A series of conversations and creative reflections about civil society and community work: their contribution to Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland’s shared challenges and current and future collaboration on solutions.
Contributors on the podcast bridge many divides. The introductory episode features prominent voices from our island’s enormous diaspora, looking back towards the island and discussing their unique perspectives.
Guests throughout the series are drawn from those active or supporting the community and voluntary sector as they explore their innovations and contributions.
Listeners will hear stories of how communities are stepping up to meet shared challenges such as out-migration from rural communities, digital poverty, youth mental health, and integration for new migrants to the Island. Voices from multiple traditions, backgrounds and identities reflect on their all-island work in social enterprise development, Covid recovery, addressing the Climate and Biodiversity crisis, and much more.
Women in the COVID Recovery
In times of crisis, women have often carried significant burdens that are not well recognised. In this episode, we look at the role of women in community and peacebuilding, and the development of policy guided by lived experience. We discuss systemic, historical and intersectional discrimination against women. Lived experiences of women during the pandemic were researched as part of the feminist recovery plan which proposes new opportunities to address a whole society change. This episode concludes with a reading from poet Annemarie Ni Churreain.
Rachel Powell, women’s sector lobbyist with the Women’s Resource and Development Agency and chair of the Women’s Policy Group for Northern Ireland, who recently published the feminist recovery plan for Covid-19. She is on the board of directors of the Washington Ireland Program and recently advised the NI government on an expert panel for a gender equality strategy.
Annemarie Ni Churreain, a poet from the Donegal Gaeltacht. Her poetry has been shortlisted for the Shine Strong Award for best first collection in Ireland and for the 2018 Julie Suk Award in the USA. Many of her poems inhabit parallel worlds, suggesting dual ways of experiencing people, places and events, often evoking the mystery of ‘in between’ places. Annemarie Ní Churreáin
Coumilah Manjoo is originally from Mauritius and lived in England, Ireland, France before working in Northern Ireland for the past 12 years. She studied social sciences and a LLM in Human Rights, Her work has fostered Intercultural dialogue in the voluntary sector with grassroots organisations. She is also a daughter, sister, and mother of three. The power within | Just Fair
Feminist Recovery Plan
Belfast Multi-Cultural Association - Home | Facebook
In this discussion of social justice and collaboration, we will look at ways in which global citizenship can help address all-island challenges. In particular, we examine development education, now more commonly known as global citizenship education, and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The discussion also looks at ways that an individual’s learning journey can be transformed into wider societal change.
Salome Mbugua is a researcher, gender equality activist and human rights advocate. She is the founder and former CEO of AkiDwA, the migrant women’s group, with over twenty years of experience working with underrepresented groups.
Frank Geary is the Director of the Irish Development Education Association, using a variety of tools to engage the Irish public in development education and foster global citizenship.
Bayan Smith is the public engagement officer at Children in Crossfire, who have been responding to the rights and needs of children caught in the crossfire of poverty, injustice and inequality.
Karen Jeffers is a freelance facilitator and consultant in the charities sector in global citizenship education. After five years working in Latin America in conflict and post-conflict settings, she returned to Ireland in 2014 and established the Irish branch of the international human rights organisation, Peace Brigades International. In 2020 she also co-founded Síolta Chroi an organisation based in County Monaghan that ‘envisions a more connected world where ecosystems are restored and thriving. Humans are working in cooperation with wider nature and one another’.
The Digital Divide
Digital poverty exists in both rural and urban communities across the island, reducing access to jobs, education and social interaction. This episode looks at developing skills and access to the digital world across generations in both social and economic contexts. We look at the supports needed for the scaling up of current efforts and opportunities to address fragmentation through all-island collaborations.
Stef Mckillop is the Digital Inclusion Officer at Supporting Communities, whose Go On NI program has been running for ten years.
Stephen Dallas is Director of the Bytes project, using youth work and technology to work with vulnerable young people in Northern Ireland for two decades.
Tracey Keogh is a founder of Grow Remote, making remote work possible in 144 communities across Ireland.
Rural communities can be vibrant places but also face challenges of connectivity, access to services and resources, and higher incidence of domestic violence and out-migration to name a few. This episode looks at overcoming some of the barriers faced by rural communities across the island, and includes a discussion on the new common charter for cooperation within and between these islands, North, South and East and West.
Kate Clifford is the Director of Rural Community Network, a regional voluntary membership organisation supporting communities across Northern Ireland.
Tara Farrell is the Deputy CEO of Longford Women’s Link, which aims to link women with resources to help improve and change their own and their families’ lives providing a knock on transformative effect on the local community.
Emma Shaw is a community activist, researcher and blogger who has said, “I can think of nothing better than being the conduit for giving voice to Loyalist women”. Her research focuses on underachievement in education, especially among low-income students.
Her Loyal Voice blog
See Her Elected
New common charter for cooperation within and between these islands
Communities Taking Climate Action
Adapting to and mitigating the effects of the climate crisis carries a need for rapid change that has the potential to disrupt livelihoods. How can communities be engaged in a fair and equitable manner while our society transitions to a post-carbon future?
In this episode we look at the just transition as an opportunity rather than a burden, overcoming land use conflicts, and integrating eco-literacy in our education systems. We examine ways that community needs and priorities can be met alongside climate goals, and the need for those offering top down supports to adapt to the all-island community-led nature of solutions that can meet this enormous challenge.
Shane Campbell is the CEO of the Irish Central Border Area Network, who recently started a project based on the principles of The People’s Transition model.
Aoife Kirk is the coordinator of Connecting Communities with Peatlands, a project funded by the Just Transition Fund in the midlands in partnership with the Community Wetlands Forum and Irish Rural Link.
Morgan O’Toole is a regional development officer at Cooperation Ireland, responsible for the All-Island Schools for Climate Action program.
Decarbonising the Island
The need for action on climate change is urgent, and risks leaving communities behind. This episode deals with a fair and equitable transition to carbon neutrality that empowers people across the island to have a meaningful say and accrue local development benefits. We discuss principles of deliberative democracy and community wealth building as tools for a just transition, and addressing complex problems through simple solutions.
Rebekah McCabe is the Northern Ireland engagement lead at Involve.org.ukthe UK's public participation charity. Her focus is on developing the awareness, understanding, and use of participatory and deliberative tools across government and civil society.
Khalil Moran is the project coordinator at the democratic workplace in Wicklow. They are studying for a PhD funded by the Irish Research Council looking at community wealth building in Ireland. Wicklow Democratic School
Suzie Cahn has more than 20 years of experience in community development, education and project management across a wide range of sectors. She previously worked with the TASC’s (Think Tank for Action on Social Change)’ Climate Justice Centre (TASC Climate Justice) managing the People's Transition pilot projects. She is currently directing the iCommunity project with NICVA and the Wheel. The Wheel.
Centre for Local Economic Strategies
The Democracy Collaborative
TASC People's Transition Phibsborough Report
The People's Transition Report for Ardara - Publications
The People's Transition: Community-led Development for Climate Justice
FEPS TASC - Talking Green - The Irish Survey