Building Resilience to Extremism and Exploitation

The Resilience Project is a Big Lottery funded programme that utilises youth workers to tackle far-right extremism, religious extremism, and child sexual exploitation across South Wales. It continues a stream of work that EYST (Ethnic Minorities and Youth Support Team) has been leading on since 2008.

In a political and social climate in which extremism, polarisation, and anti-internationalism are on the rise, this conference explores how Welsh communities can build peaceful pathways and empower young people and develop their resilience and well-being.

It is aimed at all those with a stake in building a safer Wales and concerned with the wellbeing of young people – including schools, civil servants, members of civil society and faith institutions, as well as politicians and policy makers.

Lunch will be provided.

Confirmed Speakers – more to be added

Julie James AM – Leader of the House is a committed green campaigner, environmentalist and leads o then Welsh Government’s agenda for equality. Until she was elected as Assembly Member for Swansea West, Julie was a leading environmental and constitutional lawyer. Prior to this, she was assistant chief executive at Swansea Council. In her work as Assembly Member, Julie has chamiponed causes related to racial and religious equality, and combatting political extremism.

Professor Hilary Pilkington recently authored “Loud and Proud”, an award winning ethnography of the English Defence League, in which she explored how activitists within the organisation understand themselves, their goals, and their relationship to modern politics. It was awarded the BBC’s “Thinking Allowed” award in 2017. She continues to research and teach as professor at the University of Manchester, with an interest in youth participation and politics. Hilary is currently a Commissioner on the Preventing Violent Extremism and Promoting Social Cohesion Commission which seeks to develop a Greater Manchester approach to preventing hateful extremism and strengthening social cohesion.

Professor Matthew Feldman is a specialist on fascist ideology and the radical right in Europe and the USA. He is the author or editor of more than 20 books, including three monographs, and more than 40 articles or academic book chapters. An Emeritus Professor in the History of Modern Ideas, in 2013 Prof. Feldman led Britain’s first unit dedicated to analysis of radical right extremism, the Centre for Fascist, Anti-fascist and Post-fascist Studies (CFAPS), and prior to that, directed the Radicalism and New Media Group at the University of Northampton. He is a Visiting Professor at Richmond, the American University in London and a Professorial Fellow at the University of York, as well as the director of the world’s largest research unit on far-right extremism, the Centre for Analysis of the Radical Right.

Nazir Afzal OBE is a senior British lawyer who campaigns on issues around child sexual exploitation and violence against women. Afazal spent most of his career in the Crown Prosecution Service, rising to the Chief Prosecutor for North West England from 2011 to 2015, during which he was responsible for prosecuting a number of high profile cases, including those labelled “grooming gangs” in Rochdale, and BBC presenter Stuart Hall. He was recently appointed as an advisor to the Welsh Government on domestic abuse, violence against women, and sexual abuse, after which he pledged to “make Wales one of the safest places to be a woman in Europe”.