In 2019 INCORE partnered with the University of Massachusetts Summer Institute in Northern Ireland to partner and deliver several sessions on the summer school. The Chair worked directly on this helping plan and arrange sessions in both Derry-Londonderry (13 July) and Belfast (16 July). In Derry-Londonderry sessions on memory and conflict were arranged with the Museum of Free Derry and the Siege Museum, and the trip also involved a city tour (delivered by Dr Adrian Grant). In Belfast students undertook a mural tour, and sessions from INCORE and TJI on tourism and peacebuilding (delivered by Dr Maire Braniff), as well as LGBTQ issues and peace (delivered by Dr Fidelma Ashe).
On 26 to 28 June 2019, the Chair travelled to Geneva at the invitation of the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (UN OHCHR). The Chair was asked to address the concept of reconciliation and how it relates to transitional justice, and human rights. The input took place at the UN in an event entitled “Working Session on Transitional Justice”. The high level meeting included representatives from the UN in a range of their county offices.
On 7 June 2019, The Chair was invited to a further Social Forum (hosted by Bake Bidea) in the Basque Country. This civil society structure aims to engage the wider society in the peace process and it took place in Biarritz. The Chair gave the keynote address followed by discussion with the wider public focusing on reconciliation and victims issues. The Forum specifically focused on issues in the French Basque Country, as well as reconciliation and victims issues.
The Chair hosted on the Magee Campus Steve Youngblood from The Center for Global Peace Journalism, Park University. The Centre promotes the concepts of peace and peace journalism. A seminar entitled “Is Ethical Journalism Possible?” was held and attended by a number of journalists, students and academics on 28 May 2019. It was interesting to read Steve Youngblood’s blog on the event. He notes:
“Derry, attendees correctly pointed out the many obstacles to peace journalism starting with the name. The word peace, I was told, is loaded with baggage here, much of it negative. One journalist suggested calling PJ socially responsible journalism. I said they could call it bangers and mash if they like and that the principles and concepts are more important than the label. Regarding those principles, journalists at my lectures and workshops seemed to generally agree about their utility. Underscoring this, another participant said that PJ is not that radical and it “nothing different than what we already aspire to.” That’s encouraging”.
The visit of Steve Youngblood was sponsored by the US Embassy-London.
On 17 April 2019 the Chair hosted an event on the topic of sexual abuse and institutional responses to sexual violence. A public seminar entitled “Sexual Abuse and Truth-Telling: Institutions Under the Spotlight” was delivered by Dr. Carolyn Stauffer. Stauffer is a consultant and educator in the fields of sexual trauma and domestic violence and has conducted training across three continents. Stauffer served as the co-director of EMU’s Biomedicine program and is currently Associate Professor of Applied Social Sciences in Virginia, USA, teaching on the graduate and undergraduate levels. The seminar outlined the institutional challenges to addressing sexual violence, and engaged the audience in a discussion on the relevance of the topic to local and international contexts.
On the 16 of April 2019 the Chair hosted Dr. Carl Stauffer. Stauffer teaches Restorative and Transitional Justice at the graduate Center for Justice and Peacebuilding (CJP), at Eastern Mennonite University in Virginia, USA. He concurrently serves as Co-Director of CJP’s Zehr Institute of Restorative Justice and is the Academic Director of the Caux Scholars Program in Switzerland. A seminar was hosted by the Chair jointly by INCORE and TJI entitled “Memorialization: Remembering without Revenge”. In the seminar Dr Stauffer tackled the collective memory of historical harms. The point was made that it is no longer a question of if we will remember, it is instead a question of how we will remember past atrocities. Building on the work of Mirolsav Volf, the seminar wrestled with the question of whether it is possible to “remember rightly in a violent world?”
On 29 January 2019 the Chair hosted Dr Estrada-Fuentes from Universiteit van Amsterdam and University of Warwick for a seminar on the Magee Campus. Dr Estrada-Fuentes is an applied theatre practitioner and an academic. A seminar open to the public, staff and students discussed the challenging issue of victimhood in the Colombian peace process. The seminar was entitled “Restorative Reintegration: Complex-victimhood and Reparations in Transitional Societies”.