For many years, Żory has been experiencing economic, cultural, and return migration, which has changed the face of the town. The rapidly developing economic zone and proximity of large urban centres are attracting people from various parts of Poland and around the world to the town. As the number of new inhabitants grows, so do intercultural and language-related tension and misunderstandings, and this is accompanied by fear and aggression. No measures are being taken to enable inhabitants to live in a multicultural community and to combat hate speech and discrimination towards the new inhabitants.
The project will also include multicultural training for 240 people: upper secondary school pupils and local community figures such as head teachers, teachers, clerks in local government, local councillors, and police officers. The training will address questions of stereotypes, hate, and measures to prevent and counter hate crimes. The local partners in the project – Stowarzyszenie Żorska Strefa Przedsiębiorczości (Żory Entrepreneurship Zone Association) and Police Headquarters, will take part in organisation and conducting some of the training sessions. The project also envisages organisation of civic cafés, where substantive issues will be debated by members of public institutions, CSOs, and Żory residents, including new inhabitants of foreign origin. The debate is intended to lead to passing of local resolutions addressing Żory’s multicultural issues.
The project will put to use the knowledge gained in relations with the surrounding community, and increase awareness of the tendencies and processes that define attitudes towards others and affect mutual relationships.