Great success with the Second Edition of the National Diaspora Summit for Cooperation, the most important national event dedicated to meetings and the sharing of experiences and good practices between diaspora members in Italy, the international cooperation system, politics and the business world, which was held at the Palazzo Reale in Milan on 15 December 2018.


An important day in which different voices from the world of migrant communities, institutions and culture discussed the role of diasporas in the development of their home countries and in the Italian economy, how to influence the creation of a new narrative on human mobility, and the role of the new generations and international cooperation in this transformation.

Almost 300 people attended the plenary session and the afternoon working groups, many of whom also joined the evening cultural event at Cascina Casottello.

The event was attended, among others, by former Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Emanuela Claudia del Re:

There is an irreversible international trend that politics must take into account: the community to which one belongs is not necessarily the community of residence. The bridge that diasporas create between the world of origin and the world of residence allows for a smooth transition at a political, economic and social level. Politics must start from the resource represented by the double sense of belonging of diaspora communities, which help us to know more about this whole wide world. Diaspora is home, I have said it many times before and I will say it again. I hope that Italy can be a home in the world and across the globe.

Pierfrancesco Majorino, Councillor for Social Policies, Health and Rights of the Municipality of Milan, which hosted the event, adds:

We need to bet on diasporas as it is an extraordinary resource, we need to value their histories, practices and cultures. Discussing these issues today is not as it was a few years ago in Italy. Culture in emergencies consolidates insecurity and does not allow the great game between people to be played.  Hosting today’s event in Palazzo Reale after last week’s conference in Marrakesh on the Global Compact means wondering whether those challenges belong to today’s Italy and insisting that they will not be set aside. In the coming months there will be 900 new homeless due to the end of humanitarian protection. Obviously, the issue of diasporas is a different matter and as such must be considered differently, but we must have a single underlying philosophy that values positive paths between people, encounter and openness. The National Diaspora Summit great challenge is that there are no longer monologues and one‑sided narratives about migration but dialogues and encounters between people.

Tommy Kuti – Rapper of Nigerian origin, comments:

For 20 years I have heard and read about Migration on TV and in the newspapers but I have never heard a migrant speak. For me, days like today are very important to make a difference, but sceptical Italian kids with different ideas have no way of getting to initiatives like these. I try to reach them, with a simple and direct language. Music is one of the easiest and most natural vehicles to convey these messages. I hope that in time there will be other guys like me who convey new messages and make our voice heard.

And over a recorded base he gets up and raps his best-known song ‘AfroItaliano’.

Though most striking is Sarah’s intervention, a 14-year-old student, telling of her discomfort at how she is perceived at school. Even though she grew up in Italy and knows the language perfectly, the only fact that she is black make professors and classmates think that she does not speak well, is not equal to the task and doesn’t understand like her peers. They believe that she is somehow worth less, and the risk is that she ends up believing it too. Sarah wishes that the Diaspora Summit can go to schools, telling young people about this journey, talk about the new citizens, so that everyone knows their value and no one feels discriminated against any more.

Summit delle diaspore