Community Centres Branching Out

This manual is intended to give ideas and inspiration for promoting intercultural dialogue through events and activities at a general, cultural or religious community centre.

ISBN: 978-0-9557349-8-4

This manual is part of a series of ten Community Dialogue Manuals developed by the Dialogue Society to encourage interaction between members of different communities. The primary aim of the series is to help people to bring their communities together through a number of approaches and events that the Dialogue Society has found successful. We have always found that the most successful events have been those with clear objectives and where attention has been paid to detail.

This manual will help you to use a simple but effective activity to bring people together for worthwhile conversations. In speed dialogue, people are allocated a short time to talk one-to-one with a dialogue partner before moving on to have similar short conversations with a series of others. It is, in the experience of the Dialogue Society, an excellent way to help people to overcome barriers of shyness and difference. It could be used in a variety of contexts, either as part of a larger event, or as the central focus of an event

Aims and Objectives:

  1. To encourage and support general/cultural/religious communities to engage in dialogue
  2. To encourage the opening up of different communities to one another
  3. To help eliminate any misconceptions or mistrust between different cultural and religious communities
  4. To help give a minority community a voice and a recognised and positive presence in the local area
  5. To help community centre members/service users to gain better access to local stakeholders, from politicians to the local police force, medical professionals to teachers
  6. To provide strategies, tips, advice and know-how for organising successful dialogue events at a community centre
  7. To provide ideas for new services that a general/cultural/religious community centre might consider offering to build on its strength and value as a resource for its own community

Who Is This Manual For?

  • This manual is for the use of anyone involved with a cultural/religious community centre who is interested in any or all of the manual’s aims and objectives.
  • It is also intended to be helpful to general community centres concerned with some of the same goals.
  • Charities working for social cohesion, dialogue or citizenship, and public sector agencies concerned with the same goals might also find inspiration for useful projects in this manual.