Im not a racist, but…

 

Anti-discrimination training for unmotivated and resistant adults

Discrimination & prejudice toward migrants & refugees is frequently discussed transnationaly with good reason. Individual  & institutional racism is a historic & current problem in all member states and with recent increases in migration there is evidence a significant rise in racist incidents. Those working with migrants & issues of racism are increasingly aware that the ER form of discrimination has not received attention, despite a clear negative social impact. Due to underlying manifestations of racist & prejudiced attitudes & discrimination, it is easy to overlook the ‘everyday’ aspect unless you are a member of a recipient group. Even within recipient groups there may be lack of recognition; many don't talk about it & may justify it by blaming themselves for not being "integrated" enough or being "different". The self blame process is not dissimilar to the experience of those who are bullied.

Our research tells us that this atmosphere & the frustrating, sad & sometimes angry feeling of being disrespected on a regular basis in daily life, has profound consequences for the individual discriminated against, other members of society, workplaces who feel the atmosphere & employers who have unhappy & unproductive workers, & dissatisfied users of public institutions.

One of the key contemporary objectives of adult education & training is to promote active citizenship, personal fulfillment, social inclusion & employability/adaptability. It should also aim to make societies better, more just & equal so all people feel safe & appreciated in everyday life. If these aspects of education are not addressed correctly the advantage of diversity will be lost.  The concept of adult education extends from post compulsory educational scenarios to the workplace, community & voluntary groups.

INAR project will focus on Everyday racism and discrimination, that is, to develop strategies, methods & materials to teach trainers to sensitize adult learners to the problems of everyday racism & to change behavior in their daily interactions with people belonging to ethnic minorities or who have migrant background. Specific focus will be to develop methods & materials to engage hard to reach participants with negative attitudes towards minority groups, importantly to provide support & methodologies for trainers encountering defensive, evasive or hostile responses to the training. Sociologist Esseds(2002) definition of ER helps to clarify: "As a concept ER has been useful in showing that systemic racism is reproduced largely through routine & taken-for-granted practices & procedures in everyday life. Although ER has such an informal ring that it may sound as if it concerns relatively harmless & unproblematic events, the psychological distress due to racism on a day-to-day basis can have chronic adverse effects on mental & physical health"

Research carried out by ICI in Iceland in 2012 showed that 93% of participants with non-Icelandic background experienced some hidden prejudice & discrimination once or more during a 14 day period. 62.5% of participants experienced some form of hidden prejudice & discrimination 5 times or more during the time period, compared to only 5.8% of an Icelandic group.  A similar transnational  survey was conducted in 3 other EU countries as part of a Leonardo project, ERAW, which showed a similar outcome. This Icelandic research & associated surveys from the ERAW project & the associated literature reviews provide the research base & rationale for INAR. You can read more about the research here:

Transnationality allows for a broader application of the outputs & the differentiated experience & expertise is complementary.  The issues addressed by INAR are present in all member states as evidence by increased incidents of racist hate crime.

Attitudes & manifestations of ER may be blamed on lack of interaction & communication with diverse groups, stereotypes/mis-information via media/social media but the attitudes are changeable. Through support material provision with the first target group, the trainers, it should be possible to reach the second target group, those who are resistant or hostile toward this training form. These two groups are the key targets with the ultimate objective of cognitive shifts in the hostile or resistant target groups.

The framework of a Erasmus+ KA1 project shows that adult learning is complex & it is often difficult to reach adults with the provision of  training on controversial issues like racism, prejudice or discrimination. INAR's goal is to use cooperative learning material, instruments & tools to create a positive & interactive learning environment suitable for a diverse group of adults. As the adults may be obliged to participate by employers/managers, unemployment offices etc, it’s important to develop inclusive, non-threatening methods & materials that give each participant space to interact & discuss their ideas, but at the same time obtain the correct information concerning facts, experiences & feelings of those exposed to ER. 

Our partners in this project are three:

CHANCENGLEICH in Europa e.V. - ChE - Germany - www.ch-e.eu

Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights - CRER - Scotland - http://www.crer.org.uk

Centrul Judetean de Resurse si Asistenta Educationala Vrancea - CJRAE - Romania - www.cjraevn.ro

We will add process reports and outcomes of the project here but the final dissemination conference will be in Bucharest 1. and 2. June 2018.