CONTRA (COuntering the TRAjectories ) is a project with the stated goal of combating extremism and self-radicalization domestically. This Montreal based team saw the domestic challenges and misunderstandings prompted by new global crises, from the rise of global terrorism to the Syrian refugee crisis, and looks to push our communities to look more closely at the reality of these crises. CONTRA uses educational packets and social media aimed at North American youths in order to teach critical thinking skills, media literacy, and ultimately an understanding of the nuances and rhetoric which surrounds Islam and the Middle East.
This project began under the supervision of the Montreal Institute of Genocide Studies (MIGS), and in cooperation with P2P:Challenging extremism, which have lent their time and resources to help us in our goals. Our interdisciplinary team aims to give youths access to the information necessary to dispel common stereotypes and to reject hate speech aimed at Muslims and Arabs, while making active efforts to include them in our communities. By providing infographics, videos, and hands on workshops, we hope to inspire this population to think critically about the world they occupy.
As our project grows, we look to continue working directly with students and presenting our material in these workshops with them. Furthermore, we hope that teachers, professionals, and community leaders can visit our educational section and fashion their own workshops, teaching important values of inclusivity and media literacy. Finally, we hope to continue to inspire youths and adults alike to decode the information which surrounds them through easily accessible forms of media. For those looking to learn more, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.