Event: YOUTH & PEACEBUILDING IN NORTHERN IRELAND: 25 YEARS AFTER THE BELFAST/GOOD FRIDAY AGREEMENT - May 2 at 3:30 pm
YOUTH & PEACEBUILDING IN NORTHERN IRELAND: 25 YEARS AFTER THE BELFAST/GOOD FRIDAY AGREEMENT
Tuesday, May 2, 2023 - 3:30 pm to 4:30 pm
Twenty-five years ago, the parties to a then 30-year long conflict known as “the Troubles” finally agreed to put down their arms and to replace the ArmaLite with the ballot box. This agreement, signed by all the parties to the conflict was supported by large percentages of both the Catholic and Protestant communities in Northern Ireland, many of whom expressed the feelings that ‘they owed it to future generations to make peace’ or that ‘they didn’t want to have future generations suffer the same pain and loss that they had’ and that they wanted, in the words of peace campaigner May Blood, to “give this chance to the next generation.”
Our question, and the rationale for this panel, is to reflect on the twenty-five years of peace implementation in Northern Ireland and to ask, what about those children? How have youth been impacted by peacebuilding efforts and the peace itself? Are they better off? Or are their needs still unmet in a society ridden with poverty and rooted in sectarian division? How are LGBTQ+ youth facing the unique challenges of growing up in a region shaped by religious strife?
As a prelude to the May 3rd presentation of “Young Plato” we invite you to join two experts on peacebuilding with youth in Northern Ireland, Dr. Siobhan McEvoy- Levy and Dr. Molly Merryman, as they share their insights with respect to youth, peacebuilding, LGBTQ+ rights and activisms, and the future of Northern Ireland.
Molly Merryman is an Associate Professor in the School of Peace and Conflict Studies. She has been a leader in the area of gender and sexuality at Kent State University, including co-founding its LGBTQ Studies program in 2001, as well as its Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality and LGBTQ Student Center. She is the research director for Queer Britain, the UK’s national LGBTQ+ museum, and is a documentary/ethnographic filmmaker, oral historian and cultural historian. Her documentaries have been broadcast in the United States and United Kingdom and have screened around the world.
Siobhán McEvoy-Levy is the co-founder and director of the Desmond Tutu Peace Lab and professor of Political Science and Peace & Conflict Studies at Butler University in Indianapolis. Originally from Northern Ireland, McEvoy-Levy has a BA Hons degree in Politics and English from Queen’s University Belfast and M.Phil. and PhD. degrees in International Relations from the University of Cambridge, UK. Her research focuses on young people and peacebuilding and includes interviews and focus groups with youth in Northern Ireland, the USA, and Israel/Palestine.
We will also be joined by a special guest, Kevin McArevey, Headmaster of Holy Cross Boys School in the Ardoyne neighborhood of Belfast, and the subject of Young Plato, which will be shown at 6pm on May 3rd, in the Kent Student Center Ballroom. This panel will be moderated by SPCS Professor, Landon Hancock.