Espoo Youth Services’ project against hate speech has been awarded the TASSU prize by the Espoo Equality Committee. The partner category was won by a digital story of the elderly.
In the Espoo For All project, the Youth Services has produced tools for youth workers and young people for recognising hate speech and acting against it. As part of the project, young people have been trained to operate as agents countering hate speech. This way they can take action in such situations and eradicate hate speech in their own environment. They are also working on videos related to prejudices and bullying and have participated in events related to the subject.
The topic is important to young people. Many who participated in the training said that they learnt a lot about hate speech and bullying, and their feedback has been mostly positive. The project involves compiling a portfolio which helps both young people and adults to deal with the topic.
The Equality Committee states in its decision that the act provides a concrete model which can also be applied elsewhere. The act is a grass-root level solution to countering instances of abusive speech in society.
Young people in Saunalahti Youth Centre in November 2016. Image: Olli Häkämies.
In the partner category, Dementia Home Villa Tapiola Oy came out on top with its Digital Story. In the story, the elderly are assisted in making videos, and each has the opportunity to portray themselves on the video. In its decision, the Committee says that the digital story brings to light the long life of an elderly person as well as their own personality. The digital story is applicable to other situations as well.
The TASSU prize is awarded to a concrete act that promotes equality
Work communities in the City of Espoo could participate in the contest with their own equality-themed acts or suggest acts by associated partners. Applications concerning their own acts were submitted by five work communities, and four partner acts were suggested as well. Other participants were the Multicultural Education Services, Espoonlahti libraries and Kauklahti Life and Living Centre for Senior Citizens as well as the Life and Living Centres for Senior Citizens in Espoo with a joint application. The following actors were recommended for the prize for a remarkable act by a partner: Tunaro Vårdhem, Hulda & Malva hemmet, Nicehearts ry.
The victorious Youth Services work community will be awarded €1,000 for joint development work. Dementia Home Villa Tapiola will be awarded an honorary diploma. Furthermore, a surprise prize will be drawn among all participants.
Espoo’s operational equality plan Fair play at work and in other walks of life 2017-2020 (in Finnish) requires that the equality-related goals are firmly put into practice in the city of Espoo. Likewise, the Espoo Story showcases the city’s strong commitment to promoting these values with principles enhancing a positive view of human beings and appreciative interaction.
The Equality Committee of the City of Espoo has launched the TASSU prize, the aim of which is to promote activities that enhance equality in the city. The prize is handed out annually. Last year, the competition was won by the Entresse Library children’s team for its activity in various groups and its success in engaging boys in particular with reading. Mayor Jukka Mäkelä serves as the patron of the prize.