Manchester City Hall

Radical dialogue – join the debate in Manchester

December 21, 2015 | Nick Taylor

Radical Dialogue comes to Manchester – In 2015,  Manchester people and organisations joined together to rethink the major challenge of radicalisation.  In 2016, the work will continue as people  join together with civic organisations, charities, local authorities and voluntary groups to develop their understanding of radicalisation that can lead to conflict.

Whether it be racism or hate crime or a desire to better understand what pushes and pulls people to polarised positions – a new programme called RADICAL DIALOGUE will address some of the key issues and needs identified through the dialogue work in 2015.  This programme will seek to address and explore the findings of Manchester’s Rethinking Radicalisation Report, providing attendees with the chance to shape local responses on a practical and policy level.

The programme requires no pre-existing qualifications or experience in these areas but an active interest and commitment is key.

RADICAL DIALOGUE – is a programme in Manchester that aims to:

  • Build knowledge and understanding of radicalisation leading to violent extremism
  • Increase awareness and understanding of prejudice, discrimination, inclusion and exclusion and how perspectives on difference can feed division
  • Enhance skills in problem-solving and conflict resolution
  • Develop greater confidence in holding dialogue and the creation of ‘safe spaces’
  • Increase capacity to respond to local issues and participate in social action

The programme will be delivered by the Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace, drawing on their experience of conflict transformation work and will involve a range of experts and practitioners from the fields of conflict transformation, counter-radicalisation, and related academic fields of study. Participants will be introduced to a range of theories, models and approaches to aid learning and understanding.

The programme will be delivered during the evening time from 6-8pm with an intensive training weekend included. All activities will take place at a central Manchester venue.  The commitment is as follows:

Session one, Monday 11th January –

Introduction, orientation, expectations and objective setting

Session two,   Monday 25th January –

Threat, the challenges: Local, National and International & Channel – Vulnerability and the process of Radicalisation

Featuring guest speakers presenting perspectives and facts in relation to the threat and challenges. Further context on the process of assessment and interventions for those susceptible to radicalisation. The session will also feature opportunities to explore the implications for Manchester and its citizens.

Session three, Monday 8th February –

What’s the problem?

A workshop exploring identity, self-awareness and mapping conflict. This session will look at areas and subjects of concern and explore what we know, what we think we know and whether things have changed. Helping us vision how we get beyond positions and into interests and needs.

Session four, intensive programme, Friday 26th to Sunday 28th February –

Radical Dialogue programme

From Saturday – Sunday afternoon, this intensive programme will draw on the learning and themes covered to date but provide a much deeper learning experience for participants. The programme will focus on self-awareness, prejudice and its consequences, conflict sensitivity, conflict management and approaches to creating safe spaces for dialogue in communities. How to hold ‘difficult conversation’s’, how to manage situations with skills and sensitivity. The programme will include a range of speakers and ‘expert’ input as well as provide space for group processing and personal development.

Session five, Monday 7th March –

Media and Communications

An interactive workshop that explores this issue for real. To what extent does the media influence and how? What are its effects? How do we deal with this in Manchester and build a narrative and presence that can help harness and foster positive social change! This session will also feature a guest speaker presenting perspectives and facts.

Session six, Monday 21st March –

Made in Manchester

A session focussed on drawing on the learning so far and looking at the prospects for a Manchester wide strategy. This session will feature presentations from other local actors and organisations engaged in the field of community engagement and relations work as well as education.

Session seven, Monday 4th April –

What’s Next? Future planning

Action planning for the participants and network going forwards. What can we do and where are the barriers? Identifying the strengths, opportunities and areas for attention. Identifying partnership, possibilities and where support is needed.

Click here to download a brochure and booking form PLEASE NOTE THIS IS A PROGRAMME IN MANCHESTER ONLY

Download the Rethinking Radicalisation in Manchester Report.

For further information, contact –

Kelly Simcock, the Foundation for Peace – kelly.simcock@foundation4peace.org

Samiya Butt, Manchester City Council – s.butt@manchester.gov.uk

Naaira Zaman, Manchester City Council – n.zaman1@manchester.gov.uk