The EU-funded project Building Inclusive Societies: Diversifying Knowledge and Tackling Discrimination through Civil Society Participation in Universities (with the acronym BRIDGES) kicks off this 15 of November.
The project involves 8 organizations from 4 European countries (Spain, Germany, United Kingdom and Greece), and is coordinated by the Autonomous University of Barcelona, and more specifically by the FIC (Fractalities in Critical Research) research group at the Department of Social Psychology.
Funded by the Erasmus + program for the next 3 years, the project aims to address discrimination and promote social inclusion in Higher Education institutions by establishing and strengthening relationships with civil society groups. In this, the project is inspired by the growing consensus on the failure of Higher Education institutions to include diversity, both in terms of the different contexts and experiences of their students, and the theoretical and methodological foundations that make up the curricula that is taught in them.
To do this, BRIDGES focuses on the development of new tools that strengthen the skills of current and future instructors. Along three years, the project will develop a range of materials aimed at improving Higher Education practices including socially marginalized groups that encounter barriers due to the intersection of discriminations based on “race”, ethnicity, language, religion, administrative status, identity and expression of gender, sexuality, class, age and disability. As main results, the project will develop a Virtual Pedagogical Laboratory; a Pedagogical Toolkit to contribute to dismantle oppression structures in Higher Education; a
Course curriculum developed in a participatory manner; and a Monographic,which will systematize the pedagogical and methodological framework of the project.
The innovative nature of BRIDGES lies in its collaborative ethics and in the broader methodological framework of Participatory Action-Research. The project will seek to establish horizontal working relationships in between Higher Education and Civil Society organisations that will result in the generation of innovative pedagogical strategies based on the often undervalued, yet invaluable experience of marginalised groups.