“We can begin with the empowerment of civic society, by bringing about participative and deliberative democracy”

Following on from last month’s discussion, you can now watch back a panel discussion convened by the John & Pat Hume Foundation last week in Derry’s Guildhall looking at the topic of A Shared Home Place – the Unfinished Business of Reconciliation.

YouTube video

The address was delivered by Maureen Hetherington (director of The Junction community and peace-building centre and coordinates Ethical & Shared Remembering with Johnston McMaster and the Liberation from Patriarchy with Cathy Higgins).

“As a consequence of a world pandemic, we now have to look at reconciliation differently and do things differently. Everything has changed utterly. No longer can we be insular in our thinking about our place here, or in the world; we need a global vision.

“Globalisation takes many different forms; the globalisation we are familiar with is neo-liberalist. It is destructive of humanity and of the earth. But there is an alternative: a global system that is ethical, and compassionate, that following the Africa concept of ‘Ubuntu’ locates individual identity in the context of belonging to each other. It enables human flourishing and a future for life on earth. Ubuntu is about the removal of self-serving practices!

“Can we as a society build neighbourliness, a tenacious solidarity that is relational – and, worth mentioning again, this has been evidenced throughout the pandemic, where communities have set aside their differences and worked across all community settings to support the vulnerable, sick and needy.

“The Hume Foundation, in partnership with all who strive for real peace, has an opportunity to do something differently; to throw out a new vision, a new way of doing things. We can begin with the empowerment of civic society, by bringing about participative and deliberative democracy.”

Helen Henderson and Seamus Farrell responded in a discussion chaired by Hume Foundation board member Sara Canning.

Working under three key principles of partnership, respect and resilience, the cross-community Hume Foundation was established to promote the peaceful legacy of John and Pat Hume.

Sara Canning commented:

“The John and Pat Foundation wishes to recognise the incredible resilience of quiet peacemakers from the Bogside to the Waterside and Falls Road to the Shankill Road, who have demonstrated enormous courage for decades in building peace and reconciliation.

“The speakers at the Derry session invited the Hume Foundation and all of us to think differently, ask different questions and change the conversation on reconciliation. We were challenged to be more solution focused, where do we want to be in 2050? and then work backwards with the goal of building a more reconciled society. We are facing an existential crisis locally and globally. We must be history makers and are called to make history.”

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