Evaluation of a School Campaign to Reduce Hatred
Keywords:Hate, Campaign, Communication, Extremism, Evaluation
Combating violent extremism can involve organizing Peer-to-Peer (P2P) preventing violent extremism (PVE) programs and campaigns. In recent years, hundreds of school campaigns have been launched around the world but very few have been evaluated. In this manuscript, we present the results of the evaluation of one of these initiatives. Study objectives consisted of: 1) Assessing the impact of the campaign in increasing students’ exposure to messages of acceptance and decreasing exposure to hate messages in the school environment, 2) Assess the impact of the campaign in improving students’ attitudes towards ethnocultural diversity. We conducted a longitudinal cohort study with control groups. The study was implemented in Utah in schools of 8th and 9th-grade levels. Two schools were identified as campaign implementation sites, and two schools of similar socio-economic and ethnocultural characteristics were identified as the control sites. We utilized univariate and multivariate regression analysis to assess changes in students’ exposure to hate messages and attitudes towards ethnocultural diversity. Our study findings can be useful for the development of future campaigns and educational programs as they highlight the importance of ethnocultural empathic awareness in improving students’ attitudes regarding ethnocultural diversity.
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