Who we are:
The Junction was originally a Centre, set up by community relations practitioners in March 2000, to consolidate and strengthen community relations work. The Centre provided a space for activities that fed into the development of relationships, better understanding, and mutual respect. The Junction has a local, regional, national and international remit.
As part of a DiverseCity Community Partnership, the Centre has been rebuilt. It is anticipated that the new premises will be ready by the beginning of 2014. The work of the Junction continues on, allowing people to connect critically and grow organically in pace with the development of a new civic society in Northern Ireland. The Junction seeks to inform and validate approaches, policy and practice that value people and empower them to live with their differences.
The objectives of the Junction are to provide:
- Human resources by way of expertise, advice, training and support
- Clearing house of good models of practice, knowledge, and insights on approaches and methods
- Database and Internet Home Page specifically designed for community relations practitioners
- Commitment to improved community relations work through proactive methods which both complement existing work and initiate new work
- Promotion of functional relationships between the communities which encourage interdependency
- Promotion of individual development
- Empower individuals to make a difference within their own community
Develop training and education resources on conflict resolution and peace building
Activities and Services:
The ethos on which much of the work is based derives from Community Development and Community Relations’ principles. These tailor the activities of the Junction and focus on the primary values of moral, civic, social and political education and evaluation. The Centre is non-prescriptive and avoids preconceived notions about ‘correct’ solutions.
The Junction acts as an ‘access point’ and ‘gatekeeper’ guiding, resourcing and supporting individuals and organisations in community relations work including peace-building; cultural education; anti-sectarianism; overcoming structural sectarianism; dealing with the past, and working with the most vulnerable in society such as victims of the conflict. The influencing of policy at the local, regional, national and international levels are among its core functions.
The Junction has set up and oversees the management of a number of specific projects, responding to particular needs and working within a timeframe. Three major projects currently within the Junction are:
- Towards Understanding and Healing – Dealing with the Past through Storytelling and Positive Encounter Dialogue
- Ethical and Shared Remembering – Commemoration in a New Context – Remembering a Decade of Change and Violence 1912-1922
- Liberation From Patriarchy for Gender Justice – Addressing the causes of, and resulting damage of patriarchy