CoExist: preventing anti-Semitism through education
Founded in 2004, CoExist is an educational project to fight racism, anti-Semitism and all forms of discrimination that relies on high school student mediators to deconstruct prejudice. UEJF and the Clubs Convergences founded the program, which UEJF, SOS Racisme and La Fabrique implement today.
Adolescence is a time when problems relating to others can engender racist attitudes. It is also a time of questioning one’s identity. Stereotypes are expressed in everyday life. CoExist questions that identity under construction and offers a forum where young people can safely confront their prejudices in order to dispel them.
Two-person teams of mediators from partner organizations teach a two-hour classroom course. They are young adults close to the students’ age, making easier a privilegied exchange. A fun, interactive method prompts students to question their beliefs and get involved. Thinking about the issues leads them to challenge their view of the world.
Since its inception, CoExist has worked with 500 French school classes.
CoExist has received backing from Acsé and approval from the Ministry of National Education. It won the “La France s’engage” competition in 2015.
The Foundation for the Memory of the Shoah funds the program.