Accommodation needs to be booked individually and booking as early as possible is advised.
Our speakers this year will be Fionola Meredith, Roy Brown and Sara Passmore
Fionola Meredith is a writer, broadcaster and commentator, living in Belfast. In 2001, she received her doctorate in continental philosophy from Queen’s University Belfast, and her philosophy book, Experiencing the Postmetaphysical Self: Between Hermeneutics and Deconstruction, was published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2005. However, Fionola turned away from academia in favour of a career in journalism, after her irreverent account of a night at Belfast’s first lapdancing club was published in Fortnight magazine. Now she writes features and opinion pieces for the Irish Times, provides comment and review to BBC Northern Ireland and the Guardian, and writes a weekly column in the Belfast Telegraph. Last year, she wrote and presented her first documentary for Radio 4, on the Belfast poet, novelist and medieval scholar Helen Waddell. Under her pseudonym, Bitsy Sonomabiche, Fionola enjoys writing for The Vacuum, Belfast’s satirical arts and culture magazine.
Outside of her media work, Fionola currently sits as chair of the board of directors of the Golden Thread Gallery, Northern Ireland’s leading international contemporary visual arts space, and she also chairs the board of Source, Ireland’s review of contemporary photography.
In her talk, Fionola will speak about tolerance, belief and the importance of making room for the other person.
Roy Brown is a director of the New College of the Humanities in London. He is a past President of the International Humanist and Ethical Union with a long history of very active involement in Humanism.
Roy is currently head of the IHEU delegation at the UN Geneva, co-ordinating the activities of IHEU the BHA and Center for Inquiry, where they have had some outstanding successes in the past year.
Roy’s talk will develop the theme; Humanism for All – and asks, is it really that simple?
Sara Passmore is Head of Education and Promotion at the BHA
Sara studied Education and English Literature at the Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, and has since led on multi-million pound educational programmes across the UK as a projects manager at pfeg (Personal Finance Education Group). Sara represents the BHA on the National Council of Faiths and Beliefs in Further Education and The Religious Education Council of England and Wales. She is the Vice Chair of Southwark Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education (SACRE) and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts. In her spare time helps run SCI-FI-LONDON, the London International Festival of Science Fiction and Fantastical Film.
Sara has responsibility for promoting understanding of Humanism, including through an educational setting (Sara has over the past year been working with people who want to volunteer in the classroom working with teachers to plan and deliver lessons on Humanism), and for promoting the BHA to diverse audiences. Sara’s talk is called ‘Professional footballer’s salaries: Arguments, opinions, and learning from Humanism’, This session will give an overview of how we can contribute to lessons, what preparation is involved, what sorts of things the volunteers have been doing, and some practical ideas for starting conversations about ethics and morals at an early age.
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