Promising Practice

Words are Stones

Words are stones
An international campaign that aims to raise awareness of societal biases, prejudice and racist hate speech.
Encourage reporting
Communication, dissemination and awareness raising
Cooperation with civil society and community organisations
Outreach to communities at risk of hate crime victimisation

Promising practice :


Civil society organisation (CSO) Lunaria in collaboration with other CSOs: Grenzelos (Austria), Kisa (Cyprus), Adice (France), Antigone (Greece) and SOS Racisme (Spain).

Start and end date

Start date:

January 2020.

End date:

February 2020.



Target group(s)

The general population.


Co-funded by the EU Europe for Citizens programme.


  • Analyse political discourses in the public debate that exacerbate xenophobia, intolerance and discrimination against migrants, refugees and minorities.
  • Enhance the capacity of CSOs, European citizens and EU and national institutions to prevent and respond to hate speech.
  • Involve European youth in campaigns that counter hate speech against immigrants, refugees and minorities.



Six CSOs, based in Austria, Cyprus, France, Greece, Italy and Spain, organised the ‘Words are Stones’ campaign in the framework of the Words are Stones project, coordinated by the CSO Lunaria. The aim of the project is to raise awareness of racist hate speech by focusing on the most common themes conveyed by this kind of racist behaviour. These are perceived invasion, competition for scarce resources (welfare, jobs, etc.), cultural incompatibility and the loss of national identity. The initiative is based on YouTube videos that aim to raise awareness of such issues and that target the general populations of the countries involved.

The practice is aimed at deconstructing the prejudices and stereotypes that are the markers of racism and xenophobia. Using everyday scenes, viewers are encouraged to recognise the irrationality of these situations and question their points of view and behaviours. This initiative could be replicated and extended to other grounds of discrimination.

Critical success factors

In the framework of an international campaign it is very important to adopt a participatory approach (involving meetings and workshops) so that enough time is dedicated to the definition of the campaign strategy (objective, target group, key messages and tools).

Actors involved in the design and implementation of the practice

Six national and two international meetings were organised involving beneficiaries and stakeholders to share the results presented in national and international reports and to identify the key concepts and stories to be represented in the videos. All projects results have been disseminated thanks to the national network of Words are Stones partners.

Monitoring and evaluation

The number of views of the videos serves as an indicator of the success of the campaign.

Publicly available contact details