An American actor helping the young people of Seine-Saint-Denis: “Their diversity is a wealth”

Putting Seine-Saint-Denis on the same footing as the poor regions of Mexico, Uganda and South Sudan raises eyebrows.

As in other parts of the world, the Oscar winner wants to launch programs to teach mediation and conflict resolution techniques and entrepreneurship to young people.

Seine-Saint-Denis, north-east of Paris, is the department with the highest poverty rates in mainland France.

It is known for its high-rise buildings where many immigrants from former colonies were housed in the 1960s.

The objectives of the association are in particular to reduce conflicts between young people and institutions and to train them to create their own business in areas of work in demand.

Whitaker told the Paris Peace Forum last month: “Working with young people has given me so much hope. “

“Young people are amazing”

The actor, who starred in films such as the 2006 hit The Last King of Scotland and in the recent Harlem Godfather series, went to La Courneuve in the Paris suburbs in mid-November with the president of Seine-Saint-Denis Stéphane Roussel. Mr. Roussel tweeted to have had “fascinating exchanges with Forest Whitaker, who understands that the youth and the diversity of Seine-Saint-Denis are a wealth; that a large part of the solutions to the ills of our societies are here ”.

Whitaker, 60, also met with the mayor of Clichy-sous-Bois, where the gritty drama of 2019 Wretched was shot. On a previous visit there, the actor said he was moved by the poverty and decided to try to help.

A spokesperson for the Whitaker Peace and Development Initiative (WPDI), which the star created in 2012, said: Denis. Their energy needs to be rekindled – but from within. We need to take an empowerment-based approach of training and supporting young people and individuals from other groups so that they can become assets that their communities can rely on to effect positive change.

The foundation says it aims to launch some programs next year and that it is “reaching out to local authorities and non-governmental organizations” to find out what the needs are and how it can help.

BNP Paribas will be a key partner in the project.

Whitaker’s initiative was especially well received in France, but the left Release The newspaper criticized the choice of Seine-Saint-Denis and French politicians who supported the initiative.

He said the star’s charity could be more useful elsewhere, “where conflicts are more common,” adding: “They [politicians] often say that we should not “stigmatize” Seine-Saint-Denis, but themselves “stigmatize” the department by placing it on the map of global distress.

The WPDI said the high number of unemployed youth and school dropouts meant it was on par with the struggling urban neighborhoods it worked in in the United States, South Africa and Mexico.

Related stories

French gaming event raises record 10 million euros for Action Contre la Faim

Source link

About Pia Miller

Pia Miller

Check Also

Omicron denounces the inflexibility of European public hospitals

STRASBOURG, France (AP) — A World Health Organization official warned last week of a “closing …