July 2013, Issue 19

Dear Friend,

I hope you are well and enjoying the summery weather, and that our Muslim friends have enjoyed a very happy Eid. It is my pleasure to update you on recent developments at the Dialogue Society.

The last few months have notably seen both our Oxford ‘Debating Multiculturalism’ series and our Southampton Success School end on high notes, and at the end of May we published Dialogue Theories, by Frances Sleap and Dr Omer Sener, edited by Professor Paul Weller. The book is an exciting contribution to the Dialogue Society’s ongoing efforts to advance both theoretical and practical engagement with dialogue. Launches in Birmingham and London have been very well attended and have seen just the kind of thoughtful and animated dialogue on dialogue which we hoped to inspire by publishing this book.

We hope that the book will play a part in helping to establish Dialogue Studies as a distinct academic field, along with the new Journal of Dialogue Studies to be launched in the autumn and the MA in Dialogue Studies which we continue to co-deliver with Keele University. Applications are still being accepted for October admissions to the MA in Dialogue Studies, a cutting edge course which combines theoretical exploration of dialogue and social relations with professional experience and skills-based training. Please contact Taptuk Emre Erkoc with any queries (taptukemre@dialoguesociety.org).

A recent meeting with some of our distinguished and committed advisors has fed into the process of planning for the next academic year. Around the country we will be holding a number of workshops and panel discussion series on key social and political topics within our main areas of interest.

Plans are also underway for a further expansion of our thriving Success School project. We hope to hold six Success Schools in the coming academic year, three of which are planned for the autumn. New partnerships with further education colleges and sixth forms will allow us to reach our target audience more effectively.

The newly launched Dialogue Society Book Group will continue in the autumn in London; all are welcome. Another series of Straight Talks, public discussion events based on dynamic interviews with experts on key social issues, will be taking place over the next year. The autumn will also see the continuation of our Connecting Communities Circles project, which aims to build understanding of and connections between different cultural communities in a given town or city.

Finally, you can view our long awaited corporate brochure here. It provides an overview of the aims and work of the Dialogue Society.

I do hope that you will be able to join us at a Dialogue Society project near you in the near future.

Warmest Regards
Ozcan Keles
Executive Director
Dialogue Society

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Announcements

New Book Published: Dialogue Theories

The Dialogue Society is delighted to announce the publication of a new book, by Project Coordinators and Research Fellows Frances Sleap and Dr Omer Sener. Dialogue Theories gives an accessible introduction to the ideas of ten thinkers who have made insightful contributions to thought on dialogue, from quantum physicist David Bohm, to social theorist Jürgen Habermas, to Islamic scholar and peace advocate Fethullah Gülen.

This introduction to their work is intended to inform and inspire anyone with an interest in the meaning, value and potential of dialogue, particularly those engaged with dialogue in a professional, academic, voluntary or personal capacity. No background knowledge is assumed. It is hoped that readers will discover inspiring new thinkers to engage with, and perhaps new facets to more familiar thinkers. The book also includes discussion of a wide range of practical dialogue organisations and projects which may provide further food for thought and ideas for practice.

You can see the book preview and purchase a copy (£7.99) via our website.

Launch events will be taking place in the autumn in Derby, Southampton, Hull and further locations to be confirmed. Click here for further details.

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EVENTS - LONDON

Dialogue Theories Launch in London

Dialogue Theories Launch

02.07.2013 - The beginning of July saw a second well-attended launch event for Dialogue Theories at the Dialogue Society’s Head Office in London. After introductory presentations from the authors and editor, two reviewers gave positive and insightful responses. Dr Fabio Petito of the University of Sussex placed the book in the context of international relations. Professor June Boyce-Tillman raised some key questions in response to both the composition of the book and to the theories of the thinkers explored, including the following: Is the situation of equality in which Habermas envisages dialogue occurring possible? Where do emotions fit into dialogue? How might efforts to compile significant contributions to dialogue be more inclusive of the voices of women and of spiritual voices outside traditional religions? A plethora of further important questions were introduced by diverse guests.

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Dialogue Society Stand at Civil Service Live 2013

Dialogue Society Stand at Civil Service Live 2013

01.07.2013 - The Dialogue Society once again had a stall at the Civil Service’s annual conference, Civil Service Live. Members of staff introduced the Dialogue Society to diverse delegates working in a broad range of departments and met senior civil servants from the Home Office and the Department for Communities and Local Government. It was an excellent opportunity to raise awareness of our projects and publications and to discuss issues of common interest with people working in the public sector.

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Launch of the Dialogue Society Book Group

27.07.2013 - July saw the first meeting of the Dialogue Society’s book group, which explores the capacity of books to provide windows into different cultural and intercultural worlds. We will be reading a series of quality novels and discussing them together at relaxed, sociable gatherings at the Dialogue Society. At the first meeting the group enjoyed a wide-ranging discussion of Chinua Achebe’s powerful novel No Longer at Ease, which follows the story of a promising young Nigerian, educated in England, as he returns to his country to start his career and encounters corruption, personal and economic troubles and cultural conflicts. The next meeting of the book group will be in September and the book for discussion will be Zadie Smith’s White Teeth. Click here for further information and registration.

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Dialogue Society Annual Advisors Dinner

Dialogue Society Annual Advisors Dinner

26.06.2013 - A group of the Dialogue Society’s diverse and distinguished friends and advisers visited the charity’s London Head Office at the end of June for a dinner and discussion with staff. Staff gave an update on the charity’s work over the last twelve months and on plans for future developments. Advisers drew on their experience in academia, business, politics and the voluntary sector to offer valuable feedback and advice on projects and organisational development.

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Connecting Communities Circle: the Pakistani Community

23.05.2013 - The Dialogue Society was delighted to host a small group of members of London’s Pakistani community for an informal discussion at our offices on Holloway Road. Community Liaison and Development Consultant Fahim Mazhary, Farrid Shamsuddin of the Al Manaar Centre and other guests spoke about diversity within the British Pakistani community, community experiences of education and questions relating to family arising as the generations advance. This fascinating discussion was part of an ongoing project aiming to build understanding of and connections between different ethnic groups in London.

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Forthcoming

  • 10.09.2013 | The Dialogue Society Book Group - Meeting 2: White Teeth, by Zadie Smith
  • 07.10.2013 - 25.11.2013 | The Third Dialogue Society London Success School
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    EVENTS - BIRMINGHAM

    Dialogue Theories Launch in Birmingham

    Dialogue Theories Launch

    25.06.2013 - The first of a series of launch events for the recently published Dialogue Theories took place in Birmingham. The authors introduced the book and its aims and picked out highlights from the thought of the ten fascinating dialogue thinkers which it explores. Professor David Thomas of the University of Birmingham gave a most encouraging review of the book and set the tone for a thoughtful and friendly question and answer session. A diverse audience raised a range of insightful questions and comments and dialogue continued over refreshments.

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    Forthcoming

  • 08.10.2013 | Dialogue Theories Book Launch in Derby
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    EVENTS - OXFORD

    Debating Multiculturalism, Panel Discussion 4 – Multiculturalism: Where Do We Go from Here?

    Debating Multiculturalism, Panel Discussion 4 – Multiculturalism: Where Do We Go from Here?

    15.05.2013 - The Dialogue Society Oxford Branch’s final Debating Multiculturalism discussion brought together three prominent thinkers on the topic: Professor Ted Cantle, Professor Tariq Modood and Professor Tariq Ramadan. The speakers explored the changing policy environment around cultural diversity, the question of whether the language of ‘multiculturalism’ is still appropriate and useful and broader questions concerning identity and equality in a diverse society. The event, hosted by Regent’s Park College Oxford, was extremely well attended and guests asked a range of questions concerning the future of multiculturalism and the rights, wrongs and impacts of relevant government policies.

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    Debating Multiculturalism, Panel Discussion 3 - Multiculturalism and the Impacts on Education Policy in England

    24.04.2013 - The Dialogue Society held the third of its four panel discussions on multiculturalism at Regent’s Park College, Oxford University. This particular panel focused on the relationship between multiculturalism and education and explored the impact of multicultural policies on the UK education system. In addition, the challenges of educating a culturally diverse population were considered and viable solutions and practical approaches to these challenges were discussed. Principal speaker Dr Richard Race and discussants Dr Omer Sener and Ms Melanie Bashor led a vibrant debate on the effects of multiculturalism on education in England.

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    EVENTS - BRISTOL

    Community Engagement Breakfast

    Community Engagement Breakfast

    11.06.2013 - The Dialogue Society Bristol Branch arranged a public meeting with Chief Superintendent Jon Stratford. The purpose of the meeting was to strengthen connections between the local police and diverse Bristol residents, including students and business people. Over breakfast, attendees had a chance to air concerns and views about local, or indeed national, policing. Chief Superintendent Stratford was keen to hear and respond to people’s questions and concerns and it was a positive and helpful event.

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    Public Seminar on the Role of the Crown Prosecution Service

    30.04.2013 - This spring, the Dialogue Society Bristol Branch hosted a discussion forum featuring Chief Crown Prosecutor Barry Hughes. Mr Hughes was appointed Chief Crown Prosecutor for the South West in 2011, with ultimate responsibility for all prosecutions in Gloucestershire, Devon and Cornwall, as well as Avon and Somerset. Barry Hughes explained to the audience the role of the Crown Prosecution Service in today’s criminal justice system, as well as the role of the public and challenges facing the criminal justice system. Mr Hughes highlighted the importance of partnership working and effective community relations in tackling and preventing crimes that represent a threat to community cohesion, such as those referred to as ‘hate crimes’.

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    EVENTS - SOUTHAMPTON

    Southampton Success School – Week 4: Public Speaking Workshop with Hamwic Speakers

    Southampton Success School – Week 4: Public Speaking Workshop with Hamwic Speakers

    26.06.2013 - The Dialogue Society Southampton Success School concluded with a workshop kindly provided by local public speaking club Hamwic Speakers. Members of the club gave a hands-on introduction to the art of public speaking to build participants’ skills and confidence. Participants practised presentations and impromptu speaking and received constructive feedback and helpful hints and tips.

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    Southampton Success School - Week 3: with Record-Breaking Sailor Dee Caffari MBE

    19.06.2013 - The Southampton Success School’s third speaker was Dee Caffari MBE, the first woman to have sailed single-handed and non-stop around the world in both directions and the only woman to have sailed non-stop around the world three times. In an interview with Dialogue Society intern Elisa Conti, Dee explored the highs and lows of a challenging but thrilling sailing career. After her father asked whether she was ever going to do the exciting projects she talked about she left her teaching career to pursue her passion. Success School participants took the opportunity to put their own questions to a person who embodies her own statement that ‘we can do more than we think we can. We just have to dare to dream.’

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    Success School – Week 2: with Paralympic Gold Medallist Peter Hull MBE

    01.05.2013 - The Dialogue Society’s Southampton Branch welcomed Paralympic gold medallist Peter Hull MBE for the second session of its Success School series. In an interactive interview with a member of the Dialogue Society staff, Peter explored his journey to success and offered advice to participants at the start of their journeys. He described the elation of winning three gold medals at the Barcelona Paralympics, and the determination, support and gruelling training schedule that took him to the top. Participants enjoyed his hugely inspirational story and straightforward style and asked a range of interesting questions. They also had time to meet Peter informally over refreshments and to see his Paralympic medals.

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    Forthcoming

  • 22.10.2013 | Dialogue Theories Book Launch in Southampton
  • 09.10.2013 - 27.11.2013 | The Second Dialogue Society Southampton Success School
  • 17.10.2013 - 28.11.2013 | The First Dialogue Society Reading Success School
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    EVENTS - HULL

    Forthcoming

  • 19.11.2013 | Dialogue Theories Book Launch in Hull
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    In this issue


    FORTHCOMING

    LONDON

    SOUTHAMPTON

    HULL

    BIRMINGHAM

    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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