News

New Publication on Perceived Discrimination Experiences in Canadian Communities in a COVID-19 context.

Socio-cultural correlates of self-reported experiences of discrimination related to COVID-19 in a culturally diverse sample of Canadian adults” is a new publication by McGill University postdoctoral fellows Diana Miconi and Rochelle Founfelker and co-authors McGill University’s Zhi Yin Li, Project Someone collaborator Cécile Rousseau and Director Vivek Venkatesh in International Journal of Intercultural Relations (March 2021).

 

Read or download the article here.

Upcoming Event on the Pandemic and Social Polarisation

Project Someone Director, Vivek Venkatesh, will speak at La pandémie et les polarisations sociales : points de vue et perceptions des établissements d’éducation [The Pandemic and Social Polarizations: Views and Perceptions of Educational Institutions], where he will discuss the PROFILE and Landscape of Hope projects. Project Someone collaborators Cécile Rousseau and postdoctoral fellow, Diana Miconi, will also participate.

This virtual half-day event, presented by the RAPS team and organized in collaboration with the SHERPA University Institute, the UNESCO-PREV Chair and Éducation Québec, will take place April 13, 2021, from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

“The literature emphasizes the central role of education communities in prevention, but how should we view this in the specific context of Quebec? How can we prevent social polarization, considering our history, current social issues, and community resources? How do we deal with the increase of certain tensions in the context of a pandemic? ”

View the program.

Free Registration.

Upcoming Workshop on Evaluating Practices in The Prevention of Violent Extremism

The workshop, Évaluer nos pratiques d’évaluation en prévention de l’extrémisme violent: Comment faire? Produced in collaboration with  the UnescoPREV Chair and RAPS will take place Thursday February 25 from 1-4 p.m.

There are still a few places left to attend. To register, please contact: catherine.montmagny.grenier.ccomtl@ssss.gouv.qc.ca

Upcoming Panel Discussion on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) in a Post-Pandemic University Context

Photo: Adrien Olichon – Burst

Concordia University’s Faculty of Fine Arts will offer faculty, staff and teaching assistants a series of workshops including Inclusive Teaching, Academic Freedom, and Hierarchies of Knowledge in the Classroom, a panel discussion hosted by Vivek Venkatesh, with the participation of Dave Waddington, Jason Selman and Deanna Smith.

Date: March 24, 2021

Time: 1 – 2:30 p.m.

Registration for this free online event is open to the Concordia University Community, and you can register here.

More information on this event.

New Funding to Expand Landscape of Hope Initiative

Photo: Alessandro Belleli

Concordia University’s Landscape of Hope initiative has received substantial funding from the Fonds de recherche du Québec (FRQ), Canadian Heritage and the Michaëlle Jean Foundation. This will allow the transdisciplinary team to continue working with marginalized communities, including Black and racialized youth, through workshops creating installations and performative events in and around Montreal and Chicoutimi, Quebec, where the focus will be on Indigenous community partners.

Read more here.

Project SOMEONE Seeking a Postdoctoral Fellow

Photo: Alessandro Belleli

Project SOMEONE, in partnership with the UNESCO Chair in Prevention of Radicalisation and Violent Extremism, is looking for the ideal candidate for a prestigious two-year Horizon Postdoctoral Fellowship valued at over $50,000 per year.  

Working in the stimulating and collaborative research environment at Concordia’s internationally recognized Centre for the Study of Learning and Performance (CSLP), the Horizon Postdoctoral Fellow will work on Landscape of Hope, an interdisciplinary, multi-stakeholder, pan-Canadian project tackling the growing social ills associated with discriminatory, prejudicial, xenophobic, and hateful conduct perpetrated on social media.   

 The project aims to engage youth in pluralistic dialogue through innovative social media analytics, workshops supporting key mental health indicators, collaborative multi-media production, practice-based art installations and performative events.  

 The Horizon PDF research program will investigate innovative interdisciplinary practices for building resilience to cyber pressure by focusing on three areas:    

  • The socio-demographic and contextual conditions that impact marginalised youth experiences and perceptions of discrimination in an era of polarization and uncertainty  
  • The relationships between the psychological, mental health, and social variables that impact youths’ use of the internet, perceptions of misinformation propagation, levels of critical thinking, digital literacy markers  
  • Creative media production skills that transcend current offerings by popular social media apps (e.g., Instagram filters) and their role in helping participants negotiate difficult subjects such as hate, bias, fear, and hope, and articulating different and more hopeful forms of identity  

 Learn more about Landscape of Hope and check out these LOH events: 

Canadian Premiere – February 2019 

Youth Workshop in Montreal – July 2019 

St Jax Performance – October 2019 

Read more about the additional benefits, academic qualifications and the submission process. 

Vivek Venkatesh Speaking at Upcoming III World Congress of Transdisciplinarity

 

As part of the upcoming III World Congress of Transdisciplinarity (November 2-6, 2021) in Mexico City. Project Someone Director, Vivek Venkatesh, will participate in the virtual symposium Trans-Violence: The Transdisciplinary Reasons To Overcome Violence on Friday, January 29, 2021, at 11:00 AM (EST), where he will present “Social Pedagogy to Build Resilience Against Hate Speech: Primary Prevention of Radicalisation to Violent Extremism.”

Follow the virtual conference via YouTube here.

New Research Examines Former Extremists’ Perceptions on the Role of Education in the Prevention of Radicalization and Violent Extremism

In the following article, Project Someone Research Assistant, Ramya Panchachara (pictured above), discusses her work on former extremists’ perceptions on the role of education in the prevention of radicalization and violent extremism.

By Ramya Panchachara

When we hear the term extremists, we often think about radical groups far away. Yet, we experience extremism in our very own communities. Although often overlooked, right-wing extremists in Canada have had lasting impacts on social development.

Over the summer, I had the opportunity to work as a research assistant with Project SOMEONE alongside Drs. Maxime Bérubé, Vivek Venkatesh, Méi-Ra St-Laurent and Olivier Arvisais. There, I was able to further explore former extremists’ perceptions on prevention strategies and radicalism at large. Specifically, the research focused on better understanding the role of pedagogy and education in preventing radicalization and violent extremism through the perspective of former extremists. My task on the research team was to analyze studies on pedagogical approaches to preventing radicalism and extremism among youth.
Additionally, I examined these notions by analyzing data collected from ten open-ended interviews with former right-wing extremists. Founded on their lived experiences and beliefs, the study currently being developed aims to explore the formers’ perceptions of the role of education and pedagogy in the prevention of radicalization and violent extremism. The study of the data collected from these interviews revealed four overarching themes linked to the role of education in different stages of the former’s lives. These included upbringing, radicalization process, redirection process and post-radicalization.

Education plays a significant role in guiding youth and adolescents through both formal and informal structures. Formal education refers to the notion of organized learning. In educational institutions, youth and young adults follow structured curriculums. In contrast, informal education refers to learning through activities and interests of the individual and third parties such as friends and family. Data collected from the interviews showed that many formers identified the different formal and informal education impacts throughout the four stages. For instance, informal education through community involvement and social groups played a large part in many formers’ redirection process.
As the project progresses, it demonstrates the need to continue investigating the development of practical pedagogical programs focused on the prevention of radicalization among youth. The most effective prevention strategies are to encourage diversity, allow for open dialogue and promote inclusivity.

Interviews and Insights from Journées Euro-Méditerranéennes

The following interviews were conducted in December 2019 at the Journées Euro-Méditerranéennes by Project Someone’s Rawda Harb and Vivek Venkatesh. The two-day event, in Rabat, Morocco, was organized by the members of the UNESCO Chair for the Prevention of Radicalisation and Violent Extremism.

 

The event aimed to engage women and youth in the conversations and workshops about violence and radicalization, as they are often survivors of such acts. Moreover, the myriad roles of women and youth in preventing violence and radicalisation, improving critical thinking and nurturing resilience are crucial to any future progress in these areas.  

 

The 12 participants are researchers, young students or professionals who gave insights on their work, passions, and expectations from the event. The interviews took place in the participants’ language of choice (Arabic, English or French) and subsequently translated into the other official languages.

 

You can access the videos in all 3 languages on our Vimeo channel or view the English captioned video interviews with the different participants below:

Aabir Jbara – Student

Abdelwahed Mekki-Berrada – Professor, Université de Laval

Amadou Diawara – President, Virtual University of Mali

Ayoub Otmani – Student, Meknès

Bouthayna Akkouh – Student, Mohammed V University, Rabat, Morocco

Chafia Djouadi – Peace Ambassador for the African Union, Project Manager, University of Toulouse II

Lina Zeraouli – Student, Mohammed V University, Rabat, Morocco

Loubna Assabbab – Public, Educational and Cultural Attaché at the Quebec Office in Rabat

Moustapha Berrou – HOMERe France Alumni and President, Mauritanian Engineering Community

Noor Fassi – Student, National School of Applied Sciences, Fes, Morocco

Oumaimah Ninich – Student and Activist – MasterPeace Morocco

Séraphin Alava – Professor, Université Toulouse II Jean Jaurès, Unesco PREV Chair member

New Study on Ethno-Cultural Disparities in Mental Health During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Image: Alissa Eckert / CDC ; Dan Higgins, MAMS

 

A group of Canadian researchers, including CSLP members and Project Someone collaborators, recently published a Canadian study that explores the association between pandemic-specific risk factors and the mental health of minority populations.

 

 The study titled “Ethno-cultural disparities in mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic: a cross-sectional study on the impact of exposure to the virus and COVID-19-related discrimination and stigma on mental health across ethno-cultural groups in Quebec (Canada)” by Diana Miconi, Zhi Yin Li, Rochelle L. Frounfelker, Tara Santavicca, Jude Mary Cénat, Vivek Venkatesh and Cécile Rousseau looked at sociocultural inequalities in mental health-related to COVID-19 in the Canadian context. 

 

The findings suggest that “COVID-19-related risk factors, including exposure, discrimination and stigma, jeopardise mental health,” especially “for the Black community.” And researchers signalled “an urgent need for public health authorities and health professionals to advocate against the discrimination of racialised minorities and ensure that mental health services are accessible and culturally sensitive during and in the aftermath of the pandemic.”

 

A recent grant from the McGill Interdisciplinary Initiative in Infection and Immunity (MI4) provided funding for the study. 

 

You can read or download the open access study here.