Multiculturalism and racial harmony: countering radicalisation and racism in young people
How we challenge extremism, terrorism and the radicalisation of young people are some of the most urgent dilemmas facing Western society. We are proposing three practical initiatives to counter radicalisation in young people, and to spark new debates about multiculturalism and identity, both within the university and the wider community.
Our progress so far
Our research has shown that many young people from immigrant descent are experiencing an identity crisis. We also know that current thinking on multiculturalism tends to be polarised. We want to set up a multidisciplinary research cluster to open up debate within and beyond our university, and to create a brand new framework for multiculturalism and for understanding the current resurgence of racism and xenophobia.
Brookes academics have an international reputation for their pioneering work: Roger Griffin is one of the UK’s key thinkers on terrorism and Marius Turda is the leading specialist on racial studies and eugenics in Eastern Europe. Academics in social sciences, law and international relations are also actively researching racism, identity and hate crime. Bringing together these academics creates a new multidisciplinary focus for debate about multiculturalism and racial harmony.
To combat radicalisation and improve dialogue between different cultural groups, we want to set up a yearly scholarship to enable a student from a minority background to study for an MA in History with an elective on racism, and a dissertation focusing on their own community. The recipient would then go on to be proactive in their own community, family and workplace.
Establishing a new Centre for Study of Race & Identity would provide a focus for debate about national race and identity. Reaching out to disaffected young people through weekend study groups and other activities, it would also be centre for academics and research students.
We want to put in place a cross-university forum where students and academics debate current world issues. Events would include round table discussions, seminars and an annual conference and would also be open to the wider community and opinion formers.
Racial studies at university level allow for a complex social and cultural understanding of racism in order to overcome it.Jack Wilson-Patel (3rd year student, History)
How you can help
If you are motivated to help us open the much needed debate on Racial Harmony and Multiculturalism, donations of all sizes will make this a reality. By supporting our Humanity Fund your gift will make a huge impact in this area.
Racism and discrimination are impacting our communities and society on a daily basis - yet there is a lack of safe space where people can hold open and critical debates and discussions to examine the issues. Academic spaces, universities, are where these critical discussions need to develop. More needs to be done to encourage students to think critically about the issues of race and more support should be given to those teachers who want to tackle racism at its roots and equip their students to do the same.Shaista Aziz, Journalist, communication specialist and Oxford Brookes guest lecturer