2015 has been marked by stories of religiously motivated violence and tensions between communities. In stark contrast to this, emerging leaders from different backgrounds have been working together to create positive change across the country and bring people from different communities together.
Students in mixed-belief groups on the year-long, UN award-winning ParliaMentors leadership programme work under the guidance of MPs and leading NGOs to deliver social action projects in their university cities. This year, students in London, Manchester, Nottingham and Birmingham tackled issues ranging from religious stereotyping and elderly loneliness to bettering relations between students and residents in their local area. Some 2,000 people were engaged by the students’ projects, showing the power of their inclusive brand of leadership that works with people across religious and cultural differences to deliver real change.
Their efforts will be celebrated at a graduation ceremony in Westminster attended by MPs and other senior leaders. Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon will open the event, taking place on Monday 15 June at 10.15 am in the Attlee Suite of Portcullis House.
ParliaMentors is run by 3FF, a charity that creates good relations between people of different faiths, beliefs and cultures.
Stephen Timms, one of the MPs that mentored students, said:
“I am privileged to have mentored these talented and inspiring individuals on 3FF’s ParliaMentors programme. In our culturally diverse society, it is essential for people to get together and cooperate towards common goals. Young, emerging leaders like these play an absolutely vital role in building connections between people from different backgrounds. I have no doubt they will continue making a real difference in their communities in the future.”
Student Aziz Din describes his experience as a 2015 ParliaMentor:
“My experience as a ParliaMentor has been invaluable instilling in me the confidence to interact with people from different backgrounds. I feel uniquely prepared to go out and challenge the divisions we see in our communities and society. On this programme our achievements would’ve been impossible without cooperation and unity, I can only imagine what the future holds now that I carry this knowledge with me.”
Since 2007, over 300 people have graduated from ParliaMentors and now form a vibrant Alumni network. Alumni have gone on to become charity directors, MPs and local councillors.
For more information, or to attend the ceremony on Monday 15 June:
Phone: 0207 482 9535
3FF, the Three Faiths Forum, has worked to build good relations between people of different faiths, beliefs and cultures for nearly twenty years. 3FF creates safe spaces in schools, universities, places of work and worship and the wider community where people can engage with questions of belief and identity and meet people different from themselves.
ParliaMentors equips the next generation of leaders with the skills, experience and networks they need to advance their careers. Students from different backgrounds work together to create social action projects with support from leading NGOs and are mentored by MPs and Peers. The programme has won the UN Award for Intercultural Innovation, and is a partner of the British Council’s Active Citizens programme.