Peace and reconciliation in Coventry

1940

Coventry Cathedral

Much of the city was destroyed during the Coventry Blitz which was said to be one of the worst raids of the Second World War and changed the face of the city – with its impact still felt today.

The community famously responded with dialogue, forgiveness, reconciliation and peace, and have since led calls for an end to violent conflict. Coventry is now recognised globally as a City of Peace and Reconciliation, and Coventry University continues to support humanitarian research, partnerships and projects in the city and beyond.

 

Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations

The Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations (CTPSR) focuses on integrated peacebuilding, trust and social and community relations as part of Coventry University’s commitment to research with a focus on the security and quality of life of people worldwide.

Researchers have helped tackle many of the most critical and sensitive contemporary challenges facing society since the centre was set up in 2014, including working closely with UNESCO to offer advice on humanitarian engineering and intercultural dialogue.

Irina Bokova
Irina Bokova

Irina Bokova, former Director-General of UNESCO, received an honorary doctorate from Coventry University last year in recognition of her work towards peace. Read news story...

It is no surprise that Coventry University would recognise the lengthy and widespread contributions of Irina Bokova. Her personal drive to highlight to importance of culture and heritage for peace has been legendary. Under her leadership, UNESCO has stepped up its focus on education, science and cultural relationships to maintain and promote a peaceful world.

This is city of peace and reconciliation and we have committed huge energy to applied research in peace building with strong support and partnerships with UNESCO and Irina through her role as director general.

Professor Mike Hardy, Executive Director of the CTPSR

One Sweet World

Coventry University research showing that hostile narratives matter helped influence Ben & Jerry’s One Sweet World campaign against division. Read new story...

A report found that although the same number of people see a more diverse society as a threat as those that strongly believe it brings economic, social and cultural benefits (roughly a quarter of the population in each group), dominant media and political narratives too often reflective negative views about migration and diversity in many countries.

The European-wide social inclusion campaign helps support partners working to build more inclusive and welcoming communities across Europe.

 

We have observed some hardening of attitudes towards refugees and social groups perceived to be in some way to be different and threatening.

These attitudes undermine the inclusion of those who are newly arrived and also threaten relationships within and between long-established communities.

The good news is that when you look below the surface we see a more positive picture of people across Europe, especially young people, mobilising to create a new narrative on migration and diversity that moves beyond fear and hate.

Heaven Crawley, Professor of International Migration at CTPSR


Let’s Be Friends

The Let’s Be Friends schools project teaches understanding and tolerance in across the UK and Iraq regardless of race, religion or ethnicity. Led by Coventry University graduate Zinah Mohammed, the scheme tackles stereotypes and spreads messages of peace by helping primary school pupils in the UK build friendships with children living in refugee camps across Iraq.

We have observed some hardening of attitudes towards refugees and social groups perceived to be in some way to be different and threatening.

These attitudes undermine the inclusion of those who are newly arrived and also threaten relationships within and between long-established communities.

The good news is that when you look below the surface we see a more positive picture of people across Europe, especially young people, mobilising to create a new narrative on migration and diversity that moves beyond fear and hate.

Heaven Crawley, Professor of International Migration at CTPSR

The whole idea is to build a peaceful connection that children wouldn’t usually have access to. It is just one way of teaching them how similar we all are and remind us all of the value of dialogue and coexistence.

When countries all over the world are suffering from extremism or divisions we must not forget that we all share humanity. If we can educate people on the power of friendship, dialogue and tolerance then I believe we can make real differences.

Zinah Mohammed
 

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Blog

Blog

Advocating unity while studying at university

Zinah was born in Baghdad, where she lived until she was 15 when her fanily had to leave suddenly because of the kidnapping threats....

Read Zinah’s Blog

MEDMIG

MEDMIG

Researchers from Coventry helped shed light on the dynamics of Europe's migration crisis as part of the first large-scale study of the backgrounds, experiences, aspirations and routes of refugees and migrants.

The Unravelling the Mediterranean Migration Crisis (MEDMIG) project team interviewed 500 people who crossed the Mediterranean in 2015.

Step Back in Time

Step Back in Time

The Rising team and university research teams at CELE created a virtual reality app to help residents explore St Michael’s Cathedral, including the stained glass windows, stone pillars and the original 14th century wooden which were largely destroyed by bombing on 14 November 1940. A second Blitz project, Playing in the News: Coventry Blitz in VR brings to life the stories of residents from the local press following the bombing.

Mutaru Muqthar

Mutaru Muqthar

A Coventry University graduate is helping to combat extremism and stop young people from being radicalised across West Africa in a continued humanitarian effort that led to him being named as African of the Year 2017. Read news story...

Global Peace Forum

Inspired and supported by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the RISING Global Peace Forum was founded in 2015 in a partnership between Coventry University, Coventry Cathedral and Coventry City Council.