (Conference Organizer and Social Media Promoter, Global-MINDS alumna)
● Mona Corinna Griesberg (Conference Organizer, Global-MINDS student).

Between August 2021 and September 2022, La-EU-MiDI Management Team has been hosting weekly meetings to design and develop the network and further activities. Here are some of the outcomes achieved:
1. Establishing the La-EU-MiDI network
2. Communication between La-EU-MiDI network members
3. Training for and actual interpretation practices for Small Group Meetings and the Final Conference
4. Virtual thematic group meetings
5. Virtual La-EU-MiDI First Conference

1. Establishing the La-EU-MiDI network
Two hundred and two (202) professionals are currently registered in the network, coming from all regions: Latin America (Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico and Peru), Europe (Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, The Netherlands, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom), North America (United States of America), Africa (Algeria, South Africa, Zimbabwe), Asia (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Israel, India, South Korea), and Oceania (Australia).
Seventy-two partners declared as either academics or researchers in Psychology, thirty-three field practitioners, sixteen students, and nine work in other related positions. In terms of languages spoken, ninety-two participants declared they are comfortable with English, sixty-four with Spanish, forty-nine with Portuguese, and ten mentioned other languages, like French, Arabic, Greek, German, Turkish, and Italian.

2. Communication between La-EU-MiDI network members
We established La-EU-MIDI website , under the broader umbrella of the Sanctuary with Psychology Project, which is where the researchers from the Migration & Diversity Research Lab connect and engage with community projects, and practitioners working with migrants in Ireland and abroad. The new has been set up as a platform to promote the network, and to function as an online repository of expertise on the Social Psychology of Migration, Displacement and Inclusion.
The basic information of the project and achievements up to September 2022 have been published. We have plans to extend its purpose in the near future: including making the website more interactive and updating it regularly so that it can be a platform to share resources such as publications, videos, and blogs.
We also used the social media channels of Sanctuary with Psychology (Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn) for all external communication, news and updates regarding the network. We have an official e-mail address , used for internal communication. All of these have proven to be great tools for member recruitment and information sharing. For example, the Instagram account has 296 followers, and the LinkedIn profile has 301.
Furthermore, we set up a La-EU-Mi-DI profile on the social media platform Slack where members can connect. So far, forty people have joined. We view the platform as a sustainable future resource for members to easily reach out to each other, ask questions and share resources, in a more interactive, more informal, and also more personal, yet professional, way. An integrated translation tool should also help to bridge language barriers.
We also created an interactive and fun way of visualising the network with the tool Padlet. There are currently forty-one profiles from network members from Latin America, Europe and other regions of the world.  

3. Training for and actual interpretation practices for Small Group Meetings and the Final Conference
The multilingual character of the network was a key challenge for us, as language barriers are an important aspect that separates academic communities in the Global North and Latin America, and they are even more relevant given our objective to include practitioners and students in the network, who may feel less comfortable interacting only in English.
To deal with this issue, we decided to use the simultaneous interpretation feature in our Zoom meetings. These required a paid account with zoom! In addition, we trained a team of volunteer interpreters which themselves came from a range of countries both in Latin America and Europe. All communications and meetings of the network have used English, Portuguese, and Spanish.
The accumulated experience of the training sessions, the thematic group meeting discussions, and the final conference, has given us a unique strength in further developing the network going forward.
We are very grateful for the interpreters’ voluntary contribution: Maria Borza, Crislene Brito, Nathalia Campos, Pablo de Tezanos-Pinto, Axel Dornelles, Catarina Gonçalves, Barbara Guahyba, Lula Janokova, Miguel Leyva, Diana Lizarazo, and Tainara Paulon.

4. Thematic group meetings
To get the networking started, we set up a series of group meetings in which psychologists could discuss their practice and research while getting inspired for the conference. For that, five topics of special interest for the network were identified: Mental Health of Migrants & Displacement from war or natural disasters; Intersectionality of Migration; Collective Action & Social Change; Prejudice, Stereotype Reduction & Intergroup Relations; and Human Rights, Inequality & Morality of Social Inclusion. Each meeting took approximately two hours.
The first meeting was held on 26th May 2022 on Human Rights, Inequality and Morality of Social Inclusion, facilitated by Dr. Anca Minescu and Leticia Scheidt. Brazilian Psychologist Henrique Galhano Balieiro was the guest speaker and talked about Human Rights and Psychology in Latin America with an attendance of 33 participants.
The second meeting focused on Intersectionality of Migration, facilitated by Tainara Paulon Protásio and Itumeleng Magoai, took place on 2nd June 2022 and had 24 participants present. It was an opportunity for people to introduce themselves and exchange their work experiences with intersectionality. The group discussed which identities and characteristics impact the unique situations of vulnerable migrants but are often overlooked by governmental authorities, services and public discussions.
On the 10th of June 2022, 27 people joined the Prejudice, Stereotype Reduction & Intergroup Relations meeting. It was facilitated by Dr. Pablo DeTezanos-Pinto and Beatriz Gómez Moreno. A presentation was given by Dr. Sindhuja Sankaran, who is a social psychologist specialising in group behaviour, including Indian caste identity and norm violation, refugee acceptance and pro-social behaviour. Among other things, she introduced the organization Rethinking Refugees, which she founded. Her input sparked an interesting discussion about the media portrayal of refugees, how to reduce prejudice towards refugees and how to do research with them in a respectful and considerate way.
Next, a group of 21 people came together to discuss Collective Action & Social Change on June 16th, 2022, facilitated by Dr Pablo De Tezanos Pinto, Diana Lizarazo, and Dr. Maria Chayinska. Dr. Patricio Saavedra Morales gave a presentation on how non-participants perceive collective action protests and the violence that occurs. Then, the group discussed their perception of collective action in different regions and their experience of doing challenging research on collective action.
The final thematic group meeting organised before the conference was about Mental Health of Migrants on the 7th of July 2022, facilitated by Dr. Anca Minescu, Leticia Scheidt and Itumeleng Magoai. 25 participants attended the keynotes of the guest speakers Dr. Marta Guarch-Rubio, Head from the Psychology Department at the San Jorge University in Zaragoza (Spain), and Dr. Halina Grzymała-Moszczyńska, a Full professor of psychology at the Jagiellonian University and Jesuit University Ignatianum in Krakow (Poland). Having their presentations as a starting point for the mental health and well-being in relation to migrants discussion, the group explored how refugees and migrants are included in host societies and how to support field workers and humanitarian workers when dealing with trauma and secondary trauma.

5. La-EU-MiDI First Conference
The online conference entitled “Psychological Science and Practice around Migration, Displacement and Inclusion: Between Latin America and Other Parts of the World” was held from the 1st to the 3rd of September 2022.
LaEUMidI International Conference Tickets, Thu 1 Sep 2022 at 14:00 | Eventbrite
We had 77 people attending, with the following keynote speakers: Dr. Anca Minescu (University of Limerick, Ireland), Prof. Halina Grzymala-Moszczyńska (Jagiellonian University and Jesuit University Ignatianum, Poland), the Latino American Transcultural Psychologist Prof. Alfredo Guillermo Martin Gentini and Dr. Joseba Achotegui (University of Barcelona, Spain).
The conference also included presentations grouped into sessions on Mental Health of Migrants, Reducing Prejudices and Stereotypes, Intersectionality of Migration, Collective Action and Social Change, and Human Rights and Morality of Social Exclusion. During those sessions, 19 conference attendees and network members presented their academic or field work and engaged in discussions with the audience. At the end of every conference day, more network members were introduced in the professional profiling sessions moderated by Axel Baptista Dornelles (Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil).
All sessions were simultaneously translated by the team of 11 interpreters.

The EASP RKTS grant made the creation of the network possible. We currently have more than 200 members across continents willing to keep collaborating and sharing knowledge between academia and fieldwork. Therefore, La-EU-MiDI envisions hosting the second conference in July 2023, in combination with the International Association of Cross-Cultural Psychology 2023 Regional Conference (30 July-5August 2023), which will also be hosted at the University of Limerick, organized by Dr. Anca Minescu and Dr. Pablo DeTezanos–Pinto in collaborations with others.
In the short term, the La-EU-MiDI network will continue to be supported and run by the Migration and Diversity Research Lab, at the University of Limerick, with all social media communication going via the Sanctuary with Psychology project, as well as the internal communications being organized via SLACK. In the long term, we hope to recalibrate the network by collaborating more closely with Latin American partners and perhaps rotating the hosting and updating the network’s “repertoire of resources” and the running of network activities.