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Start having courageous conversations about refugee rights

We are not talking about refugee rights enough. Maybe we feel overwhelmed. Maybe we fear how people will respond. But if we’re to build a kinder and fairer world, then we need to get talking.

Nothing can be achieved if we exist in a polarised, them-and-us climate where we’re unable to effectively speak to our family members, neighbours, colleagues or change-makers who hold differing opinions to our own. A crucial part of shifting public attitudes is down to people simply talking about what they believe in. It’s down to having conversations – lots of them. 

This has never been more important. Increasing humanitarian and climate crises mean there will be more people seeking sanctuary, but hostile rhetoric has led to divided communities and a sharp rise in far-right activity. How we treat people seeking sanctuary reflects who we are as a country, and right now we’re at a critical moment. It’s going to take all of us to change the story. 

Speaking from the heart, finding common ground and actively listening can markedly reduce prejudice. So one of the best tools we have for change is free and accessible to everyone.

Ten tips to have courageous conversations:

Ready to step it up?

Speak up for Sanctuary is a programme designed by City of Sanctuary UK to support people who may have little or no previous campaigning experience to recognise their power in making change, to speak up for refugee rights and to supercharge efforts to build welcoming and compassionate communities.

The course is perfect for people involved in City of Sanctuary groups and awarded organisations or anyone else hoping to turn their compassion into action.

This programme consists of a 1.5 hour webinar and a handbook jam-packed with information, resources and exercises.

The course covers how to:

  • Counter hostile rhetoric
  • Engage with MPs and candidates
  • Mobilise your friends, family and the wider community
  • Safely challenge misinformation

Complete the programme in your own time using the YouTube video and the handbook or look at our events page/sign up to our newsletter to keep up to date with the next live online training session.