On 10 and 11 December 2019 the Chair hosted Sumona Das Gupta and Nikhat Sattar from India and Pakistan respectively at the Magee Campus. The guests are both part of Women Mediators across the Commonwealth (WMC), which is an innovative new network of women mediators coming together to exchange and learn from each other, and to advocate for the increased representation of women in peace processes globally. The purpose of the visit was aimed at sharing global lessons on mediation. The visitors also met some local groups, and specifically shared experiences with Syrian women at the Derry Women’s Centre. The Chair is also involved in ongoing discussions about future collaborations.
On 9 August 2019, the Chair hosted two guests from Detroit on the Magee Campus who were visiting with the Derry Model Project. The two esteemed guests were Dr. Charles Simmons and Reverend Simmons the founders and directors of The Hush House Black Community Museum and Leadership Training Institute for Human Rights. A fascinating discussion was hosted where the Chair, Professor Elizabeth Crooke and Dr Philip McDermott (Ulster University) all gave inputs, and then the group shared experiences on using museums, memory and heritage to build human rights.
On 6 June 2019, The Chair met with Mr J.R. Kim, Director of the Center for North Korean Human Rights Records in the Ministry of Unification in South Korea. The meeting on the Magee Campus focused on sharing lessons between contexts, and also the current state of the peace process.
Each year Grand Valley State University sends students to Northern Ireland on a Peace, Conflict, and Reconciliation study abroad program. On 7 November 2018, The Chair addressed the group discussing a wide range of subjects including reconciliation and the current state of the peace process.
Ulster University partnered with Build Up and the Centre for Democracy and Peace Building to host the fifth international Build Peace Conference on 29-31 October 2018. The conference brought together practitioners, activists, academics, policy makers, artists and technologists from across the world to share experience and ideas on using technology, arts and other innovations for peacebuilding and conflict transformation. As part of the conference, Dr Coyles and Brandon Hamber arranged a tour for participants of “Hidden Barriers” in Belfast which is linked with ongoing research in this area. The tour focused on Ligoniel focusing on social division linked to architecture and design. To read more about “hidden barriers” research click here.
Great to host students from the Irish Institute at Boston College this week on the Magee Campus. Interesting discussions on conflict and the peace process, and of course how this also relates to some of the issues people are struggling with in the US.
Professor Hamber with partners Fambul Tok (Sierra Leone), Catalyst for Peace (US), Refugee Law Project (Uganda), Green String Network (Kenya), and the Research and Advocacy Unit and African University (Zimbabwe) secured a seed grant to develop a Global Challenges Research Fund project to bring together partners to consider: “What are the internal-external framework and relationships that genuinely, in practice, support the creation of resilient communities facing ongoing and dynamic peace and development challenges, and how can communities, local organisations and international donors help to grow these?”. A large inter-country meeting took place in Freetown in 22-26 January 2018. A range of new initiatives will now flow from the meeting including joint research and proposals.