Vivek Venkatesh and Fellow UNESCO-PREV Co-Chairs Join CEFIR in a New Research Project

Project Someone Director and co-Chair of the UNESCO Chair in Prevention of Radicalization and Violent Extremism, Vivek Venkatesh, and his fellow Chair colleagues will join researchers from Cégep Édouard-Montpetit’s Centre d’expertise et de formation sur les intégrismes religieux, les ideologies politiques et la radicalisation (CEFIR) on a new project that focuses on religious practice in Cegeps.

Titled “La pratique religieuse dans les cégeps : nouvelles avenues pour une meilleure integration” [Religious Practice in CEGEPs: new avenues for better integration], the project is the beneficiary of a $360,000 grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada’s (NSERC) College and Community Innovation Program.

According to CEFIR, “The project starts from the premise that, although college environments are open and inclusive integration is part of the network’s core values, there remains a discomfort around religious practices. So, while most students and staff are non-believers, there is still a significant portion of students for whom faith is central. The debates around secularism, immigration, and identity have created tension around the religious issue in a context where the majority of young people have limited religious knowledge, thus accentuating misunderstandings. CEFIR, therefore, aims to find new ways to defuse this tension by disseminating knowledge about different religions and creating spaces for discussion around religious issues. Educational activities, a specially dedicated week, and a student conference on religion are all in the planning stages.”

Vivek Venkatesh and the UNESCO-PREV team’s role will be to evaluate educational materials in the prevention of radicalization and violent extremism during this 3-year project (2020-2023).

To read more about this project, please click here.