February 2014, Issue 21

Dear Friend,

I hope that 2014 has been treating you well. It is my pleasure to report on a busy start to the year at the Dialogue Society.

We have had an excellent level of response to the call for papers for the second issue of the Journal of Dialogue Studies, which will be out in May. Our next call for papers is now online. Full papers have now been invited for an academic workshop on Dialogue Theories which will ultimately result in a companion volume to the Dialogue Theories book we published last year. We have also released a call for abstracts (deadline 16th April) for a workshop exploring ‘sense of belonging in a diverse Britain’ to take place at Coventry University in November.

At the end of January we were very pleased to welcome our third intake of students for the MA in Dialogue Studies co-delivered by Keele University and the Dialogue Society. They are now half way through a ten-week work placement with us in London. The students have a busy schedule of training, visits to dialogue NGOs and relevant Government departments and practical dialogue projects. Here at our Head Office we are also delighted to have a new intern, Nora Khalaf, who is supporting our current work on the development of a new Dialogue School for young people, as well as assisting with the Success School.

The last months have seen the conclusion of the Dialogue Society’s third London Success School, and of our second Southampton Success School hosted by Richard Taunton College. We have been lucky enough to host some very engaging and inspiring speakers for both these series and the young people who have attended have participated actively and given encouraging feedback. The project, which aims to boost the confidence and raise the aspirations of 16 – 21 year-olds, has just been launched in Hull where we are very pleased to be working with Wyke College.

Alongside the Success School our Hull Branch is planning a series of Connecting Communities Circles on the model which we have been developing in London. These informal discussion events with particular cultural groups from the local area are intended to help us better serve, engage with and connect those different groups. In Birmingham the New Year has brought the launch of a panel discussion series examining crucial questions about the causes of violent extremism and ways of responding to it. Our new Brighton Branch is building local connections through a series of Community Engagement Breakfasts. The Northampton Branch was delighted to host its annual Community Engagement Dinner, which brought together diverse local people and distinguished guest speakers to meet, eat and explore ‘Sense of Belonging in Britain’.

As these and other dialogical endeavours continue around the country, in London we are looking forward to our next book group meeting in March and to further Connecting Communities Circles, at our offices and out in the community.

We hope you can join us at a Dialogue Society event near you soon.

Warmest Regards
Ozcan Keles
Executive Director
Dialogue Society

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Announcements

Call for Papers – Journal of Dialogue Studies Volume 2, Number 2

Paper Submission Deadline 11.07.2014 - The Journal of Dialogue Studies is now calling for papers for its third issue. This multidisciplinary, peer-reviewed, biannual academic journal, published by the Institute of Dialogue Studies, the Dialogue Society’s academic platform, aims to shine the light of academic scrutiny on the theory and practice of dialogue. The Academic Editor of the Journal is Professor Paul Weller and the Editorial Team are proud to have the support of a distinguished and multidisciplinary Editorial Board. The first issue was published in November and can be accessed online and the second issue will be out in May.

Volume 2, Number 2 will focus particularly on the ethics of dialogue but all submissions falling within the general scope of the journal are welcomed. Please see the full call for papers here. For further information or to subscribe email journal@dialoguesociety.org.

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Call for Abstracts for Academic Workshop: Sense of Belonging in Diverse Britain

Abstract Submission Deadline: 16.04.2014
Workshop Date: 20 – 21.11.2014
- The Dialogue Society, Birmingham Branch in partnership with Coventry University’s Centre for Peace and Reconciliation Studies invites abstracts (word limit: 400 words) from scholars and relevant practitioners who wish to share and explore ideas and research findings concerning the sense of belonging in contemporary Britain’s diverse society. We invite contributors to shed light on the nature, causes and effects of sense of belonging and of its absence both in minority communities and majority communities. We seek to examine the impact of a lack of sense of belonging outside dramatic cases of crime and anti-social behaviour, as well as in those cases. We have a particular interest in contributions exploring how the absence of a sense of belonging might be addressed. Unedited papers will be published in advance of the workshop. Edited versions of some papers may be selected for either of the two journals published by the organizers, with the additional possibility of the publication of a collection of edited papers by a reputable independent publishing house.

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Graduation of Second Group of Dialogue Studies Masters Students



23.01.2014 - Dialogue Society staff were delighted to join the 2012-2013 academic year's graduates of the Masters in Dialogue Studies at their graduation ceremony at Keele University on the 23rd of January. The Vice Chancellor awarded the degrees and congratulated all graduating students on their considerable achievements. Students celebrated with their friends and families, and later on enjoyed a lunch together with the Dialogue Society representatives.

All Masters students worked hard during a challenging and eventful year. After a busy first term of in-depth study at the Keele University, students gained an insight into the work of the Dialogue Society in London during their 10-week placement, as well as attending a weekly Dialogue School and visiting a range of relevant NGO’s, government departments and places of worship. We congratulate all the students on their well-earned success.

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EVENTS - LONDON

The Dialogue Society Book Group

04.02.2014 - The Dialogue Society’s book group continues to thrive and grow. The group reads novels which explore particular cultural and intercultural experiences, meeting six weekly to discuss the books at relaxed gatherings at the Dialogue Society. In December the group discussed Elif Shafak’s The Bastard of Istanbul, examining the issues of majority-minority relations and history and identity raised in Shafak’s vivid story. The subject of the February meeting was A Distant Shore, Caryl Phillip’s bleak story of traumatic migrant experiences and various species of isolation, set in an English village. Newcomers are welcome to the next meeting in March, for a discussion of Gish Jen’s World and Town.

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Connecting Communities Circle: the North African Community



11.12.2013 - In December the Dialogue Society team were very pleased to host guests from London’s Moroccan, Tunisian and Algerian communities for an informal dialogue about the experiences of those communities. The event was part of an ongoing project aiming to build understanding of and connections between different ethnic groups in London. The conversation ranged over the topics of family, education, diversity in the community, political representation and the challenges of complex cultural identities. Guests spoke about their own voluntary projects amongst UK North African communities. They were very interested to hear about the Dialogue Society’s work to try to bridge different cultural, religious and social groups and took resources away for use in their own work.

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Final London Success School Session with Sam Gyimah MP



12.12.2013 - The Dialogue Society’s third London Success School concluded with a very engaging session with MP and former entrepreneur Sam Gyimah, who shared his personal journey and spoke about the rewards and challenges of a career in politics. Mr Gyimah urged participants to actively seek out opportunities in life and not to overlook possibilities in particular fields simply because their particular ethnic or religious group is currently under-represented there. He was keen to respond to the young people’s own questions, including a range of searching inquiries about education, one of his particular areas of interest. The Dialogue Society team thanks all participants for being part of the series and wishes them well in all their endeavours.

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Other Events

  • 25.02.2014 | Connecting Communities Circle: the Chinese Community
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    Forthcoming

  • 26.06.2014 - 27.06.2014 | Academic Workshop: Dialogue Theories, Volume II
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    EVENTS - BIRMINGHAM

    Examining the Extremes, Panel Discussion 1 - Coming to terms with the terms: what do we call violent Al-Qaeda-type extremism?



    29.01.2013 - The Dialogue Society, Birmingham Branch was proud to host the first session of a series of four panel discussions titled, ‘Examining the extremes: exploring the causes of and connections between violent ‘religious’ extremism and extreme right wing movements’. The series will explore violent ‘religious’ extremism and extreme right wing movements in the UK. The first panel featured four speakers, Prof Basia Spalek (Chair in Social Policy, Kingston University), Emeritus Prof Lynn Davies (School of Education, Birmingham University), Imran Awan (Deputy Director of the Centre for Applied Criminology, Birmingham City University) and Dr Gavin Bailey (University of Leicester). Our speakers engaged in a lively discussion on the terminology around extremism, considering why and how terms matter and whether certain terms alienate certain people. The discussion provided useful insights into what terms are most accurate and useful in talking about extremism, preparing the ground for further discussions of extremism and responses to it.

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    Forthcoming

  • 26.03.2014 | Examining the Extremes, Panel Discussion 2 - What do we know about the causes of violent extremism claiming an Islamic motivation in the UK?
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    EVENTS - BRIGHTON

    Community Engagement Breakfast with the Mayor of Brighton

    06.02.2014 - The Dialogue Society, Brighton Branch was delighted to host the Mayor of Brighton at its premises on the 6th of February at 11am. Over breakfast, Brighton & Hove locals engaged with the Mayor, Cllr Denise Cobb, and had the chance to exchange views and air concerns about local, as well as national, policies. Among the attendees were students and business people operating in the local area. All parties were keen to listen, learn and respond to questions and concerns raised, with a view to helping solve problems and fostering community dialogue.

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    Forthcoming

  • 18.03.2014 | Community Engagement Breakfast with the Police Commander of Brighton and Hove
  • 26.03.2014 | Community Engagement Breakfast with Sussex Police Crime Commissioner Mrs Katy Bourne
  • 09.05.2014 | Community Engagement Breakfast with Caroline Lucas, MP for Brighton Pavilion
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    EVENTS - HULL

    Success School – Week 1 with Gemma Oaten, Actress

    26.02.2014 - The Dialogue Society’s new Hull Branch were delighted to welcome Ruth Drake and Dean Davis of Hull City Council for the first of a series of thematic dinners. Dialogue Society branches hold thematic dinners to in order to create a space for productive dialogue on local issues of mutual interest between staff, volunteers and supporters and diverse local stakeholders. The guests had a tour of the community centre which provides a base for Dialogue Society activities and were introduced to the Dialogue Society and its work. Guests and hosts chatted and discussed their respective local projects and plans over dinner.

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    Forthcoming

  • 11.09.2013 | Connecting Communities Circle: the Hungarian Community
  • TBC | Connecting Communities Circle: the Mexican Community
  • TBC | Success School – Week 2 with Liam Garrigan, Actor
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    EVENTS - NORTHAMPTON

    Community Engagement Dinner – ‘Exploring Sense of Belonging in Britain’

    Noah’s Pudding Celebration in Kent

    02.03.2014 - The Dialogue Society Northampton Branch was delighted to host their annual Community Engagement Dinner, with the purpose of fostering dialogue and understanding between diverse people in Northampton and the surrounding area. These dinners bring together community leaders from different backgrounds, policy makers and the wider public to get to know one another over dinner and to reflect together on important social issues. The theme of this 8th annual dinner was ‘Exploring Sense of Belonging in Britain’. The event included thought-provoking presentations from three keynote speakers: Dr Chris Gifford, Head of Department of Behavioural and Social Sciences at the University of Huddersfield, Tom Fisher, a Policy and Development Consultant at the Centre for Social Relations, Coventry University and Sadik Cinar, Branch Director of the Dialogue Society Birmingham Branch. The three distinguished speakers gave their reflections on the evening’s theme, inspiring lively discussion among the whole gathering.

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    EVENTS - SOUTHAMPTON

    Final Southampton Success School Session with Prof Dame Wendy Hall

    Noah’s Pudding Celebration in Kent

    26.02.2014 - The final Success School session in Southampton consisted of an interactive exchange between Prof Dame Wendy Hall and 40 interested students. Prof Dame Wendy Hall shared her personal success story in an interview with a member of the college’s staff, sharing wisdom learnt over the years. She advised students to try adopting the ABC of success: A for being ambitious, B for being bold and brave and C for having confidence. The Q&A session was embraced by students who took the opportunity to ask questions concerning their own personal aspirations.

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    Southampton Success School - Week 3: with Chief Constable of Hampshire Andy Marsh



    29.01.2014 - The third session of the Success School in Southampton saw a highly participatory conversation with Chief Constable Andy Marsh and seventy students. The Chief Constable walked the audience through his inspiring journey to success, discussing the challenges that he faced, the motivations, attitudes and actions that helped him overcome these and his advice to students at the start of their own journeys. An interactive Q&A session followed, during which students asked challenging questions that covered a wide range of socio-economic, political and cultural issues. The Chief Constable encouraged open discussion, viewing it as a crucial step to foster public trust, which he said is ‘vital’’ for British policing. The Q&A session was followed by refreshments, during which students, as well as staff, took the opportunity to engage with the Chief Constable on a more personal level and discuss issues that affect their lives.

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    Other Events

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    In this issue


    FORTHCOMING

    LONDON

    BIRMINGHAM

    BRIGHTON

    HULL

    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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    Feedback

    The Dialogue Society would appreciate any feedback or ideas you can provide on its work. Please visit the website to send us any comments you would like to make.