The Finnish Peace Education Institute coordinates the SAFER – Schools Act for Equal Rights project that provides teachers and other professionals with tools and skills to tackle hate speech, discriminatory bullying, and excluding practices in schools. SAFER runs between 2018–2021 and is executed with six other partners from Estonia, Slovenia, and Finland.
SAFER focuses on transforming schools into safer spaces: we look more closely at how power relations, privileges, and prejudices affect the educational systems, structures, and traditions. The project will continue until August 2021.
The name of the project is an acronym for “Schools Act For Equal Rights” that expresses the core idea and goal of the project: “Safe(r) space” is a term originally referring to spaces that were created by people with marginalized identities to be and feel safe. The term is nowadays understood more broadly and it is used to express that no discrimination is allowed or accepted in places, groups, gatherings, or events that follow safer space guidelines.
The goal of using these guidelines is to tell people what kind of behaviour is desirable. These goals also exist to create a sense of inclusion and true participation in discussion and change-making. The aim in affecting people’s behaviour and bringing their attention to power relations is to change the status quo of power hierarchies in the society: making space for marginalized voices that would otherwise be silenced, building inclusion and belonging and supporting equal opportunities.
In the project, the aim is to bring this thinking to schools and give teachers the necessary tools and attitudes to make schools into safer spaces – places that are safe for students and teachers of marginalized groups to be themselves, participate and belong without fear of being excluded, bullied or discriminated against.
The SAFER curriculum was modified to support the usage of the learning material (My Learning Diary) in future learning processes. The aim of the Curriculum is to make the learning goals as well as the methodological and pedagogical approaches transparent and easily oriented. The curriculum also might help to assess whether this approach could be useful for different organisations or individuals to support their equality and equity work.
Processes of mentoring training in small groups and training courses for educators were organised in the SAFER project. The mentors’ task was to create a mentoring platform using peer-group mentoring guidelines to support other educators in their anti-discrimination work.
I am an LGBTIQ+ activist, feminist, and trainer for inclusive, equal and LGBTIQ+ education from Slovenia. I am part of the Ljubljana Pride Pool of trainers and Outside In – Transforming Hate Pool of trainers and am working on topics of LGBTIQ+, feminism and gender awareness, youth work, hate speech and intersectionality. I can provide training, workshops, seminars and tools for youth workers and educators to recognise, manage, and transform hate speech in their everyday work with young people.
More about my trainer’s experiences: Ljubljana Pride Pool of Trainers, Outside In – Transforming Hate pool of trainers
I am a teacher and a peace educator from Kokkola, Finland. I also coordinate the teaching of different language and cultural groups. I work on development projects that aim to increase equality and equity. And from an educational perspective inclusive education. I am the team leader of Global School Kokkola and thereby the Peace Education Institute is and has been an important partner in peace and global education work for many years for our organisation. I was awarded the title of “Global Educator of the Year” in 2017, by the Teachers Without Borders organisation in Finland. My educational background is classroom teacher from an international teacher training program from Oulu University (ITE) and a subject teacher in Finnish as a mother tongue / as a second language as well as literature.
A social psychologist by training, I have experience in research on education for the ethnic Malay-Muslim minority in Singapore, worked on gender and culture-sensitive integration issues in Finland, and with youths on anti-racism and interfaith education in Australia and Finland. In addition, I am the co-founder and chair of the Anti-Racist Forum in Finland and an international activist for Muslim-Jewish relations. In 2018, I was awarded the title “Global Educator of the Year” by the Teachers Without Borders network in Finland. In 2019, I was elected as the vice-chair of the European Network Against Racism (ENAR). In 2019, I also started my doctoral studies in sociology at the University of Helsinki as part of the research team working on the project “Intersectional Border Struggles and Disobedient Knowledge in Activism” funded by the Academy of Finland. I work as a peace educator and trainer for inclusive, equal, anti-racist, intercultural and interfaith education, and I am part of the European pool of trainers and experts who can provide quality trainings and tools for youth workers and educators to recognise, manage and transform hate speech in their everyday work with young people. You can find me and my work on http://amiirah.eu.
The project was funded by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union.