Three Questions with Momodou Jallow
Alumnus of the GMF’s Transatlantic Inclusion Leaders Network (TILN’14) Momodou Jallow has just been elected with the Left Party into the Swedish Parliament, representing the Party Constituency City of Malmö. At a time when intercommunity tensions are heightened and far-right activity on the rise on both sides of the Atlantic, it is significant to see a distinguished and long-standing activist who has worked Europe-wide against racism and for social cohesion rising into this parliamentary role. We sought the MP’s views on tackling racism and xenophobia.
Q. What committees will you serve on, and how did you decide?
MP Jallow: I am serving the Tax and Finance Committee (an equivalence to ways and means committee in the United States) and the Culture Committee. What motivated me to be a part of the Tax and Finance Committee is the significance of economic reform and redistribution of wealth and resources in order to empower the economically marginalized communities and bridge the wealth gap. Economic policies and reform that help in redistributing wealth and resources and focused on empowering marginalized communities is fundamental in creating a just, diverse, and inclusive society for all.
Q. Please share a word of advice for young leaders aspiring to roles in elected leadership?
MP Jallow: We live in a global society in which political decisions made in one geographical area can have a significant impact on the lives of many globally. Leadership is therefore more important today than ever as it provides the Blueprint upon which our global society will navigate. Young people, particularly from marginalized communities, have a wealth of shared experiences often passed down from several generations and perspectives vital to creating informed decisions. This is why it is very important that young people take leaderships roles and bring to the table their unique perspectives and shared experiences, as this is, without a doubt, necessary in our quest for creating effective global solutions to global concerns.
Q: Are you optimistic that we can overcome current trends of xenophobia? What is something each of us can do to help?
MP Jallow: The current situation and trend of an increasing normalization process of racism and xenophobia is of great concern all around the world, but particularly in the United States and Europe. I am confident that human rights, love, respect, and diversity will prevail over hate and racism. We have historically always overcome these hateful ideologies that seek to divide us and we will continue to prevail as our commitment to peace, democracy, and diversity is a lot stronger. This requires, however, that we further strengthen our commitment as political leaders, activists, and civil society, to speak out, take a stand, mobilize, and build partnerships. As transatlantic minority leaders, we must take the lead in formulating policies that promote diversity and equal treatment but also to protect the human rights of every individual in our communities.
The views expressed in GMF publications and commentary are the views of the author alone.