Distinguished Lecture on Inequalities, Interculturalism and Diversity

Monday, 9 May 2011

The Lifecourse Institute (LCI) at NUI Galway is holding its annual Honorary Public Lecture on Wednesday, 18 May entitled Inequality and Diversity across the Lifecourse: Intercultural Perspectives. The main speaker, UNESCO Chair, Professor Jagdish Gundara will address the issues of interculturalism, diversity, in-equality and how groups of children and families, older people and people with disabilities are affected. The lessons learnt from interculturalism in the UK and elsewhere will be drawn on, as well as looking at the Irish perspective and where we stand now within a recession context and going forward.

Professor Gundara is a distinguished academic in the area of intercultural education and human rights and holds the UNESCO Chair in Intercultural Education in the University of London. He has also acted as an advisor to a range of Governments on intercultural approaches, including the former Prime Minister of the UK, Tony Blair.

His presentation will be followed by a response from an Irish perspective by Dr. Siobhán Mullally of the Law Faculty of University College Cork. Dr. Mullally is an expert on international human rights law and its applicability in Ireland and elsewhere and has published and presented widely on issues on interculturalism, equality, gender issues. She has also acted as an advisor to a range of UN bodies and international NGOs. Dr. Siobhán Mullally has held visiting posts in a range of international universities, including Harvard and Cornell Law Schools.

The Lifecourse Institute comprises a multidisciplinary facility which is intended to integrate and enhance the work of three existing centres at NUI Galway: the Centre for Disability Law and Policy, the Child and Family Research Centre, and the Irish Centre for Social Gerontology. The aim of the Lifecourse Institute is to impact positively on future policies for children and families, persons with disabilities and older people through advancing an integrated approach to research, policy and services.

Professor Pat Dolan, UNESCO Chair and Director of the LCI, commented: “We are delighted to host such distinguished speakers and to open up the debate to the floor on such an important topic that has implications for many groups in Irish society.” Ireland is currently at a crossroads in terms of how we address diversity going forward and the type of society we want to become. Professor Dolan added: “Less than five years ago, Ireland was discussing how it could import migrants to meet the requirements of the labour market and now we are feeling the effects of the recession and the resulting hardships, including emigration. Ireland has, however, become more multicultural over the last decade and it is essential that we look at how we can become a more inclusive society and ensure that newcomers are welcomed and interculturalism and integration are promoted.”

The lecture is open to all and it is hoped to have a lively debate after the presentations. The Lifecourse Institute Annual Honorary Public Lecture will be held on Wednesday, 18 May at 5:30 to 7:00pm in MY243 Aras Moyola at NUI Galway. Bookings and further information on the seminar can be obtained from Iwona Jakubczyk ‎at iwona.jakubczyk@nuigalway.ie.

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