campaign : Tea 4 Change
Just a Cuppa or The Start of a Beautiful Friendship?
Mahnaz's campaign concentrates on fostering connections. Super-diverse Birmingham is a city with residents from nearly 200 communities. For some people, high levels of migration can have negative effects including segregated communities and a lack of mutual understanding due to perceived cultural and language barriers. Stereotyping of certain groups can lead to tensions.
“I want to celebrate the diversity of Birmingham. I hope that my event will help bridge the gap between migrant communities and born and bred Brits and that it will help bring back the art of conversation over a nice cup of tea."
A World-Wide Ritual
Mahnaz's idea is a perfect example of how campaigns can be incredibly fun to create, but are also effective in their execution.
Through Craftspace, Mahnaz had multiple opportunities to see how her campaign resonated with people. "...It does not matter what race, gender, religion or if you are rich or poor. We may have all experienced these feelings at some points in our lives. This is partly why I have seen the need to bring people together. This outdoor tea party had a mixture of people that reminded me that those differences do not necessarily define a person. We actually can forget sometimes that we are all human and have a lot in common, one of them being the love for tea and drinking tea."
Mahnaz also enjoyed other opportunities to present her campaign in places as far away as Slovenia! You can read more on the Making For Change blog here.
Unstitch stereotypes while stitching new connections...
Mahnaz was inspired to start 'Tea 4 Change' because of one of her friends. They felt isolated after moving from Hungary to the UK.
Mahnaz spotted how a simple act can turn an intimidating situation into a welcoming atmosphere.
After creating delicate fabric tea bags, people can give these to others in their community that they haven't spoken to before - particularly those who may not belong to their same background and culture in order to start conversations.
Support Mahnaz's campaign by making your own tea bag. Download the instructions below and find out more about the campaign.
Mahnaz practised presenting in a variety of situations, from local Brummies to sharing ideas with European organisations. She grew her professional skills in public speaking, creativity and team-working.
Nervous about presenting?
Scale it up like Mahnaz by starting with one friend first before larger numbers or less-familiar faces and get feedback on your campaign.
Think about using a mentor to support you and develop your confidence. Mahnaz worked with two mentors including Jane Thakoordin, you can watch Jane talking about working together on our Manifesto page.
Your Turn To Present
A Curator's Perspective
I really loved seeing how Mahnaz celebrates the link between Birmingham's diversity and its food culture.
Her campaign feels really timely as many complain of a disconnect. When you can shop at a touch of a button or work from home, there's fewer reasons to interact with others on a day-to-day basis. Now our relationships need to be more deliberate with art and activism playing a key part in this.
Pause for Thought
A special event deserves a special keepsake! Like party favours, the tea bags are a wonderful way to remember connecting and community-building during Mahnaz's tea party events.
What would you like to leave an event like this with?