Jon Nicholas

Extreme Dialogue

October 27, 2014 | Nick Taylor

At a time when the people of Canada have been left reeling by what was described as an extremist attack, the Foundation’s most recent project is concluding at a critical time. (LAUNCHED FEBRUARY 2015 – follow this link)

‘Extreme Dialogue’ is a project to develop ‘counter narrative’ films accompanied by education resources to stimulate discussion in the classroom.  It is a project the  Foundation team have been working on for the past year in partnership with the Institute for Strategic Dialogue.

Funded by Public Safety Canada via the Kanishka Fund, the project has seen the Foundation work alongside partners in Canada, as well as film company DuckRabbit – to produce short films telling the stories of people impacted by violent extremism.  

Featuring the stories of a former right wing white supremacist and a the mother of a young man who travelled to and was killed in Syria, the films and the accompanying resources will be available to educators working with young people across Canada and beyond.

The Foundation’s Senior Associate Jon Nicholas (pictured) said: “This is an exciting mixed media engagement tool that directly confronts the lures of extremism and challenges them head on.  

“We are trying to bring those at risk closer to a better understanding of the causes and consequences of violent extremism, so that they may take more useful control of their lives and become more positive influences on their peers.”

The project is set to be launched in Canada in February 2015 following a year of engagement, research and visits to Canada to inform and shape these important tools.

The Foundation’s Director of Commissions Kelly Simcock said: “We are delighted to be working with ISD and partners on this project.

“As a Foundation that has spent almost two decades working with people young and old, and communities to look at the causes, effects and impacts of violent conflict, we are pleased to be able to share our learning and lend our approach to engaging in these incredibly important conversations with our young people and communities across the globe.

“Given the challenges that we are all facing at the present time, this work has never been more important.” 

The resources will be launched in 2015, and our website will provide the relevant links.  Watch this space!