Extreme Dialogue

Foundation work contributes to ‘Extreme Dialogue’ campaign in Canada

February 17, 2015 | Nick Taylor

We are proud to announce the launch of a campaign in Canada called Extreme Dialogue; that aims to get young people, teachers, parents and youth workers across Canada talking to one another about extremists and their messages.

The Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace embarked upon this exciting project in 2013 and the campaign launch is taking place across Canada and being demonstrated at a special ceremony at the White House.  The project created a set of films and education resources and the Foundation worked in collaboration with the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD) and filmmakers duckrabbit.

The results are impressive with a set of films and resources that will help to equip young people with the skills and tools to be able to recognise the signs of the pernicious and extreme narratives trying to lure them down a path of violent extremism.

View the Extreme Dialogue Website Here

Follow extreme dialogue on Twitter @ExtremeDialogue

Like Extreme Dialogue on Facebook 

 Watch Extreme Dialogue on YouTube

Kelly Simcock, who led the Foundation’s contribution to the project said: “As the world comes to grips with the news of yet another ‘terror attack’ at the weekend in nearby Denmark, we are reminded that work to counter violent extremism is as urgent as it has ever been.

“As incidents increase in countries close to home, events in Ottowa(*) in November served as stark reminder that the battle to win the hearts and minds of young people is a global challenge.

“As a Foundation, we have been delivering this work for almost 20 years. The deaths of Tim Parry and Johnathan Ball in 1993 led to the creation of the Foundation and the start of the work with young people from the North and South of Ireland shortly afterwards.

“The work taught us very early on that tackling the early signs and symptoms of hatred and prejudice are as important as any security measure to stop people flying to join in a foreign conflict.”

“We have to equip them to challenge stereotypes, interrogate prejudice question the narratives that pull them towards these groups. Sow the seeds of doubt and encourage young people to really consider what is important to them.”

The Foundation for Peace’s approach has been tested down the years with young people from Belfast and Leeds through to Palestine and Israel. The techniques and approaches that we deploy focus on making sure that everyone is engaged with the topic. Simply teaching people not to do something doesn’t work. We facilitate and invite them to work out what needs to be done: once they are given the tools and knowledge they quickly decide for themselves and can make informed judgements.

Click here to read the opinion of Rachel Briggs OBE, Senior Fellow at the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, one of the organisations leading the Extreme Dialogue programme.

The films incorporate the testimonies of victims and survivors as well as a former extremist.

Click here to read the opinion of Christianne Boudreau, who has campaigned about the recruitment and radicalization of young people in Calgary and across Canada.  She is currently involved in establishing Hayat Canada, a group which supports families to assist with deradicalisation, and helping to form an international mothers’ organization for those whose children have fallen prey to violent extremism.

The power of testimony in Foundation programmes has long been present but the films are now providing the opportunity for these stories to be heard and experienced more widely. Put simply, the courage, candour and honesty of people who helped us with the project such as Christianne and Daniel will help to reach audiences that may never have been reached before.

Their personal experiences and stories will provide a lens for the young audiences that may otherwise be unavailable.

Their steps in engaging with this project have set a standard and will hopefully encourage others to follow because if we are to truly meet groups like the so called ‘Islamic State’ head on – we have to occupy the online space too and make sure that the voices of those who really know are heard as loudly.

View the Extreme Dialogue Website Here

Follow extreme dialogue on Twitter @ExtremeDialogue

Like Extreme Dialogue on Facebook 

 Watch Extreme Dialogue on YouTube


FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT kelly.simcock@foundation4peace.org or on Twitter @Kellysimcock78

and we thank our senior associate Jon Nicholas for his work on this project @JonNicholas68

(c) 2015 Extreme Dialogue is funded by Public Safety Canada via the Kanishka Project. It is run by an international consortium of the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, the education non-profit the Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace and film makers duckrabbit. Extreme Dialogue will be rolled out across Europe in 2015.

(*) source Wikipedia: A series of shootings occurred on October 22, 2014, at Parliament Hill in Ottawa. At the Canadian National War Memorial, Michael Zehaf-Bibeau fatally shot Corporal Nathan Cirillo, a Canadian soldier on ceremonial sentry duty. He then entered the nearby Centre Block parliament building, where members of the Parliament of Canada were attending caucuses. After wrestling with a security guard at the entrance, Zehaf-Bibeau ran inside and was cornered and killed by the Commons Sergeant at Arms, Kevin Vickers, after a shootout with parliament security personnel