Internationales Begegnungszentrum Karlsruhe e.V.
25 years of success: from the "Foreigners' Centre" to a network node and centre of competence on the topic of migration and integration.
The Karlsruhe "Foreigners' Centre", where foreign associations had been active since the 1970s, developed into the International Meeting Centre (ibz) in the mid-1990s - following a decision by the Karlsruhe City Council. The aim was to create an intercultural centre that would offer enough space for communication and encounters between immigrants and "natives". This was also to send a clear signal against right-wing extremism and racism. The new location with a new concept also provided rooms for migrant associations; in 2020, twelve associations are active in the house. On 18 May 1995, the ibz opened its doors at a new location.
Until 2013, the ibz was a consortium of Karlsruhe institutions, churches and associations. Since January 2013, it has been a registered non-profit association. The ibz continues to be financially supported primarily by the city of Karlsruhe.
In its 25-year history, the ibz has developed into an important network node and centre of competence on the topic of migration and integration and is thus an important player in the city's welcome structure. It is a contact point for all migrants, regardless of their country of origin or reason for immigration, but also a central meeting place for people with and without a history of migration and flight, especially through its integration projects and socio-political events. In this form, it is unique in Karlsruhe but also in Baden-Württemberg; it has a regional and supraregional appeal.
The ibz is characterised by the fact that it sees itself as having a social responsibility and an obligation to recognise needs and respond to them accordingly. This has an impact on the development of the formats offered.