Alison McAllister joined the Board in 2012. She is the Coordinator of Rural Community Network’s Rural Enabler Programme and accepted a nomination onto the Board having worked with Community Dialogue on various projects including the Rural Enabler Programme.
Ali believes that “dialogue is the way forward and the experiences that I have had in this work support this as a key methodology to building peace and reconciliation. Community Dialogue takes a sensitive, realistic approach to this work which is incredibly inspiring and invaluable”.
She was previously the Shared Future Policy Officer with the Community Relations Council and has been involved in community work for 13 years.
Bebhinn joined the Board in September 2010 and has provided support and expertise to the personnel subcommittee over recent months. She has a background with Community Dialogue, having previously served as one of our dialogue facilitators. Bebhinn became involved because of her commitment to ensuring dialogue on those issues that it is often easier to avoid. She believes that dialogue is an essential but difficult part of the process of conflict transformation and peace building that will lead to a shared and peaceful society. Bebhinn is a member and former chair of Rasharkin Women’s Group. She completed a degree in English and Politics, an MA in Irish Studies, and Msc in Rural Development, an ILM Leadership and a Certificate in Evaluating Peace Building.
Fiona joined the board of Community Dialogue in February 2010 and since this time has been involved in the personnel subcommittee. Prior to this Fiona had supported Community Dialogue in their application for Peace III funding and during this period became very impressed and supportive of the principles and aims of the group. Fiona decided to join the board because she strongly believes in the dialogue process and feels that Community Dialogue is offers a unique opportunity for individuals from different backgrounds and traditions to come together to discuss and explore important issues. Fiona has been employed as Trust Coordinator of Victims and Survivors Trust since May 2009 and is also secretary of Women in Sport and Physical Activity (WISPA).
Kathy started her involvement with Community Dialogue through involvement in one of our drama projects which brought women from West Belfast and Newtownabbey together.
The work that CD does and the importance and value of working relationships, these where all new to me at the time. “Working with the staff and board members of CD has shown me how invaluable this type of dialogue and relationship building work is iun the process of building the peaceful society that we all strive for.”
Kathy is currently Coordinator of the Community Relations Forum in Newtownabbey. She is also Facilitator for the International School of Peace Studies, Fellow of Messiness, sits on CAN Peace 3 Partnership, South Antrim Rural Network, Grange Neighbourhood Renewal Partnership, Ballyclare and District Community and Policing Forum, Newtownabbey Good Relations Partnership and various other local community groups.
Lyn Moffett joined the Board of Community Dialogue in the summer of 2007, having previously both attended dialogues as a participant and commissioned dialogues as part of her work as Coordinator of Kilcranny House.
Lyn has been working in the fields of conflict resolution and ethnicity for over 20 years and became involved in the work of Community Dialogue because she recognised the value of ensuring that the voices of a very wide section of the community be heard. She believes that dialogue residentials in particular are an effective vehicle for building relationships between individuals from diverse backgrounds and that these can go on to have an impact on wider community relationships.
Lyn is currently Coordinator of Ballymoney Community Resource Centre, which has an area of influence that covers the Causeway Coast and Glens district council area. BCRC’s core activities include Networking and Community Development Support, Ethnic Minority and Migrant Worker Support, Disability Development and Support and promoting good community relations, which we do through a variety of programmes funded by IFI Community Bridges and the NE Peace III Partnership.
Lyn is a member of the Personnel sub-committee.
Mark joined the Board of Community Dialogue in 2003 and is a former Treasurer. He believes that the work of Community Dialogue is invaluable in providing opportunities for discussion of the issues lying at the root of the Northern Ireland conflict such as inequality, competing nationalities, discrimination and sectarianism. He feels that Community Dialogue’s approach is critical in the peace-building process, especially for ensuring that marginalised voices are heard and acknowledged.
Mark has worked for the Citizens Advice Bureau, Quaker House Belfast and served as a teacher in London. He was also a Peace Brigades International Volunteer in Sri Lanka and a Gulf Peace Team volunteer in Iraq. Mark has a Post Graduate Diploma in Peace and Conflict Studies, UU Magee.
Maureen has been involved with Community Dialogue for many years, both as participant and facilitator and joined the Board of Community Dialogue in early 2012. She sees Community Dialogue as an organisation that is making a hugely important contribution to building peace by creating safe spaces for difficult conversations.
Maureen has been involved in peace building for 20 years and has travelled extensively with her work delivering workshops and training to places such as The Balkans, Canada, Cyprus, Israel, South Africa, USA. She is the Director of the Junction; a peace building initiative in Derry/Londonderry. Current projects include Ethical and Shared Remembering: Commemoration in a New Context: Remembering a Decade of Change and Violence 1912 – 1922. Maureen is Chair of Towards Understanding and Healing, an organisation established in 2000 to help deal with the past through storytelling and positive encounter dialogue. The project has received SEUPB Peace III funding for a 30 month programme which will include training on storytelling and dialogue at OCN Levels 1, 2 and 3.
Sinead O’Regan joined the Board of Community Dialogue in 2008 and is currently Chairperson. Sinead is dedicated to ensuring that Community Dialogue is a strong organisation and an effective grass roots resource for the wider community, providing diverse groups with the opportunity to explore contentious political, social and economic issues in a safe environment.
Sinead has almost 20 years experience within community development and has developed expertise and key skills in developing and managing innovative, cutting-edge employability programmes aimed at those hardest to reach. Sinead established and currently manages Job Assist Centres West Belfast and has won regional, national and special national training awards for community organisations she has worked for.
Additionally, Sinead has been a board member of a wide range of both regional and local community and voluntary organisations and is a supervisor with the George Williams College, providing professional development supervision to students on diploma/degree courses in Informal Education.
P A MagLochlainn
P A MagLochlainn contributed to a number of meetings and seminars with Community Dialogue before being invited to join the board in 2010. He spent his professional career in teaching, was a trade union organiser and a health & safety representative. He believes in improving society through non-violent democratic politics, in the tradition of Daniel O'Connell, Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King. PA was active in the Civil Rights Movement and was a founder member of Omagh branch of the SDLP. In the early 1990s he became the "public face" of the LGBT movement in Northern Ireland, including being a founder member of Belfast Pride in 1991, and of the Rainbow Project in 1994.
“I firmly believe in lighting a candle rather than cursing the darkness”.
“It is with deep regret that we acknowledge the death of PA MagLochlainn, on Wednesday the 14th of November 2012. PA was a friend and colleague to us all and he contributed greatly to the life and work of Community Dialogue over the years. PA was a veteran Gay Rights campaigner, had been president of the Northern Ireland Gay Rights Association (NIGRA) for many years and was one of 100 people to take part in the first Belfast Pride parade in 1991. He was a former languages teacher in Omagh and he was also politically active as a member of the SDLP. Rest In Peace PA.”
Yvonne joined Community Dialogue’s staff team on 1 June 2010 as Project Administrator and also supports the Board’s Finance Sub-Committee. Yvonne has sound knowledge and experience of community development principles and practices, having worked with community based organisations for a number of years, most recently with the Job Assist Centre West Belfast as a Mentor/Employment Officer.
Yvonne’s current role involves working closely with the Coordinator, Dialogue Development Worker, Treasurer and Chairperson supporting the management and delivery of the Steps into Dialogue Project. “I feel privileged to be part of an organisation that is working towards building a better future in Northern Ireland.”
David became part time Coordinator of Community Dialogue in May 2010. He has been involved with Community Dialogue since its formation in 1996 serving in various roles including Chairperson, Operational Director, Senior Research Advisor and Senior Research and Training Coordinator.
He has been involved in peace building work for over 20 years and served with organisations including Project Portadown, Cooperation Ireland and Community Development Centre North Belfast.
David graduated from Queens University Belfast in 1988 with a BA in Archaeology; he completed a PhD in Social Anthropology in 1992 and was subsequently awarded a series of Research Fellowships in conflict and identity. David continues to work as a part time archaeologist.
David is married to Grainne and has two boys and a girl, Odhran, Fionnan and Sorcha.
Jim has been with Community Dialogue as the Dialogue Development worker since April 2009; “I am privileged to be continuing the vital groundwork and development of the dialogue process instigated by those who preceded me, those individuals who set up Community Dialogue from 1997 onwards.”
Jim has been extensively involved in the field of peace building over the last 10 years and is currently co-chair (and founder member) of Towards Understanding and Healing which encourages groups involved in the Northern Ireland conflict to deal with the past by engaging in a process of storytelling and dialogue. He is also a member of the management committee of the Junction Community Relations Centre in Derry/Londonderry which engages groups across the North West region.
Jim also has extensive research experience in the area of conflict including work on the impact of cross border links on peace building while with the Centre for the Study of Conflict, University of Ulster
Jim is married to Carmel and has two grown up daughters Grainne and Maeve.