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Us and them | Civic Europe
Community development, Social inclusion

Us and them

The impact of hate speech on the feeling of integration of international protection applicants and beneficiaries


Who is behind this?

Katarina Kromar

Društvo za povezovanje družbenih ved in kultur ODNOS


Who is joining forces?

Cultural Institute Renaissance of Youth



Idea pitch

Challenge of the project is the noticeable normalization of hate speech in wake of the increase of mass migration in recent years, specifically in the Ljubljana region.
Objectives are to empower and build the community aware of the dangers of polarized society and empowered to confront hate speech using social design approach and co-creating survey-based solutions with the community. The target groups are refugees, the general public, Youth (15-24 y) in educational processes, and NGOs.

Where will your project idea take place?

Ljubljana region, Slovenia

What is the specific societal challenge faced by this region?

Hate speech is increasingly tolerated as an accepted form of expression of opinion and position in everyday speech in public, media discourse, and political propaganda. Often, the authors of hate speech refer to the right to freedom of speech to political immunity, and to foreign political and legislative practices. We assume that this kind of discourse and political stance begins with leading political parties and social elites, which through the expression of such discriminatory ideas try to create a polarized society and blame the multicultural population for political, economic, or social problems. In this way, in the interest of the struggle for power, society is systematically divided into "us and them". This polemic has gotten worse in the Ljubljana region for the past few years.

Who are you doing it for?

The target groups of our project are the public, refugees and immigrants. We will try to understand their needs, hear their voices and constantly align the process and the solution to meet them in a bottom-up manner with a participatory approach. The studied controversy creates an impatient, hostile, and dispositional atmosphere in society, which, of course, is also polarized and divided into smaller groups opposing each other. The needs of the general public and refugees somehow correlate. Both groups seek connectedness, security, and a high degree of solidarity between individuals. Another target group are NGOs, who have the faculty of implementing social designs for a better community. We will collaborate with NGOs in capacity-building activities and raising awareness.

How do you plan to get there?

The survey will provide suggestions and information that will make the project more relevant and credible to the public as part of the campaign. We will search for solutions with the community, creating and facilitating conversations and dialogue, bearing in mind culture, tradition, and beliefs to solve problems within the terms of society through a social design approach. Our team will travel to Malta and Turkey for short period to meet with organizations IOM and EASO on migrant and asylum support centers and to observe their methods as examples of good practice on community building, involving immigrants and locals in activities and engaging local authorities with the implementation of the solutions.
We will conduct interviews, bring target groups together at focus groups, participate in content-related events mainly within the University of Ljubljana, campaign design, design of brochures and advertising materials, campaign implementation, creation of social platforms intended for communication with the public, publication of research and other materials and advertising content for the professional and general public, project presentation and awareness-raising at educational institutions. We will approach the public by educating - the publication of the content, bringing awareness on the phenomena with educational videos and presentations.

What are the expected results?

Developing tools to empower individuals to confront hate speech and deconstruct hateful stereotypes and generalizations related to refugees and migrants (NGOs, educators, journalists, social media influencers, vloggers)
To build the affected community's resilience
To make the public aware of the consequences of hate speech
To acquaint with the proposed solutions by researching the polemic and raising awareness
To change the public narrative about refugees and to tell stories that highlight the positive contribution of refugees and immigrants to society, social cohesion, and solidarity.
Mostly, our result is to form a more connected and sustainable society with a higher degree of solidarity, a sense of security, and morale.

How does your idea strengthen active citizenship at a local and community level?

The value of the project is in the survey-based building of community aware of the dangers of polarization in the society and capable to confront and deconstruct hate speech in public and use avaliable tools in our society (Human rights Ombutsman and Advocat of principle of Equality) as well we will engage in advocay by forming initiative and connect to a relevant political party. It will include also the specific student population and other young people in the educational process who get to know the society and the environment. A young population, who, through education and growing up, create their own opinion and view of the people and the world around them is one of the key elements for better social and political engagements and participation at a local and community level.

Why is this idea important to you?

The team consists of students of social sciences and humanities and workers at NGOs, who are involved in the topics of social crises, migration, political issues, social issues, and similar through education and their own activities and work. All of the project creators live, work and study in the Ljubljana region and are closely connected to Ljubljana’s society and its specific social groups. In projects and research, they already have experience in organizing focus groups, collecting interviews, doing fieldwork, and understanding and taking essential caution on sensitive topics like this. We are all intrigued to see our community prosper in a more accepting way. We want to make a change by encouraging our society to be more educated on this phenomenon and more united.

€ 35000,-

Total budget

€ 33000,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

Major expenses

1. Workplace expenses (rent, utilities, office supplies etc.): 3.000€
2. travel and accommodation 5.000€,
3. personnel costs 15.000€,
4. public awareness campaign 4.000€,
5. publication costs 3.000€,
6. technological support 3.000€

What do you need from the Civic Europe community?

All your opinions and feedback are welcome!





Idea created on April 21, 2021
Last edit on April 25, 2021

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