One of the most meaningful events related to the No Hate Speech Movement and organised in Macedonia every year by Center for Intercultural Dialogue (CID) is the No Hate School. The No Hate School gathers educators, youth workers, researchers, practitioners in the field of youth together to learn about hate speech and hate crime and to design local action plans that are later on implemented throughout the year.
This year the School has arrived at its 6th edition and was held on the topic of media literacy and critical thinking, how to recognize, analyse and come up with alternative narratives when it comes to online content that contains hate speech. It was held in Berovo, Macedonia, between the 25th-29th of October.
The school gathered 20 young people from different regions of Macedonia who are youth workers, educators and activists. Its aim was to equip the participants with tools on how to proactively engage in combating hate speech in their communities and multiply their gathered knowledge.
The programme of the school was tailored to best suit the needs of the participants in the Macedonian context. The first part addressed the issue of human rights, understanding hate speech and hate crime; the participants explored the legislation in Macedonia and the institutional response towards hate speech and hate crime. In the second part, the participants developed their competences into recognising hate speech and explored together various tools for combatting it; moreover, they worked on how to create alternative narratives and how to actively promote critical thinking.
Dragoslav Boshkov, one of the participants in the school, thinks that the school has been beneficial for his professional development:
”By participating in the school against hate speech, I have deepened my previous knowledge on the topic. I have learned many new things related to the topic, such as how to recognize hate speech, what are the consequences of a hate crime, etc. I liked the way in which the materials were presented to us through interaction and play. And I hope that I will be able to apply the knowledge that I have gained in my local context in my work with young people, in the youth center where I hold workshops and not only.”
It is expected that in the upcoming months the participants will work on implementing their action plans in their local communities. Examples of activities include preparing video materials and video campaigns containing counter-narratives, organising a training in Kratovo for representatives of the Roma community, organising an open day in the city centre of Kumanovo to raise awareness regarding hate speech and its consequences, etc.