Click here to get pay-as-you-feel tickets.
Migration has been all over the news over the last few months - you can't have failed to miss it on virtually a daily basis. It's been represented in a variety of ways, talked about endlessly, kicked around as a political football, been demonised and lifted up, lamented and encouraged. In the midst of all of that it is easy to become de-sensitised to it, to only see the arguments and discussions and stances whilst forgetting that this actual reality for millions of people, not just in Europe but across the globe.
For this month's event we want to think about the humans behind the headlines, to take it beyond the news and hear from people who have journeyed with this themselves and met others along the way. We are so pleased to have two fantastic speakers who will be sharing with us - John Ellison and Jack Ahmed. You can read their bios further down the page.
Having outgrown Redwood this event will be hosted just two minutes round the corner at One Church Gloucester Place (BN1 4AA). Doors will open at 7pm and we expect to hear from the first speaker around 7.15pm, so try to get there on time. Our events remain pay-as-you-feel if you let us know you're coming in advance but we are now asking people to reserve tickets so that we are better able to plan for the events - last time we had to turn people away and we don't want that to happen again. Click here to reserve your place by signing up for pay-as-you-feel tickets. Pay-as-you-feel will be unavailable on the day of the event and any walk-ups will pay £5 on the door (if there is still space for you!)... There will be a non-alcoholic cash bar available on the evening serving hot and cold drinks. Please also note that One Church Gloucester Place has 10 steps up into the venue, if this is a difficulty for you please get in touch and we can try and make suitable accessibility arrangements.
We also plan on working with a local organisation to offer people the opportunity to donate to refugees at the Calais camp (with either stuff or money) as a way of paying as you feel for coming to the event. More info on this soon.
We look forward to seeing you on the night!
John Ellison is a designer from Denver, Colorado who lived in the Middle East during the Arab Spring and has recently migrated to the UK. After settling in Brighton, John witnessed the raw human suffering of refugees across Europe. He and his wife reached out to Refugees Welcome, a grassroots organization in Berlin, and offered the spare bedroom in their home to host an asylum seeker. The spiral of events that ensued revealed the vast potential for design and technology to make a scalable impact in the lives of asylum seekers worldwide.
Prosper is a community organization that evolved out of John’s response to the complex issues facing both refuge seekers and providers across Europe. Currently there are over 85 designers, developers and other digital workers who have joined Prosper under the shared belief that “When refugees prosper, we all prosper.” Over the past weeks, John and the Prosper community have been working to create an online directory of refugee crisis initiatives from across the globe—allowing both refuge seekers and providers to find projects that best meet their needs. You can find more about John at his website and he is also on Twitter and Facebook.
Jack Ahmed is a Syrian Kurd born in Aleppo, Syria. He studied English language and Literature before fleeing the country to the Kurdistan region of Iraq due to the conflict. He worked there as a volunteer teaching English in the Syrian refugee camps and later on joined the UN to work for both the Syrian refugee response and the Iraqi displaced people response. His work gave him the opportunity to be in direct contact with people who had survived horrendous situations. He has worked with Christians, Yazidis, Kurds, Arabs and Turkmans fleeing war in both Syria and Iraq.
He eventually had to flee Iraq as well due to the security situation and decided to move to the UK to complete his MA in order to become a qualified academic taking part in efforts to rebuild the country when the war is over in Syria. He has been living in the UK for 6 months.