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Coventry’s RISING Global Peace Forum is expected to attract its biggest ever audience from around the world when it returns later this year.
The internationally-recognised event, led by the Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations at Coventry University in partnership with Coventry Cathedral and Coventry City Council, is due to go ahead in November but will be in a ‘virtual hybrid’ format due to Coronavirus restrictions.
The three-day event at Coventry Cathedral will be live-streamed online for the first time to reach its global audience, with only UK-based speakers and around 50 delegates likely to be in physical attendance.
Organisers believe the event, which last year attracted 300 participants from five continents, has the potential to reach a greater audience in the different format - and a more important role than ever in promoting peace at a time of huge global uncertainty.
The theme will be ‘The Culture of Peace’, reflecting Coventry as the UK City of Culture 2021, and an impressive line-up of international speakers will be announced over the coming months.
Professor Mike Hardy, chair of RISING and Executive Director of the Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations, said: “The Culture of Peace theme recognises that growing concerns about cultural and national identity are undermining peace and international co-operation.
“There are huge questions being asked all over the world about who we are as citizens and how we relate to one another, and the COVID-19 pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement has brought these questions into even greater focus.
“Global leaders are struggling to provide coherent answers and as a result, violence is spreading and community unrest, often fuelled by inequality, is on the rise. Even here in Coventry, we have been challenged by these questions and experienced violence on our streets.
“The Culture of Peace theme recognises that as well as being the UK’s only City of Peace and Reconciliation, Coventry carries the badge of being the UK City of Culture 2021. It therefore seems entirely appropriate that the city should host a gathering of inspiring speakers, academics, policymakers and activists to explore the culture of peace as an integrated approach to preventing violence and conflict.
“Participants will share ideas and inspiration about a range of issues which form the basis of a culture of peace and which in turn lead to economic and social prosperity for all.”
The RISING Global Peace Forum will take place from November 11 to 13, just before the events to mark the 80th anniversary of the bombing of Coventry in 1940 on November 14. For more information about the free-to-attend event and prior registration, visit their website or email [email protected]
RISING was launched in Coventry in 2015 as an international platform to discuss and promote new ways to build and sustain global peace, and has since gained widespread international recognition.
It has spawned events in Colombia, the US, Mexico, Westminster and Northern Ireland, and increased the city’s standing as a source of inspiration for peace and a force for conflict resolution across the world. During the recent lockdown, RISING has also launched a series of short online films through YouTube entitled ‘RISING Great Reads’, which have been viewed more than 1,100 times.