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15 January, 2007

Diversity and Dialogue moves to the Citizenship Foundation

Diversity and Dialogue, the joint agency project which aims to create better understanding between young people from different faiths and backgrounds has moved to the Citizenship Foundation to start its second phase, after more than two years based at Save the Children.

Diversity and Dialogue supports individuals and organisations interested in building better relations between young people from different faiths and backgrounds. It acts as an information, support and ideas sharing network, publicising good practice, producing resources and giving advice. Diversity and Dialogue also works directly with young people, developing innovative projects and models of dialogue. Projects create spaces where young people from different faiths and backgrounds can come together to discuss controversial issues, then work together for change.

Project Manager, Becky Hatch explains: “We have found that many young people welcome opportunities to interact with people from different faiths and cultures. They want opportunities to talk about controversial issues that may be causing tensions between different communities. However, teachers and other adults working with young people can be nervous of raising these topics and need better support training and resources.”

Don Rowe, Director, curriculum development and resources at the Citizenship Foundation said, “The Citizenship Foundation is delighted to be able to support Diversity and Dialogue in its next phase of development. This is an area of the citizenship curriculum which has been badly neglected until now. Schools have an important part to play in helping young people make sense of what it can mean to have a strong allegiances to a faith or an ideology and be an active member of society at the same time.”

Diversity and Dialogue works to provide more opportunities for young people from different faiths and backgrounds to come together. In its first two years, the project directly supported 300 young people aged 14-19 in projects in London, Yorkshire, the North West and Birmingham; and produced educational resources for teachers, youth workers, young people, and organisations. An online directory of over 100 diversity projects has been established and the website provides ideas, advice and support for people working on youth interfaith and social cohesion issues.

The Foundation has been involved in the project for over two years, along with CAFOD, Christian Aid, Islamic Relief, Jewish Council for Racial Equality, Muslim Aid, Oxfam, Save the Children and World Jewish Aid. These organisations all share an interest in promoting tolerance, understanding and practical co-operation between faith and community groups at the local and international level.

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