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“Understanding irrationality to save the human race”: Lord John ALDERDICE

“Understanding irrationality to save the human race”: Lord John ALDERDICE
by Allan LEONARD for Shared Future News
15 May 2019

The Senator George J. Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice at Queen’s University Belfast hosted a spring conference in honour of the 10th anniversary of the awarding of an honorary degree to President Daisaku Ikeda (President, Soka Gakkai International (SGI)). The evening before the day conference was marked by the unveiling of a commemorative peace bench in the university’s quadrangle garden, as well as a peace tree in Botanic Gardens. With a welcome by Professor Hastings Donnan and introduction by Professor Richard English, Lord John Alderdice delivered a keynote speech in the Great Hall: “Respect and Understanding: Civil Paths to Peace”.

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Doing our part: Dealing with bonfires

Doing our part: Dealing with bonfires
by Allan LEONARD for Shared Future News
9 May 2019

Greater Shankill Alternatives, which is part of a co-ordinating initiative on restorative justice across Northern Ireland, hosted a workshop session that explored various aspects of the tradition of bonfires and the organisation’s approaches of engagement with groups who construct these structures for annual celebrations. The event was supported by Belfast City Council and its DiverseCity good relations programme.

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Media guidelines potential remedy for damaging past reportage

Media guidelines potential remedy for damaging past reportage
by Allan LEONARD for Shared Future News
5 March 2019

The project team of “Victims and Dealing with the Past” at Queen’s University Belfast hosted a launch event of two complementary media guideline publications: one for victims and survivors of the Northern Ireland conflict on how to best engage with the media, and another for journalists, editors, and educators on how to best engage with victims and survivors and report on legacy issues.

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Stephen NOLAN: Enhancing democratic debate in the era of fake news?

Stephen NOLAN: Enhancing democratic debate in the era of fake news?
by Allan LEONARD
26 February 2019

As part of their engagement programme, Queen’s University Belfast hosted a lecture by radio and television personality, Stephen Nolan, who was introduced by Ryan Feeney. Much of Nolan’s lecture was an autobiography of how he has developed his career in journalism and working for the BBC. His views on the topics in the lecture title — “Enhancing the Democratic Debate in the Era of Fake News” — were teased out during the question and answer session.

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Education: We all have a role to play

Education: We all have a role to play
by Allan LEONARD
7 February 2019

The Integrated Education Fund hosted a day conference on some aspects of education in Northern Ireland, with a discussion on what role individuals, local communities, and organisations can play in realising a better vision. Contributors included: Baroness May Blood (Integrated Education Fund (IEF)), Dirk Schubotz (Queen’s University Belfast), Mairead McCafferty (Northern Ireland Commission for Children and Youth (NICCY)), Eileen Chan-Hu (CRAIC NI), Maire Thompson (Hazlewood Integrated College), Jayne Thompson (ParentKind), and Charmain Jones (Rural Community Network (RCN)).

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Country before party? A UUP book launch discussion

Country before party? A UUP book launch discussion
by Allan LEONARD
24 January 2019

At a launch event for the book, The Ulster Unionist Party: Country before Party?, there was a roundtable discussion with three speakers who all have or had involvement with the party — Mike Nesbitt (UUP Leader, 2012-17), Lauren Kerr (UUP Press & Policy Officer), and Alex Kane (former UUP Director of Communications). After their opening remarks, the audience pitched about a dozen questions on topics that ranged from unionist identity, Brexit, party electoral pacts, Catholic support, to party strategic choices and options.

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The end of Catholic Ireland?

The end of Catholic Ireland? 
by Allan LEONARD
6 November 2018

In what Alan Meban described the event as a symposium (“but don’t say it was in a bar” [The Dark Horse Inn]), Dr Gladys Ganiel, a sociologist of religion from Queen’s University Belfast, laid out quantitative and qualitative findings about the apparent secularisation process in Ireland. This was discussed by fellow panellists Pádraig Ó Tuama (poet, theologian and leader of Corrymeela) and Professor Margaret O’Callaghan (historian, Queen’s University Belfast). The event was part of the ESRC Festival of Social Science and hosted by Slugger O’Toole.

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Earning trust “story by story”

Earning trust “story by story”:
Can we believe the media? The role of journalism in the digital age
by Allan LEONARD for FactCheckNI
4 October 2018

Ulster University — along with the UK press regulatory body, Impress, and the Media, Communication and Cultural Studies Association (MeCCSA) — jointly hosted a symposium event at its Belfast campus: “Can we believe the media? The role of journalism in the digital age”. Keynote speakers were Jonathan Heawood (Chief Executive Officer, Impress) and Peter Feeney (Press Ombudsman, Press Council of Ireland).

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Bear witness for peace #PeaceDay #GRWeek18

Bear witness for peace #PeaceDay #GRWeek18
by Allan LEONARD for Shared Future News
21 September 2018

In support for International Peace Day and in conjunction with Good Relations Week and Culture Night Belfast, Belfast City Council hosted an event that featured a keynote speech by Rev. Trevor Williams, addresses by Councillor Tim Attwood, Susan Picken, Jennifer Skillen, and Lord Mayor Deirdre Hargey, and a music performance by Ciaran Lavery.

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Another fine edition of our human books: Living Library #GRWeek18

Another fine edition of our human books: Living Library #GRWeek18
by Allan LEONARD for Shared Future News
17 September 2018

As part of Good Relations Week 2018, Belfast City Council hosted its seventh annual Living Library event, where public visitors come in to borrow a “human book” — a person who sits across from you in a one-to-one storytelling session.

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Sustaining hope for peace: Global Conflict 2018 #GFA20

Sustaining hope for peace: Global Conflict 2018 #GFA20
by Allan LEONARD for Shared Future News
23 August 2018

In partnership with the University of Chicago and its Pearson Institute, Queen’s University Belfast hosted a two-day conference, “Global Conflict: The Human Impact”. This report recounts the first day’s events, which focussed on sharing learning from the peace processes in Northern Ireland and Colombia.

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Developing respect in our politics: Leaders’ debate @FeileBelfast

Developing respect in our politics: Leaders’ debate @FeileBelfast
by Allan LEONARD for Shared Future News
8 August 2018

The high level of respect displayed by the audience and speakers at St Mary’s University College for a leaders’ debate organised by Féile Belfast belied that of the current political situation in Northern Ireland.