Global Exchange on Religion in Society (GERIS) is an EU-funded, two-year (2020-2022) technical assistance project for networking, societal capacity building and social media engagement. The project is implemented by a consortium composed of Particip (lead partner) and the Media Diversity Institute.
The goal of the project is to contribute to social inclusion and societal resilience by setting up a global, community-based initiative to facilitate a global conversation on diversity, coexistence and social inclusion. Through this action, the European Union proposes to connect positive experiences of coexistence among people of different faiths, and none, in societies across the globe. It sets out to empower civic engagement and facilitate a more active, participatory and shared sense of citizenship across different sets of beliefs and worldviews.
The project will facilitate sharing of best practices for promoting respect for one another and fostering social inclusion by creating a transnational network of actors from wider civil society and different faith traditions. It will also help these actors acquire new skills, expand their work and reach out to a larger audience. GERIS will operate a vibrant social media platform establishing a public space to communicate the project outputs and a private space for smaller groups of the participants to have continuous conversations about the project themes. This platform will become the main channel of a new Alumni Network and one of the instruments to ensure the project sustainability.
The project themes include: (1) The challenge of living together in a globalised world of highly diverse societies; (2) Positive experience of coexistence and inclusion, and shared citizenship; (3) Fostering pluralism and respect for diversity through education; (4) Challenge of being a minority; tolerance and respect for diversity as a solution; (5) Active citizenship, belonging and identity; (6) Harnessing opportunities for reconciliation and transitional justice. The GERIS participants will be invited to refine these themes in line with their personal and professional experience in the respective fields.
The project will not only have a virtual component but also physical exchanges, which will take place in Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Indonesia, Morocco, South Africa, USA.
We will be selecting 120-150 participants. Of those participants 60-70 are expected to be residents in Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Indonesia, Morocco, South Africa, USA (project countries in which the exchange visits will take place), while another 60-70 spaces will be open to participation from across the world.