Staff enjoyed and were moved by a CPD session on Tuesday on ‘Empathic Peace Building’. This session was led by Jo Berry whose father was killed by the IRA bomb which was planted at the Conservative Party conference at the Grand Hotel, Brighton in 1984. Some years ago Jo met with Patrick Magee, the man charged with planting the bomb who was released from prison as part of the Good Friday Peace Agreement in 1999. Jo began working with Patrick shortly afterwards and they have travelled widely to tell their stories. In Jo’s words:
“Looking back on the years which have passed since the bomb, I am so touched by the amazing people I have met and the opportunities I have had to make a difference. I have now shared a platform with Pat Magee over 100 times and I see how our dialogue has inspired others to choose a non-violent solution. I have learnt so much from this challenging dialogue and continue to do so. I have learnt about my capacity for violence and for non-violence. I am learning to give up blame and choose empathy.”
Jo’s is a remarkable story which illustrates how strong peaceful conflict resolution can be and we are delighted that Jo has agreed to run a number of workshops in the coming months.