Colby Pacheco

Colby Pacheco (Dženo Association): Colby completed his Bachelor of Science degree in business at the University of Rhode Island. After graduation, Colby volunteered in the AmeriCorps*VISTA program for one year at the Volunteer Center of San Diego County. While acting as the Disaster Response Coordinator at the Volunteer Center, Colby helped shape the disaster response volunteer program, recruited community volunteers to act as leaders and conducted outreach and emergency preparedness trainings in low-income communities in San Diego. At the time of his fellowship, he was studying for a Master's degree at the School of International Relations & Pacific Studies (IR/PS) at the University of California, San Diego.

Final Thoughts

05 Sep

Time passes quickly. It seems like 11 weeks blew by in the blink of an eye.
I am thankful to the Advocacy Project and Dzeno Association for my time here in Prague. I’d like to hope that I made even the smallest contribution to the Roma rights movement.

For weeks I’ve had a front row seat to the ups and downs, trials and triumphs of the movement. I’ve witnessed Europeans at their best and unfortunately at their worst. Legislation has poured out of some very surprising countries that reeks of intolerance and hatred of Romani people. Neo-Facsist factions are codifying in many areas in the region. And perhaps most depressingly, no one (aside from Roma & Roma activists)seems to even notice let alone care.

Europe is beginning to feel “Roma Fatigue”. As an editor of a newspaper emailed me while I had tried to pitch an article I wrote: “No one will read an article solely based on Roma issues. It’s unfair, but it’s the reality here. You have to make it appeal to a broader audience.”
That is certainly a big challenge facing the Roma movement.

In Europe, nearly everyone is aware of “The Roma Issue”. The problem comes from how this issue is framed. Is it viewed as an issue of lack of ability of an ethnic group to integrate and obtain equal footing based on entrenched prejudices? Or is it an issue of a deviant group of people that are simply no good for society?
All too often the latter is spoken.

So the problem of appealing to the masses is a major problem for the Roma Movement but to see any progress, European citizens will have to put their prejudices aside and view the this group for what they are.

Posted By Colby Pacheco

Posted Sep 5th, 2008

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