Actions and Detail Panel
Seminar: Gangs, Radicalisation & Dialogue
Thu 18 May 2017, 09:30 – 16:00 BST
Radicalisation just does not appear from empty air. It has its roots often in alienation and the need for young people to find a sense of belonging when all around them seems in chaos. Often this means they turn to gangs and this becomes a major vehicle for recruitment.
This Seminar will look at the behavioural and structural roots of radicalisation – both religious and that on the far right as well – all of this has consequences for social cohesion and community harmony.
This seminar will look at the threat posed by radicalisation to social cohesion and how alienation and structures like gangs becomes a major contributor to this problem.
We also look at how it can be addressed through community conversations, reconciliation and dialogue. And we will look not only at the importance of community dialogue but also professional dialogue as well – to disseminate and exchange information on good practice.
We will look at the overall picture and discuss some examples and case studies that begin to address this problem. We will also look at how we can develop programmes and initiatives of our own.
Participants of this workshop will gain an understanding of:
- An overview of the growth and nature of radicalisation
- The process of radicalisation and the targeting of vulnerable groups
- The central role of gangs in this process
- How local authorities can help address this problem
- The importance of dialogue and community conversations
- How to address the need for inter-professional dialogue to move forward.
- Some valuable case studies of community cohesion projects in action in action
- Timely feedback and next step.
The morning session will provide an overview of radicalisation and how this has developed. We will look at the process of radicalisation through for example gangs and we will look at how dialogue has been important in addressing this. It will also have an interactive open session where those attending can highlight what they want out of the day as well as discussing what is going on in their own localities.
9.30 Registration & Coffee
10.00 Introduction For The Day (Francis Sealey)
10.15 Right Wing Extremism (Video with Matthew Feldman )
10.25 The Central Role of the Local Authority
10.45 Questions & Open Session
11.15 Radicalisation & Gangs (Introduction) Sheldon Thomas from Gangsline
11.20 An Individual’s Story By Gang Member
11.30 Confronting The Issue Of Gangs (Sheldon Thomas)
12.05 Creating Dialogue (Abdul Rahim, Centre For Good Relations.)
The afternoon session will take up some of then points raised in the morning group discussion as well provide some case studies of community cohesion projects in action. We will also look at how we can develop an inter-professional network to help address this problem. We will also have further group work on how we can develop a strategy to address radicalisation and how we can provide further support and a knowledge base to develop the outcomes we need.
13.00 Intro For Afternoon
13.05 Dialogue Through Restorative Practice (Geof Baxter)
13.30 Luton In Harmony Case Study Luton
13.45 Restorative Cities (Dr Marian Liebmann) To Be Confirmed
14.10 Inter-Professional Dialogue (Abdul Rahim & Jessica May)
14.25 Group Work
15.25 Feedback on Day
Who should attend?
This seminar will be relevant for elected members, officers and those working with communities involved in dealing with all forms of radicalisation and extremism.
Francis Sealey, Founder, GlobalNet21, a former producer at the BBC for The Open University, Francis has extensive experience of engaging with local communities. GlobalNet21 was set up to engage diverse audiences of citizens and communities in discussing the big issues of the 21st century. There are over 30,000 people in the GN21 various networks and they hold over 75 events a year.
Matthew Feldman who is a Professor of Contemporary History at Teesside University will present this webinar. Matthew is an expert on fascist ideology and the contemporary far-right in Europe and the USA. He has written widely on these subjects, as well as on the interaction between politics and faith in the modern world. He has also taught these subjects for more than a decade for sixth-form, undergraduate and postgraduate students.
Sheldon Thomas is an ex-gang member and is hailed as a leading expert in gang culture and is both an advisor to the Home Office and New Scotland Yard on gang culture and violence, and to Trident, which is, a specialist unit dealing with black-on-black gun related crime. Sheldon regularly sits in on the Home Office roundtable discussions and has contributed to the Home Office ‘Ending Gang Violence’ Strategy (2011).
Abdul Rahim is the Director, Senior Practitioner at the Centre for Good Relations CIC. He is a facilitator with over nine years experience of working with complex multi-party, multi-issue dialogue processes within and between local authorities, statutory agencies, the third sector and communities. A qualified trainer in Civic Mediation and Peacebuilding methodologies. He has been involved in developing appropriate interventions to dealing with issues that organisations and communities find difficult to resolve on their own; facilitating processes that bring stakeholders into a ‘safe’, managed space to develop constructive relationships and work through issues collaboratively towards a satisfactory conclusion.
Geof Baxter is the Chief Executive Officer at Restorative Practice UK that exists to ensure every individual affected by conflict can access appropriate support. They will raise the profile of restorative practices enriching lives and communities. They also give victims a voice, support families where relationships have been harmed and promote community cohesion.
Jessica May has considerable knowledge of Partnership working having managed the Sunderland Partnership for the past eight years and Chaired Partnership Futures, the National Network of Partnership Practitioners for over two years. Prior to this Jessica worked as European Manager at Sunderland Training and Enterprise Council overseeing funding bids and transnational projects, and as the Social Inclusion and Equalities Manager for the Learning and Skills Council Tyne and Wear.
Dr Marian Liebmann has worked at a day centre for ex-offenders, with Victim Support, and in the probation service. She was director of Mediation UK for 4 years and projects adviser for 3 years, working on restorative justice. She now works as a freelance restorative justice consultant and trainer in the UK and overseas, in several African and East European countries. She has given presentations at UN Crime Congresses. She is also an art therapist and runs ‘Art and Conflict’ and ‘Art and Anger Management’ workshops. In 2013 she was awarded an OBE for services to social justice through art therapy and mediation. She is very involved in helping Bristol to become a restorative city. She has written/ edited 10 books, including Restorative Justice: How It Works.