A Swansea expert in extremism who has been involved in community activity to counter hate messages has won an award for her work from the Ethnic Minority Welsh Women Achievement Association (EMWWAA).
Dr Lella Nouri is an Associate Professor of Criminology and Co-Director of the Cyber Threats Research Centre (CYTREC). She specialises in extremism, terrorist use of the internet and in particular extreme right ideologies.
Dr Nouri was presented with the Social and Humanitarian Ethnic Minority Welsh Women Award, at a ceremony in Cardiff City Hall, with First Minister Mark Drakeford as the guest of honour. Her award is one of a series presented every two years by the EMWWAA to honour the best and brightest ethnic women in Wales.
The purpose of the EMWWAA is to “recognise and celebrate the achievements of ethnic minority women and girls from different walks of life in Welsh society.”
Dr Nouri’s most recent work on extremist use of the internet has examined far and extreme right narratives, their dissemination via social media and provided recommendations for policy and community responses.
Alongside this work, she has been actively working with councils across Wales to combat hate visuals across communities. This has included developing an app called StreetSnap, alongside Bridgend Council, to better report and monitor hate visuals. She also leads the Flip the Streets project which works with community groups to replace hate visuals with positive messages and representations of community resilience.
Dr Nouri has been appointed as an Anti-Racist Wales Research Expert for the Anti-Racist Wales Action Plan. She is also an active member of expert groups and networks that advise the UK Government Home Office on security and counter-terrorism.
Dr Nouri was nominated for the award and then invited to an interview to discuss her community activity and her broader work around counter-extremism, as well as her mentoring both inside and outside the University.
Dr Lella Nouri said:
"This award means so much to me. EMWWAA do such fantastic work in showcasing the achievements and tireless work of ethnic minority women across Wales and to be recognised amongst those champions is an absolute honour.
Wales is at the forefront of challenging historical bias, the first western nation to produce a formalised and practical plan for an anti-racist Wales and the work that I have been leading on in the last years through the StreetSnap application and community work through the Flip the Streets project will, I hope, help to achieve these ambitions.
I hope to use the EMWWAA to help support and inspire future generations to make Wales a home for all ethnic groups and religions."