Debating against discrimination in France

Last October, Pistes Solidaires organised a series of educational debates over three days with a group of young students from MFR de Mont, in France.

The aim of the debates was to raise awareness on the importance of being active in fighting discrimination and prejudice among youths and to offer them a practical tool to counteract discriminatory narratives through critical thinking. 

During the three sessions, Pistes Solidaires adopted an interactive methodology mixing theory and practice and using participatory processes. Through the different activities – including communication exercises, narrations, role plays, visual suggestions, and sharing circles – their aim was to encourage participants to experiment with a variety of techniques that would help them start and animate a debate. 

The techniques and the tools shared by the organisation will equip the students with the tools they need to be able to fight discrimination and prejudice and in supporting their peers in similar circumstances.

At the end of the experience, most of the students acknowledged that their debate skills could improve further through a better understanding and knowledge of the topic of debate. This shows that the sessions triggered a significant interest among participants who, in most cases, had never before had the opportunity to express their point of view. 

As a matter of fact, the school were the debates took place was selected by Pistes Solidaires to expose students to the opportunity to speak about discrimination, which they otherwise wouldn’t have had.

The debates were organised with the support of a local partner organisation, La Maison des Citoyens du Monde 64, an organisation that develops actions of education for citizenship and international solidarity in the area.