The Bridge Builders Programme is an online interfaith leadership programme, with weekly workshops, guest lectures, facilitated conversations and panel discussions, providing young people to listen to leaders, academics and activists, to explore your role as student leaders and activists.
Dialogue on Israel-Palestine is often the elephant in the room for Interfaith dialogue or causes friendships to be strained or to breakdown. In the past year, Antisemitism and Islamophobia, in particular on university campuses, has increased.
The Bridge Builders programme is aimed at student leaders in Year 12 & 13, to come together online to create a safe space for dialogue, have the opportunity to find your common ground, disagree respectfully and create opportunities to work towards the common good. You will have the opportunity to take part in weekly interactive workshops, guest lectures, facilitated conversations and panel discussion, with the opportunity to listen to inspiring speakers and ask questions. The following questions will be explored in more depth:
- What impact is Israel-Palestine having on campus & community relations in the UK?
- What role can student leaders play in promoting good relations on campus and in communities?
- What role can student leaders play in reducing tensions and polarisation?
- What is your role as student leaders in developing a solutions focused approach?
The Bridge Builders programme focuses on three pillars: finding our common ground, learning to disagree better and working towards the common good. [Check out a more detailed breakdown of topics below in the FAQ]
Bridge Builders 2022 will be led by Ali and Poppy:
Mohammed Ali Amla, Youth and Partnerships Director, has 20 years experience of facilitating difficult dialogue on a range of topics, an interfaith activist and peace builder. He loves to create safe, compassionate and courageous spaces for dialogue and foster opportunities to learn from one another.
Poppy Soetens-Hall, Programmes and Events Manager with Solutions Not Sides, has been working on the Student Leadership Programme and with alumni networks since 2018. Before this, she worked with Palestinian civil society organisations and with binational Israeli-Palestinian peacebuilding movements primarily based in the West Bank.
All participants will be asked to commit to attending 2 workshops per week (90 minutes each) and a 15 minute virtual hang out.
The course will begin in February 2022, dates, topics and speakers will be confirmed very soon.
Register by completing this form.
Understand identity, faith and belonging
Nurture Leadership skills
Foster critical-thinking skills
Understand social division in Britain today
Understand social cohesion, interfaith and bridge building
Foster intercultural competencies
Challenge hate, prejudice and discrimination
Understand Antisemitism and Islamophobia
Develop skills and knowledge about conflict resolution and peace building
Understanding about Israel-Palestine, Northern Ireland and Balkans
Develop skills in dialogue and public speaking
“In the course I was able to learn much more about the problems and conflicts featured, especially from the speakers' first-hand accounts.”
“While prior to the programme I had a broad historical awareness of the conflicts that were studied, understanding the societal implications of said conflicts was particularly fascinating. It allowed to a deepening of comprehension of the necessity to combat contemporary issues rather than simply studying the history from arm's length.”
“At first I didn’t understand much about conflicts for example with Northern Ireland and now I’ve gained massive amounts of knowledge about how i can become an activist.”
“I knew lots on a factual basis about different Muslim issues, but this programme opened me up to the human side of it which was amazing.”
“After the Bridge Builders programme I believe I am more knowledgeable about the issues that affect me due to the fact that in this programme we discussed and evaluated global conflicts which I thought to not have an affect on me before this program, but now I feel more knowledgeable about global issues that can affect me e.g. Palestinian and Iraq conflict.”
“I have learned about different conflicts around the world and have more knowledge about issues that I didn't know existed, I gained more insight about these conflicts and have learned what I can do to be a part of the solution throughout the Programme.”
“Bridge builders helped me to fill the gaps in my knowledge about topics important to me.”
“Attending Bridge Builders made me aware of issues I wasn’t before and after attending the workshops I feel knowledgeable about them.”
“I never participated in an in-depth course that allowed me to express my views, regarding Palestinian-Israeli conflict. I learned a lot more about interfaith and the fascinating perspectives the speakers told us about. I found this very beneficial and I'm sure that anyone else planning to attend this course next time will surely love it!”