By Steven McCaffery

THE Social Change Initiative is set to host its 2019 Global Activist and Leadership Convening in Northern Ireland.

More than 50 activists from around the world will gather from June 12-14 for events and discussions on the theme of Borders and Boundaries.

The activist network is inter-generational, international and involved in innovative work which stretches across the themes of migration, peacebuilding, human rights and  equality.

The previous SCI Global Activism and Leadership Convening took place in South Africa and included an event with Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

In Northern Ireland the convening participants will meet a broad range of groups involved in campaigning for social change, including groups dealing with the legacy of conflict, groups tackling divisions between communities, plus others campaigning on poverty and rights issues.

The convening will then move to County Fermanagh on the Irish border where activists will have time and space to share experiences and tactics to enrich their work.

Director of the Social Change Initiative Martin O’Brien said: “We are looking forward to bringing such a diverse group of people together.  The event is designed to give frontline changemakers the time and space to reflect on their work, share learning and skills and explore new strategies and tactics for their future work.

“The themes of ‘borders and boundaries’ touch on universal issues, but they will have a particular resonance given that we are meeting at this time in Northern Ireland.

“The UK’s exit from the European Union has raised fresh tensions over the Irish border and created new divisions between communities which have to be overcome.

“We look forward to creating the time and space to use that setting to look at the problems we are facing globally and help the network of activists to develop new ideas and new strategies for their work.”

The activists taking part in the convening are drawn from SCI’s Fellowship Programme and Mentoring Programme, as well as participants from SCI’s Migration Narrative Programme.

The Migration Narrative Programme operates across a number of European countries to influence the public narrative around migration.

The Mentoring Programme is focused on addressing the need to support individual activists in developing and reaching their full potential as effective leaders.

SCI’s Fellowship Programme aims to nurture talent to challenge inequality, promote peacebuilding and deliver social change. It is an opportunity for social change activists to take time to reflect on and document practice, and to share and exchange ideas, skills and strategies with others.