The gouvernement du Québec renews funding for the Chaire until 2026

This renewal is an endorsement of the work of the Chair in the prevention of violent radicalization and extremism.

The UNESCO-PREV Chair in the Prevention of Violent Radicalization and Extremism, whose mandate was renewed last December, recently received an additional $480,000 in funding from the Quebec government to continue its work until 2026.

This commitment is a testament to the quality of our work over the first four years,” he says. In order for a UNESCO Chair to be renewed, detailed reports must be provided on the achievement of the objectives of the mandate, the results of the work and its expected evolution. Our team has never taken this renewal for granted. – Vivek Venkatesh

A world first when it was created, the UNESCO-PREV Chair has successfully secured over $4.5 million in external funding between 2017 and 2021.

The interdisciplinarity of the Chair, led in collaboration with co-holders from Concordia University, the Université du Québec à Montréal and the Université de Sherbrooke, gives it a strong advantage.

“We have Prof. David Morin, a political scientist at the Université de Sherbrooke, Prof. Marie-Ève Carignan, a researcher in media studies and communication, also at the Université de Sherbrooke, Prof. Ghayda Hassan, a psychologist at the Université du Québec à Montréal, and myself, who is interested in art education in general. These four disciplines are focused on radicalization prevention in a collaborative process that allows us to link different networks.”

UNESCO Chairs function as think tanks that build bridges between universities, civil society and diverse communities around the world. Their goal is to address and help solve some of the most pressing social problems.

There are currently 28 UNESCO Chairs in 25 universities and colleges across Canada.

Landscapes of hate and hope, and stories of resilience

Not only does the Quebec government continue to support us, but it has increased its support for our second mandate,” says Venkatesh. This funding is essential to the smooth running of our administration and ensures that our communications officers have the infrastructure and salaries they need to promote our work.

The UNESCO-PREV Chair publishes research, conducts professional development and training workshops, and holds capacity-building events with stakeholders from across society. It also organizes national and international networking among groups opposing radicalization and violent extremism, and awareness campaigns for policy makers and members of the media.

A tenured professor of inclusive visual arts practices at Concordia, Vivek Venkatesh is also a documentary filmmaker, founder of the Grimposium festival and lecture series, and a musician in the bands Halka, Landscape of Hate, and Landscape of Hope.

In 2014, Prof. Venkatesh further co-founded the Social Media Education Everyday (SOMEONE) project, which strives to raise awareness and foster dialogue to combat discrimination and hate online through music and multimedia art projects.

These areas of interest have provided her with a remarkable set of tools and experience that enrich the UNESCO-PREV Chair.

“We work with elected officials, educators, and directly with indigenous and marginalized communities. We are building capacity on the ground and we need coordination at the administrative level. This funding from Quebec City is great because it shows how well our goals and priorities align with those of the government.”

Written by Alexander Hackett, Concordia University