Irish Fulbright Scholar Hosts Insightful Lectures

January 30, 2020 mpartain Blog

Join Dr. Derick Wilson, a Fulbright Visiting Scholar from Ireland, for a workshop promoting, “Nurturing Hope”. Dr. Wilson will look at the dynamics of living together and what needs to be dissolved, and what needs to be promoted.

Lecture Schedule:

Enmity, Distrust and Violence: Meeting Together, Encounter and Forgiveness?

  • Pell City Campus, Monday, February 10th, 10am, PC 201

The challenges of facing our separating histories, together. Some perspectives from Northern Ireland and the reconciliation action of the Corrymeela Community and other Civil Society groups since 1965.

Living Together In Difference

  • Shelby-Hoover Campus, Tuesday, Feb 11th, 10am –noon, HSB 129BC

For questions, please contact Stacye Thompson at [email protected]


Derick Wilson has been involved in the Corrymeela Reconciliation Community since 1965. A husband, a father of four with ten grandchildren, he is Emeritus Reader in Education at Ulster University, specializing in Restorative Practices and was a Research Member of the European Union ‘Alternative’ Restorative Justice Program (2012-16).

A founder trustee of Mill Strand Integrated School (1987-92) and the Spirit of Enniskillen Award, he was an Equality Commissioner (2003-08), an academic member of the Victims and Survivors Forum and a former Chair of the Northern Ireland Youth Committee.

A detached youth worker (70-73), then establishing professional courses for indigenous youth workers (73-78), he directed the Corrymeela Centre (78-85), and at Ulster University: was a Research Fellow (85-89); established a 26 year University based action research program supportive of reconciliation (1990-2006); Assistant Director, UNESCO Center (06-09) and a Reader in Education (09-13).

His doctorate was on facilitating meetings around contentious issues in mixed tradition groups and this work was applied to work with organizations in Civil Society, the Civil Service, Community Policing and City Councils (1989-2006).

He was awarded: the MBE for Community Relations in 1994; a Distinguished Community Fellowship by the University in 2003; and a Lifetime Award for Services to Community Relations by the Northern Ireland Community Relations Council in 2007.

He has been Visiting Research Fellow with: the Institute for Maori Education, Auckland University; Uppsala University, Sweden; and Waikato University.

“My community education practice is founded on the experience that in new relationships some people, formerly at enmity, can develop new possibilities together. In a historically conflicted society the relational spaces associated with how people meet, avoid or conflict with one another are dramatically shaped by historical and cultural dynamics, patterns of meeting and engaging, withdrawing and separating, and are influenced by stories and memories of how ‘they’ treated ‘us’.

At the same time, in the present moment, it is also possible to create new experiences of meeting in different ways. Should people be willing to take new opportunities and risks together, each present moment offers the possibility that people can choose differently, breaking old dynamics, meeting together in different, more hope filled ways.

This presentation is conducted through the Fulbright Scholar Program’s Outreach Lecturing Fund (OLF). OLF enables Visiting Scholars to share their research interests, speak about their home country, and exchange ideas with U.S. students, faculty, and community organizations. Through these lectures, universities forge relationships with the Fulbright Scholar Program, Visiting  Scholars, and the Visiting Scholar’s home and host institutions.