This article is an extract based on OHPI’s Annual Report for the 2019 Financial Year. Return to the Report.

Deakin Cyber-Racism Project

The Deakin Cyber-Racism Project aims to investigate barriers to adoption in empowering community organisations to engage in reporting incidents of online hate. It aims to empower these organisations to play an effective role without a significant investment of their own.

The project comes from a broader history, to a time when OHPI participated as a partner organisation in the Cyber-Racism and Community Resilience project funded by the Australian Research Council. As part of this work we examined the features of online communities of resistance and solidarity in the face of online attacks on the community. The work produced a deeper understanding of how different stakeholders, from government to civil society, could support communities. It highlighted the need for new synergies between stakeholders.

The Deakin Cyber-Racism Project is being developed as a joint venture between Deakin University and OHPI and aims to provide Fight Against Hate gateways to a range of different community organisation, mostly in Victoria. The project will examine specific obstacles to engagement, and obstacles that become apparent when organisations adopt the Fight Against Hate tool. It will also look at best practices in facilitating community engagement.

In July 2018, a Journal Article was published in “Cosmopolitan Civil Societies: An Interdisciplinary Journal”. The article is by our Managing Director, Dr Andre Oboler, along with Dr Karen Connelly who recently completed her Doctorate studies in this area. The article introduced the new version of OHPI’s reporting tool and a broader picture of how it could be integrated to empower both individuals and organisations across the community. The article provides the basis for the Deakin Cyber-Racism Project.

In the coming year we will begin an education and training program for building capacity to tackle online hate through faith-based groups. A pilot program was launched at the AGM of the Council of Christians and Jews (Victoria) in August 2019. The Train the Trainer program will not only produce trained facilitators from within local communities, but it will also include quarterly updates over a two-year period to ensure facilitators remain current in recognising and responding to narratives of hate online. This project will feed into the Deakin project.

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This article is an extract based on OHPI’s Annual Report for the 2016 Financial Year. Return to the Report.