Paris, France, October 2019 – The Efus-led LOUD project (Local Young Leaders for Inclusion) organised in September a series of focus groups with representatives of the nine partner cities*, their local partners and the project’s experts with the aim of assessing local needs and preparing campaigns against intolerance and extremism.
Started in January 2019 for a duration of two years, LOUD seeks to foster inclusive environments for young people in order to prevent them from drifting into intolerance and extremist behaviours. The project’s main objectives are to:
- Counter all forms of intolerance and extremist speeches among young people.
- Provide effective alternative narratives at the local level.
- Empower young people in tackling discrimination and extremist contents.
- Promote European exchanges on alternative narratives among young people.
> Meetings with young people and local partners
The purpose of these meetings was to present the assessments conducted in all the partner cities to identify local issues of discrimination, intolerance and exclusion as well as identifying young locals who could contribute to the campaigns and local civil society representatives who are supporting or leading initiatives on these issues.
The project also met the local partners (associations, cultural centres, municipal youth councils, student associations, etc.) that will accompany in each partner city the local group of youths when they design and produce their alternative speech campaign.
Five cities – Augsburg, L’Hospitalet, Lille, Pella and Rosny-sous-Bois – have already identified groups of young people that are willing to take part in the project, and meetings/workshops were organised with them. The purpose was to listen to their views and feelings about discriminatory and extremist discourses, discuss their expectations and concerns about the project, and evaluate their training needs prior to designing a local alternative discourse campaign. The topics they mentioned the most were discrimination against disabled people, equal opportunities, everyday racism, gender equality, Islamophobia and anti-Semitism.
> Next steps
In the project’s next phases, trainings will be organised for young locals in each partner city with the support of partner organisations and experts. The training modules will be tailored to a young audience and cover topics such as inter-culturality, peaceful coexistence, social cohesion and diversity.