Combating Hate Speech — Latvia

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ERASMUS+, Key Action 1: training course

Venue: Riga, Latvia

Dates: 2—10 February 2023

Czech team size: 4 youth workers 

Please read the info-pack.

Hosting organisation: Youth Association BIID

Project description:

Training course on improving the competences and youth work methods and tools of youth workers to be able to transform hate speech and behaviour in youth settings professionally

Hate expressed by words, behaviour and attitudes is a form of violence that can easily be overlooked or ignored. When it is left unchallenged it can become normalised within our society and escalate into physical violence on a larger scale. Challenging hate when it occurs sends a clear message to young people that these attitudes and words are harmful and it takes the dehumanising impact of hate seriously. With the rapid growth of social media, which provides a willing platform, the ways in which hate speech can impact on people in all areas of society have multiplied. There is no widespread clarity on what hate speech is and how to address it. We intend for this project to meet some of these needs by supporting youth workers to have concrete and adaptable tools to enable them to recognise, challenge and ultimately transform hate speech. On one level the challenge lies with youth workers identifying the most effective and constructive ways to intervene and respond when hate speech happens in the youth space. On another, the challenge centres on how best to support young people in understanding the impact that hate speech can have, to know where it comes from, and to learn and challenge the attitudes that lie behind it. Our project seeks to address these challenges in order to create safer and more inclusive youth environments.

The overall aim of the project is to improve the competences and youth work methods and tools of youth workers being able to facilitate the transformative process of hate speech in youth settings based on the needs of young people they work with in daily basis. Being capable to deal with hate speech through appropriate youth work methods and proper manners and competences for the sake of their target groups especially young people with culturally diverse background such as minority, Roma, refugees and migrants youth.

Learning objectives of the training course are:

  • To be able to facilitate a proactive group-led response to addressing hate related conflicts within group of culturally diverse young people;
  • To consider the motives behind and impact of hurtful language and to understand why some people might react differently;
  • To learn to recognize and reflect on the impact of hate speech from different perspectives;
  • Enable the understanding of different levels of hate and how it escalates;
  • To become aware of existing societal structures of privilege and discrimination;
  • To critically engage with the media and understand the role we play in shaping it;
  • To develop self-awareness of the different ways social norms influence our assumptions, beliefs, judgements and expectations;
  • To understand that behaviours are a result of feelings, which are connected to whether our needs are being met or not.
  • To enable participants to explore and try out different ways to challenge power and oppression.
  • To initiate local community actions for transferring hate speech and behaviour in our local youth settings;
  • To initiate European youth projects according to the proposals of the new Erasmus+ programme 2021 – 2028.
  • To build a strong and solid partnership among partners for future cooperation.

The methodology of the training course:

Experienced trainers will prepare the methods based on the expectations and needs of the participants. They will provide participatory and creative methods which will ensure the participation of experienced and less experienced participants. Some methods we will plan to use: individual, pair and mixed group work, drawings, montage/collage, group discussions, brainstorming, role play, board game, idea and project development, etc.

Who can participate in the training course:

  • Youth workers, youth leaders who directly work with young people with diverse cultural background and represent youth organisations;
  • Youth workers, youth leaders who would like to improve intercultural communication of their youth organisations;
  • Youth workers, youth leaders, who would like to initiate high-quality youth exchanges and youth workers’ mobility projects on behalf of their represented youth organisations based on intercultural communication;
  • Ready to take part in the whole training course;
  • To be able to communicate English language.

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