Northern Ireland often seems to offers one of the most challenging environments for humanist engagement with local communities. The response from humanists is to step up to that challenge. In a fascinating and enjoyable online talk we'll learn about some of the challenges and the inventive ways in which these are being tackled. Can we learn anything to help our engagement in local communities elsewhere?
Boyd is the Coordinator for Northern Ireland Humanists, which brings together all of Humanists UK’s members and supporters in Northern Ireland. Boyd’s role is to expand the reach of Northern Ireland Humanists’ campaigns, services, events, community, and public awareness work. Particularly motivated around issues related to education reform in Northern Ireland, he has spearheaded calls for reform of the Religious Education curriculum and for an end to religious privilege in state-funded schools.
From its inception five years ago, Northern Ireland Humanists has grown from a small base of 230 members and supporters base to over 2,700. Boyd will discuss how this happened and what has worked while engaging with the local humanist community.
Community engagement in Northern Ireland doesn't stop with humanists. There are many diverse and marginalised communities in Northern Ireland, and Northern Ireland Humanists offers a voice that engages with and speaks for many of those underrepresented voices.
Boyd will talk about Northern Ireland Humanists becoming instrumental in the Interfaith Forum, the types of dialogue work they have engaged in, and how that engagement has helped raise awareness of humanism, and ultimately helped shaped positive and progressive social change in Northern Ireland.
There are undoubtedly lessons that we can all take from Boyd’s experience in Northern Ireland.