Parliament of World Religions

A few years ago I was digging around in a pile of books for sale at the University of Toronto and I found a treasure. In my hands I had an original copy of the proceedings from the first Parliament of World Religions, that was tattered and worn, but it was soon to be all mine. I posted endless pictures of the book’s pages on my social media and it soon took a place of prestige on my bookshelf.

Fast forward a few years and I was shocked and honoured to be invited as a panelist for the 2023 Parliament of World Religions being held in Chicago. I will be joining experts in the field of religion and extremism to discuss the “Rise of White Christian Nationalism: Threats to US Democracy.” The rise in Christian nationalism across the globe is something society as whole needs to be cognizant of and respond to. There are numerous panels and conversations which address the role of religion in society, polarization, fears and hopes at this year’s Parliament, which is being made held in a hybrid format.

Hate Influencers on Telegram

Working with the team at the Disinformation Project at Simon Fraser University we researched the role of influencers within hate groups on the social media platform Telegram. Social media influencers (SMI) play a significant role in the spreading of hate ideology on platforms, recruiting new members, and organizing political social movements offline, in eruptions such as the events on January 6th on Capitol Hill or the Freedom Convoys in Canada. Research on SMI’s impact on conspiracy theories, social movements, and the spreading of hate is a relatively new field of research, and this work plays an important role in our understanding of the social capital power these individuals can have.