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Come along and be the change

5th September 2019

Academics from Northumbria University, Newcastle, are supporting this year’s United Nations’ International Day of Peace on September 21st with a series of free events.

The U.N. International Day of Peace (“Peace Day”) is  a globally shared date for all humanity to commit to peace above all differences, and to contribute to building a culture of peace. It was established in 1981 by a unanimous UN resolution.

Northumbria University is supporting Peace Day with an initiative called “Be the Change” and is an opportunity for members of the public, students and those who work at the University, to participate in a programme of inspirational events - including a live stage performance, a film screening, and  interactive discussions where researchers share their insights from across the world.

All the events are free and easily accessible at the University’s city-centre campus. Encouraging members of the public to come along, Lucy Jowett, Research Impact Manager, from Northumbria said: “This promises to be a fascinating and inspirational day and by joining us you can help ‘Be the Change’ by sharing knowledge about global justice and inclusion. You can hear about some of the world-class research and other incredible work our academics are doing.  The UN International Day of Peace is a global initiative that should make us all stop and reflect on how we can support peace, and Northumbria is delighted to play its part on the day – and beyond.”

Events at Northumbria include:

Associate Professor Jane Arnfield will give a performance of The Tin Ring, the story of Holocaust survivor Zdenka Fantlová - a Czech-Jewish woman who fell in love at the age of 18 but whose life was changed forever when her country was invaded by the Nazis. While in the ghetto of Terezín, her soulmate, Arno, gave her a ring made from tin as a token of his love. ‘The Tin Ring’ has been performed to thousands of people internationally, addressing issues around human rights, the Holocaust, war and migration, raising awareness amongst audiences, schools and organisations involved in peace and conflict resolution. Jane will be holding a question and answer session following the performance.

A special screening of the award-winning film Sanctuary, a film highlighting Section 5 of the Irish Criminal Law Act 1993, which prohibited sexual relationships between people with intellectual disabilities and influenced a change in the law. The film has toured internationally in cinemas and at festivals, winning the 2017 Dublin Film Critics Circle award for Best Irish film. It is directed by Northumbria academic and screenwriter Len Collins, known for working on TV shows such as The Bill, EastEnders, London’s Burning and Holby City. Len will be holding a question and answer session following the film.

Professor Matt Baillie Smith, an expert on volunteering, activism and civil society and Director of Northumbria’s Centre for International Development, will facilitate, with colleagues, an interactive discussion on international volunteering and activism. Working with the United Nations and the International Societies of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, the Centre’s work has changed the way volunteers operate in disaster zones across the globe. The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is the world's largest humanitarian network. The Movement is neutral and impartial, and provides protection and assistance to people affected by disasters and conflicts.

Human Geographer Inga Freimane will ask: “Where is War Located?” in a thought-provoking talk exploring activists’ experiences of war in Ukraine, how conflict spills over into everyday life, and how the lines between peace and war are blurred. Inga will be holding a question and answer session after her talk.

For information on times, locations and how to register for the Be the Change event, please visit:  

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