December 2012, Issue 17

Dear Friend,

On behalf of us all at the Dialogue Society, it is my pleasure to wish you a happy New Year, and to bring you this update on our activities over the last months.

Back in September, the new academic year began with opportunities to raise awareness of our work among policy makers. A small team of Dialogue Society staff visited the autumn conferences of the three main political parties. The autumn also saw a range of community events taking place across the branches, including two public discussions in the run-up to the Police and Crime Commissioner elections. The Bristol Branch successfully arranged another Success School, with eminent Bristolians offering local young people advice and inspiration at the beginning of their adult lives.

We look forward to four more Success Schools in the spring, in London, Manchester, Birmingham and Southampton. Before that, we encourage anyone in Southampton, Brighton or Basingstoke in mid-January to go along to the Southampton Branch’s Noahs’ Pudding evenings for good company and delicious refreshment. Springtime in London will see our first ‘Connecting Community Circles’, informal discussion events focused on a particular cultural group in London, as well as Straight Talks and roundtable discussions.

Since spring of 2012 we have been planning new community initiatives and courses, and also making progress with a number of publications. Key findings from our ‘Making Dialogue Effective’ series, along with a list of recommendations, will soon be available online in a new publication. A new book on Dialogue Theories will be completed this month. Preparations are also underway for the launch of a new Journal of Dialogue Studies. Those interested in submitting an academic paper to the Journal for peer review can see the first call for papers here.

Eight students have embarked on their MA in Dialogue Studies at Keele and will be coming to the Dialogue Society in London at the end of January for their placement. We are very much looking forward to welcoming them, along with a new intern, Elisa Conti, who also joins us this month. In the autumn we benefited from the valuable support of Celina Kretkowska, a Masters student at Queen Mary University who joined us for a one-month placement.

Since our last newsletter the team has also seen more substantial changes. Havva Murat, our Media and Communications Director, moved on after two years at the Dialogue Society. She made a tremendous contribution to our work and we are very sorry to see her go, but we wish her all the very best in her new endeavours. She assures us that despite leaving the staff team she will remain involved in the charity. Our IT Manager, Numan Celik, who did invaluable work behind the scenes for over a year, moved on in the summer. A new IT Manager joined us in November.

Before signing off I would like to direct you to our brand new media page, where you can see videos of discussions and courses you may have missed. Finally, please do consider raising some money for our work while you do your online shopping, through shop2fundraise.co.uk – it won’t cost you a penny!

Warmest Regards
Ozcan Keles
Executive Director
Dialogue Society

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Announcements

Departure of Havva Murat

We were very sad to say goodbye to our Media and Communications Director, Havva Murat, in November. Havva’s creativity, attention to detail and irrepressible positive energy have been an enormous asset. During her two years at the Dialogue Society she took dialogue out and about in ‘Street Dialogue’, introduced the dynamic Straight Talk discussion series and led work on the Media School and the Media Engagement Manual, as well as supporting a host of other projects. She has moved on to pursue professional interests in journalism as well as developing a budding jewellery business. She will, however, be remaining very much in touch with the Dialogue Society.

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Help Dialogue Society fundraise without spending a penny!

We are now using shop2fundraise.co.uk to raise extra funds, which means that if you shop online you could help us raise funds and it won't cost you a penny more, (in fact it can help you save money as the site will highlight any good offers). You won't even need to register, and with over 1000 online shops to deal with there is plenty of choice (including major brands like Amazon, M&S, Sainsbury's and Boots). Whenever you go to an online retailer via a link from the shop2fundraise site, the charity you select (us, please!) receives a small commission. You have the option of downloading a clever gadget that lets you know whenever you visit a retailer website registered with shop2fundraise.
If all our supporters gave this a try it could make a big difference to some of our projects. At the moment we are trying to distribute the rest of our Community Dialogue Manuals, to empower people around the country to bring their local communities together. Every penny helps! For more information and to help with fundraising simply click here.
http://www.shop2fundraise.co.uk/charity/Dialogue+Society-414954

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London

Dialogue Society Represented at the Political Party Conferences

Dialogue Society Represented at the Political Party Conferences

22.09.2012 – 10.10.2012 - A small team of Dialogue Society staff and volunteers attended the three main political party autumn conferences held in Brighton, Manchester and Birmingham. The conferences provide a valuable opportunity to raise awareness of the Dialogue Society’s work among policy makers and to make new connections.

Forthcoming

  • 7th Feb – 26th Mar 2013 | The Second Dialogue Society London Success School
    Details on website soon!
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    Bristol

    The Dialogue Society Bristol Branch Success School

    The Dialogue Society Bristol Branch Success School

    16.10.2012-05.12.2012 - Following the success of our London Success School in spring 2012, volunteers in Bristol ran a Success School for local young people in the autumn. Six highly distinguished Bristolians working in a range of fields shared their personal stories of success and the obstacles they had encountered along the way. They offered participants their insights into the attitudes and habits that make for success. Speakers included Liberal Democrat MEP Sir Graham Watson, Rolls-Royce Branch President Paul Craig and the Right Honourable Lord Mayor of Bristol Councillor Peter Main. The course was attended by a very diverse group of young people. Twenty-two participants benefitted from engaging with the inspirational accounts of the speakers and received certificates at the end of the course.

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    European Muslims, Civility and Public Life

    European Muslims, Civility and Public Life

    27.09.2012 - In September the Dialogue Society Bristol Branch hosted a final book launch and discussion with Professor Paul Weller, Dialogue Society advisor and editor of European Muslims, Civility and Public Life: Perspectives on and From the Gülen Movement. Professor Wellor gave an overview of key themes within the book, which explores some of the challenges and opportunities faced by Muslims and the wider society in Europe following the Madrid train bombings of 2004 and the London Transport attacks of 2005. He elucidated key perspectives and contributions from Muslim scholar and peace activist Fethullah Gülen. He was joined by Professor Gavin D’Costa, Professor in Catholic Theology at the University of Bristol. Members of the audience asked a range of interesting questions and discussion continued over refreshments.

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    Southampton

    Noah’s Pudding Celebration in Reading

    Noah’s Pudding Celebration in Reading

    11.12.2012 - Reading-based Dialogue Society volunteers arranged a community Noah’s Pudding evening at the Quaker Meeting House in Reading. Despite the unpleasant weather a large group came together to enjoy this Anatolian Muslim tradition in a spirit of intercultural friendship and sharing. Jenny Rynn, the Right Worshipful the Mayor of Reading and Sarah Griffin, the Quaker Chaplain for Reading College, gave their own thoughts on the topic of Noah in different faith traditions, setting a warm and personal tone for the evening’s proceedings. Frances Sleap, Research Fellow & Project Co-ordinator at the Dialogue Society, spoke a little more about the tradition of Noah’s Pudding and its place in the Dialogue Society’s work. The group then enjoyed meeting one another over the delicious pudding provided by our kind volunteers.

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    Forthcoming

  • 15 January 2013 | Noah’s Pudding Celebration in Southampton
  • 16 January 2013 | Noah’s Pudding Celebration in Brighton
  • 17 January 2013 | Noah’s Pudding Celebration in Basingstoke
  • Feb-Mar 2013, dates and speakers tbc | Southampton Success School
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    Birmingham

    What's Next for Policing in West Midlands?

    What's Next for Policing in West Midlands?

    13.12.2012 - Volunteers at the Dialogue Society Birmingham Branch decided to do their bit to contribute to public dialogue about the election of the UK’s first Police and Crime Commissioners. Local PCC candidates along with relevant councillors were invited to give their thoughts on the impact this new role might have, and on priorities for policing in the local area. Two independent candidates, Mike Rumble and Cath Hannon, and Labour Councillor Waseem Zaffar took up the invitation and came to share their ideas with local members of the public. It was an interesting and illuminating evening.

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    Forthcoming

  • Feb-Mar 2013, dates and speakers tbc | Birmingham Success School
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    Manchester

    Forthcoming

  • Feb-Mar 2013, dates and speakers tbc | Manchester Success School
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    Leicester

    What's Next for Policing in Leicestershire and Rutland?

    What's Next for Policing in Leicestershire and Rutland?

    09.11.2012 - Shortly before the elections of the UK’s first Police and Crime Commissioners, the Dialogue Society Leicester Branch arranged a public discussion of what the introduction of this role would mean for local policing and of policing needs and priorities in Leicestershire and Rutland. All the PCC candidates for the area were among those invited to speak. Conservative Party candidate Sir Clive Loader, Labour Party candidate Sarah Russell and independent candidate Suleman Nagdi attended. The event comprised presentations from each speaker and a Q&A session with a range of interesting questions and comments from the audience.

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    Northampton

    Northampton Community Engagement Dinner

    Northampton Community Engagement Dinner

    02.12.2012 - In November, a diverse group of community leaders, policy makers and other local people gathered at the Hilton hotel for a Community Engagement Dinner arranged by the Dialogue Society Northampton Branch. The event was intended to promote connections between people of different cultural groups, beliefs and organisations and to provide an opportunity for shared reflection and discussion on important social issues. Three distinguished speakers, Prof Mike Hardy, Prof Alan Manning and Dr Chris Allen, gave reflections on the evening’s theme, ‘Achieving cohesiveness through multiculturalism: is it possible?’ In diverse groups at each table guests continued discussion of this theme and got to know one another over a good meal. It was a valuable evening of reflection and connection.

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    Leeds

    Ashura Evening with Kirklees Faith Forum

    Ashura Evening with Kirklees Faith Forum

    20.11.2012 - The Dialogue Society Leeds Branch was delighted to contribute to a series of events arranged by Kirklees Faith Forum for Interfaith Week 2012. A Dialogue Society volunteer led an interfaith workshop in Dewsbury on the theme of Ashura. The workshop looked at the various events said to have taken place on the day of Ashura, from the creation of Adam and Eve to the saving of Prophet Noah and his family from the flood. It explained the tradition of Noah’s pudding, and the Dialogue Society’s use of this delicious custom to bring different people together. Participants discussed areas of overlap and difference between different versions of the Ashura stories found in different traditions. The discussion created a real sense of sharing and empathy.

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    Interfaith Tree Planting in Wakefield

    Interfaith Tree Planting in Wakefield

    25.11.2012 - Volunteers from the Dialogue Society took part in an interfaith tree planting session in Wakefield together with a range of faith representatives, tree wardens and Cllr Elaine Blezard, Mayor of Wakefield. They contributed a short speech about Islam and the environment and enjoyed getting to know the group during the activity and over tea and home-made cakes.

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    In this issue


    FORTHCOMING

    LONDON

    Southampton

    Birmingham

    Manchester

    Other news

    Past & Forthcoming Events

    Visit our Events page to see the number and range of work carried out by the Dialogue Society. Users can view the events in categorical or chronological order.

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    Internship at the Dialogue Society

    The Dialogue Society is currently offering volunteering placement opportunities for candidates from all backgrounds and interests. We provide a unique, dynamic and stimulating work experience where volunteers are encouraged to plan, build and deliver their own projects whilst contributing to other ongoing projects and tasks.

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    Support the Dialogue Society

    Regardless of your means and time, there are a number of ways you can support the Dialogue Society. Click below for some practical suggestions.

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