New anti-racism and diversity children’s initiative launched by Unite Against Hate and Still I Rise

The Unite Against Hate campaign challenging prejudice and hate crime has partnered with Still I Rise – Diversity Storytelling to encourage the education of diversity and racial inclusivity among children.

Throughout the month of March, Unite Against Hate and Still I Rise will host storytelling sessions and share resources focusing on the positives of kind, healthy and happy friendships.

On Fridays everyone will be encouraged to participate in the #FriendshipFriday initiative, use online resources, including colouring sheets, learn about the diversity and share what makes us different and unique.

Aimed at children aged 5-11, parents, teachers and young people will be encouraged to promote racial diversity and the importance of social inclusion to children from an early age.

Still I Rise – Diversity Storytelling is a project set up during the pandemic which promotes the reading and sharing of literature which celebrates diversity, tolerance and acceptance within society. Working with children, sessions focus on creating a kinder, generation through reading books where their own experiences are represented and a sense of belonging and empowerment is created.

Founder of Still I Rise – Diversity Storytelling is anti-racism and diversity campaigner Orla McKeating who delivered a pioneering talk on the issues of social stigma, especially around race in Northern Ireland, to a packed audience at TEDxStormont in 2019. Since then, Orla has become an advocate for race inclusion, especially for women and children in BAME communities.

Diversity Storytelling and #FriendshipFridays has been supported by Belfast City Council, Community Foundation NI and Irish American Partnership.

Orla McKeating from Still I Rise – Diversity Storytelling said:

“In racial inclusion terms, Northern Ireland is progressing. However, the 2019 Northern Ireland Life and Times Survey showed 25% of the population still believed themselves to be ‘a little prejudice’ towards ethnic minorities. This shows work still must be done to reach out and inform people about tolerance and acceptance of all races. At Still I Rise, our mission is to break down the barriers of race and discrimination in Northern Ireland and work with our communities to promote inclusivity and kindness through words and storytelling.

“We are thrilled to be collaborating with Unite Against Hate to promote the message of diversity. Through sharing stories and using pictures and drawing to share with children how tolerance and acceptance of people of all races and ethnicities is key to a kinder world, we hope to inspire our children to be better than previous generations.

“Diversity Storytelling is an excellent way to teach our children about our differences and also what binds us together. Children are never born with hate or prejudice attitudes. These are learned behaviours, often taught by society. If we can teach our children from an early age to be open and considerate to all people, then we can really work towards making our communities more open and inclusive, no matter age, gender or race.

“We are encouraging all parents and teachers across Northern Ireland to get involved and be part of the change our society needs. Our children are our future leaders. If we can show teach them from an early age that difference is something to be celebrated, then the very idea of racial intolerance and hate will be one of the past.”

To register and learn more please visit:

Celebrating Mo Mowlam and Women Peacebuilders: Hen Norton in conversation with Monica McWilliams

Join us for an informal conversation between Professor Monica McWilliams, Co-founder of The Women’s Coalition and Henrietta Norton film director and step daughter of Mo Mowlam, to celebrate Mo’s personal and political legacy and successfully negotiating the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement, as part of the International Women’s Day celebrations on the 8th March 2021.

Women like Mo and Monica and the many others who played such a key part in the process are too easily forgotten in this story but their role was pivotal to the peace agreement’s success.

Monica and Henrietta will celebrate Mo and the women she worked alongside in this intimate and informal conversation in memory of Mo’s legacy.

Date: 8 March 2021
Time: 6pm – 7pm
Register at:

#IWD2021 #ChooseToChallenge

Niamh McDade: Twitter Best Practices

Niamh McDade, Deputy Head of Public Policy in the UK will delve into best practices for campaigning on the platform, Niamh will share tips on how to maximise engagement and reach, the variety ways Twitter can be used, hashtag tips, some dos and don’ts and also touch of safety and security.

Q&A hosted by Ani Kanakaki, Groundwork NI

Part of Pop Up Leadership Academy for Ethnic Minority Leaders organised in partnership between Centre for Democracy and Peace Building and Washington Ireland Program, and supported by Irish American Partnership.

Dr Donna Hicks: Leading with Dignity

Dr. Donna Hicks is an Associate at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University, and the former Deputy Director of the Program on International Conflict Analysis and Resolution (PICAR).

She worked extensively on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict and as a member of the third party in numerous unofficial diplomatic efforts. In addition to her work in the Middle East, Dr. Hicks founded and co-directed a ten-year project in Sri Lanka. She has also worked on the conflicts in Northern Ireland and Colombia and conducted several US/Cuba dialogues.

She is the author of the book, Dignity: It’s Essential Role in Resolving Conflict, published in 2011 by Yale University Press. Her second book, Leading with Dignity: How to Create a Culture That Brings Out the Best in People, was published by Yale University Press in August 2018.

Q&A hosted by Adriana Morvaiova, Diversity and Inclusion Champion

Part of Pop Up Leadership Academy for Ethnic Minority Leaders organised in partnership between Centre for Democracy and Peace Building and Washington Ireland Program, and supported by Irish American Partnership.

Abdul-Rehman Malik. Embodying Story, Nurturing Transformation: The Storyteller as Changemaker.

Abdul-Rehman Malik. Embodying Story, Nurturing Transformation: The Storyteller as Changemaker.

Abdul-Rehman Malik is an award winning journalist, educator and cultural organizer. Lecturer and Associate Research Scholar at the Yale Divinity School, he also serves at the Program Coordinator at Yale University’s Council on Middle East Studies, and is responsible for developing curricula and partnerships with public schools to promote better cultural, language and religious literacy about the Middle East to educators and students alike. Abdul-Rehman also serves as Director of the Muslim Leadership Lab, an innovative student leadership program being incubated at the Dwight Hall Center of Social Justice at Yale. His work has spanned the UK, United States, Indonesia, Pakistan, Sudan, Mali, Morocco, Singapore, Canada and Malaysia among others. He is the host of the recently launched podcast “This Being Human” which explores kaleidoscope of contemporary Muslim experience and identity, and is supported by the Aga Khan Museum.

Part of Pop Up Leadership Academy for Ethnic Minority Leaders organised in partnership between Centre for Democracy and Peace Building and Washington Ireland Program, and supported by Irish American Partnership.


Re-thinking Solidarity

Following the success of the first webinar, which marked the 40th anniversary of the foundation of Solidarnosc – the first independent trade union in the Soviet bloc, which led to the collapse of communism and a peaceful transition to democracy across Central and Eastern Europe, we are launching Re-thinking Solidarity series.

Re-thinking Solidarity will bring together leading academics, historians, philosophers, theologians, social activists, policy makers and legislators to engage in thoughtful reflection and re-think what solidarity means today, in light of a variety of societal changes, the current geopolitical situation and the consequences of COVID-19 pandemic.

We will explore the idea of solidarity in the context of religion and inter-faith dialogue; environmental and financial sustainability; politics and political psychology; and equality and social justice.

The series of webinars will be chaired by Lord Alderdice – a psychiatrist who, as Leader of Northern Ireland’s Alliance Party was one of the key negotiators of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, then first Speaker of the new Northern Ireland Assembly, and subsequently one of four international Commissioners who oversaw security normalization in Ireland.  A member of the House of Lords since 1996 and Convenor of the Liberal Democrats in the Lords during the Coalition Government, he was President of Liberal International – the global federation of liberal parties – and currently has various appointments at the University of Oxford including as Director of the Centre for the Resolution of Intractable Conflict.

Re-thinking Solidarity webinars will be subsequently published as a series of essays, and when it is possible, we do hope to convene further seminars in Oxford and Rome.

Re-thinking Solidarity is organised by the Centre for Democracy and Peace Building and the Political Theology, in partnership with St. Benet’s Institute, St. Benet’s Hall, University of Oxford and The St. John Paul II Institute of Culture at Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas Angelicum in Rome, and supported by the Polish Cultural Institute in London.


Re-thinking Solidarity


  • 23 Oct 2020: Solidarity, religion and inter-faith dialogue

Register at:

  • Lord Alderdice (chair)
  • Dariusz Karlowicz, Political Theology
  • Nazila Ghanea, University of Oxford
  • Daniel Greenberg, Jewish Law and Ethics
  • Jaroslaw Kupczak OP, St. John Paul II Institute of Culture, Angelicum


  • 20 Nov 2020: Solidarity between the generations – environmental and financial sustainability

Register at:

  • Lord Alderdice (chair)
  • Helen Alford OP, Vice Rector, Angelicum
  • Kalypso Nicolaidis, University of Oxford
  • Carlos Fidalgo Gallardo, Universidad de Sevilla
  • Marek A. Cichocki, Political Theology


  • 18 Dec 2020: Solidarity, politics and political psychology

Register at:

  • Mark Devenport, former BBC NI Political Editor (chair)
  • Deniz Arıboğan, Uskudar University, Istanbul
  • Ewa Thompson, Rice University
  • Alejandro Crosthwaite OP, Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, Angelicum
  • Michał Gierycz, Dean of the Faculty of Social and Economic Studies UKSW


  • 19 Feb 2021: Solidarity, equality and social justice

Register at:

  • Lord Alderdice (chair)
  • Fr Michal Paluch, Rector of the Pontifical University of St Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum)
  • Dr Austen Ivereigh, Fellow in Contemporary Church History, Campion Hall, Oxford
  • Sally J. Scholz, PhD, Chair, Department of Philosophy, Villanova University
  • Professor Tomasz Zyro, University of Warsaw and Political Theology

Diversity Storytelling with Still I Rise

Join us on for storytelling sessions with Still I Rise and learn about diversity, empathy, love, emotional well-being, kind words and inclusive language and have some family fun. Part of Unite Against Hate’s #FriendshipFriday initiative.

  • Dates: 5, 12, 26 February and 5, 12, 19 March 2021
  • Time: 1.30pm to 2.15pm
  • Suitable for children 5-11 years old
  • Sessions will be delivered via Zoom
  • Register at:

To learn more and access Friendship Friday toolkit please visit:

Hiroshima Resilience Project

Thanks to the support from Community Relations Council, CDPB in collaboration with the Oleander Initiative in Cambridge, MA, USA and Peace Culture Village in Hiroshima, Japan will deliver number of interactive Hiroshima Resilience Project workshops between January and March 2021.

There will be two open sessions, one on 26 January 2021 (Book HERE) and one during Imagine Belfast festival (Book HERE). If you would like to book a private session for your group/community please e-mail:


About the programme

The Hiroshima Resilience Project (HRP) pairs live online presenters/facilitators with virtual technology to tell the story of Hiroshima, before, during and after the atomic bombing.

The story of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima is of tragedy, catastrophe and loss. However, it is also one of hope, optimism and moving forward. The HRP presents these different but surprisingly complementary narratives in order for participants to gain new understanding of this pivotal event. In doing so, the HRP inspires participants to think deeply about the concept of resilience and its role in their lives and communities.

Throughout this journey, participants follow the story of Toshiko, a 6-year-old hibakusha (survivor) of the bombing. Through Toshiko, participants first experience what happened on August 6, 1945 and then join her and the resilient citizens of Hiroshima to transform their city into the beautiful “City of Peace” that inspires millions around the world today.

The HRP utilizes computer graphics renderings, Artificial Intelligence colourised photos, virtual simulations, rare historical film footage, interactive polls, discussion sessions, and introspective activities on a Google Earth platform.

The Hiroshima Resilience Project is a collaboration between the Oleander Initiative in Cambridge, MA, USA and Peace Culture Village in Hiroshima, Japan. Organised by the Centre for Democracy and Peace Building and supported by the Community Relations Council.



Ray Matsumiya

Ray Matsumiya is the Director of the Cambridge, MA based Oleander Initiative that gathers peacebuilders from around the world to Hiroshima, Japan for life changing programs and study tours. Inspired by a mother from Hiroshima, Ray has devoted his professional career to unofficial diplomacy, cross-cultural exchange and peacebuilding. Over the past twenty years, he has supervised programs for over 2500 educators and civil society leaders in the US, Japan, Spain, and nine Middle Eastern/ North African countries. His programs have been featured in the New York Times, El Pais, USA Today and PBS via NHK World.

Ray has been an invited speaker at TEDx, the Massachusetts State House, the Dayton International Peace Museum, the US embassy of Tunis and universities such as the Sloan School at M.I.T and the Fletcher School at Tufts University. Ray received his Master’s degree from the Fletcher School at Tufts University and his BA from Wesleyan University. He is a certified mediator, fluent in English and proficient in Japanese and Levant Arabic.

Mary Popeo

Mary Popeo is Co-founder & Business Director, Peace Culture Village from Boston, MA, USA. When she was a student at Boston College, Mary visited Hiroshima and Nagasaki on research grants to study nuclear weapons and nuclear energy. Those experiences changed her life. After graduating, she became a youth organizer and nuclear weapons abolition activist, working with groups such as Global Zero, American Friends Service Committee, Japan Council against A & H Bombs, and New Japan Women’s Association.

Mary has also worked at Harvard University, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Boston University, and Showa Boston Institute for Language and Culture. She moved to Hiroshima in 2016 and became a founding member of PCV in 2017.


Candice Mama: Trauma, Forgiveness and Reconciliation

Candice Mama is the author of “Forgiveness Redefined” who started her work in forgiveness, reconciliation, and trauma after her story of forgiving apartheid assassin and her father’s murderer, Eugene De Kock, made international news. Having been inundated with requests to show people how to forgive she went on to become an award-winning international speaker, who’s story has been heard by the Dalai Lama. She has also starred in over half a dozen documentaries around the world including New York, Netherlands, Paris and Cape Town. She was named Vogue Paris’s 1 of 33 most inspiring women in the world alongside: Nicole Kidman, Michelle Obama and Malala.

Q&A hosted by Lilian Seenoi Barr, NW Migrant Forum.

Part of Pop Up Leadership Academy for Ethnic Minority Leaders organised in partnership between Centre for Democracy and Peace Building and Washington Ireland Program.