News

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.

Vivek Venkatesh Discusses Social Pedagogy on Le Réverbère Podcast

In collaboration with the Conseil supérieur de l’éducation du Québec, Malorie Flon, Director of Development at the Institut du Nouveau Monde, spoke with Vivek Venkatesh for the podcast Le Réverbère.

In this episode, Vivek talks about social pedagogy, which aims to break down echo chambers to learn from others’ perspectives and encourage inclusion.

Listen to the podcast (in French) here.

“Policy and Practice” a Panel Discussion on the Importance of Art Education

Concordia University’s ARTE 884 art education doctoral studies class will be presenting Policy and Practice, a panel discussion featuring Catherine Wells, Tomas Jonsson, and Heidi Yetman.

The panel will discuss the importance of art education and explore how policy impacts this discipline.

The panel will take place via Zoom on Wednesday, December 9, 2020, from 6:30-8:00 PM.

Please RSVP here by December 8, 2020, to receive the Zoom link.

PROFILE and Landscape of Hope Featured by the Conseil Supérieur de l’Éducation du Québec

 

Project Someone, and CSLP Director, and UNESCO-PREV co-Chair, Vivek Venkatesh, spoke with the Conseil supérieur de l’éducation du Quebec to discuss two recent projects. The first is PROFILE, a practical toolkit for community, police, health, and education stakeholders in Canada to understand racial and social profiling and find ways forward. The other is Landscape of Hope, a unique, sample-based remixing project that magnifies youth narratives pertaining to building resilience against racism, discrimination, prejudice, and cyberbullying.

To read the article (in french only), please click here.

New article by Project Someone and CSLP collaborators in Terrorism and Political Violence

Project Someone collaborators and CSLP members Vivek Venkatesh, Jeffrey S. Podoshen, Jason Wallin, Jihan Rabah, and Daniel Glass recently published “Promoting Extreme Violence: Visual and Narrative Analysis of Select Ultraviolent Terror Propaganda Videos Produced by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in 2015 and 2016” in Terrorism and Political Violence Volume 32, 2020 – Issue 8.

 

This article helps “to understand and interpret post-apocalyptic and abject-oriented campaigns in the age of social media and rapid transmission of multimedia communications by examining aspects of violent, traumatic terrorist video propaganda produced by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).”

 

To download a free eprint of this article, please click here.

New MIRF Report on the Quebec-UNESCO community

Photo : MRIF « Le Québec et l’UNESCO — Une vision, une communauté, des priorités pour 2020-2021 » p. 14.

The Ministry of International Relations and La Francophonie recently published “Le Québec et l’UNESCO — Une vision, une communauté, des priorités pour 2020-2021.

 The report highlights, among others, the Quebec-UNESCO community partners who are experts in their fields and who contribute to decisive issues that are evolving on a planetary scale.

 Among the UNESCO partner networks in Quebec, the report mentions the UNESCO Chair in Curricular Development and the UNESCO Chair in the Prevention of Radicalization and Violent Extremism, many of whose members are also active with the CSLP and Project SOMEONE.

 To read or download the report (in French only), please click here.

Job posting – Community Coordinator (Montreal)

Community Coordinator (Montreal)

We are seeking a highly motivated and organized graduate student or research professional for a Community Coordinator position at the CSLP as part of a Heritage Canada funded Anti-Racism Action Plan project, Landscape of Hope:

 

Number of Hours of the Contract and Hourly Rate: 10 hours per week; $30-$35 based on experience

Supervisor: Reports to CSLP Program Manager; Works closely with CSLP Director

Start & End Date of the Contract: to be determined – tentative – December 2020 – December 2021 (12 months)

Job Qualifications and/or Requirements:

· Degree in a field related to Education, Communications or cognate disciplines is preferred

· Experience working with community organisations

· Highly organised

· Leadership skills

· Bilingual French and English

Summary of Responsibilities:

· Coordinate recruitment of community consultation group

· Chair community consultation meetings

· Coordinate event planning for 2 events (online or in Montreal)

· Assist with pedagogical planning

· Train youth leaders and teachers

· Coordinate evaluation

· Create promotional materials

· Work in partnership with Chicoutimi Community Coordinator

 

Please email your cover letter, CV, and contact information by December 5, 2020 to the hiring committee at CSLP@concordia.ca