Active Citizens project - "UNDERSTAND=RESPECT"


A project implementing a pilot educational program to prevent radicalization leading to discrimination and hate speech called “I UNDERSTAND=RESPECT”, which was developed according to a logic model grounded in social science and based on evidence from a diagnosis of the threat of radicalization and the need for its prevention, conducted in Poland in 2020 among teachers and students.  

The main goal is to promote behavior free from all forms of radicalization, discrimination and hate speech among students and teachers of the 1st High School in Gorzow Wielkopolski (Project Partner), parents and the local environment. Through dialogue and active participation we want to achieve the intended results in terms of: equipping the addressees with reliable knowledge about the processes of radicalization leading to discrimination and hate speech, including the legal and social consequences of hate crimes; engaging them in a constructive discussion on social polarization leading to lack of tolerance for differences; strengthening psychosocial skills for positive communication in peer, family and school environments; enabling the development of hobbies. Planned educational activities (workshops, discussions, thematic days), life skills training (psychological and social, coping with stress and aggression, building self-control) and free time activities will processes enrich prevention offer of the school (Partner) and will allow to achieve assumed goals.  

Project implemented by the Polish Platform for Homeland Security in cooperation with the 1st High School in Gorzow Wielkopolski in the time period December 2021 – June 2022.  

Project financed by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EOG Funds from the program Active Citizens – Regional Fund.  

Project in numbers : 

6 Experts

8 Activities

170 Participants


Program author and content coordinator

Marzena Kordaczuk-Was, PhD in social sciences, a graduate of the University of Wroclaw, specializing in the sociology of security and social action to prevent crime and other negative social phenomena. For eighteen years she served in the Polish Police coordinating issues related to police social prevention. Currently she works at European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Training (CEPOL) in Budapest.

The program was developed by Dr. Kordaczuk-Was based on a scientific diagnosis conducted in 2020 among students and teachers. It showed the occurrence of behaviors involving the use of hate speech, manifestations of discrimination and other radical attitudes, thus confirming the need to develop and implement the above program. The process of preparing a program to prevent radicalization leading to discrimination and hate speech was grounded in the concept of relational sociology, additionally inscribed in the intellectual space of the paradigm of critical realism, which encourages deep reflection and rebuilding from the roots both the way of thinking and acting.

Technical Project Coordination



Active Citizens project - "UNDERSTAND=RESPECT" - schedule


  • classes for 90 students, 30 parents, 50 teachers “Radicalization – myths or facts?”
  • classes for 90 students “Discrimination and hate speech”.
  • 1 activity for 90 students “Living library” and 3 meetings with representatives of minorities and the exercise “Guests”
  • 3 meetings for 90 students – moderated discussion “Cultural diversity week”
  • 3 films screening with debate after the film as part of “Film Discussion Club – Beauty and challenges of multicultural world” for 90 students
  • 1 workshop for 90 students: 1. “Shaping Developmental Thinking”, 2. “Emotions and Stress and Attention to Self and Others”, 3. “How can prejudice and discrimination be transformed into understanding and acceptance?”
  • 1 lecture for 90 parents “Understanding the Teenager”
  • 1 photo contest for 90 students: “Me-You. Us-Others. Faces of Diversity”.


Martyna Kąkalec

Junior Project Officer
Polish Platform for Homeland Security

The project is financed by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway from EEA funds under the Active Citizens Programme – Regional Fund.

Active Citizens project - "UNDERSTAND=RESPECT"