The United Nations Alliance of Civilizations, the British Council’s Our Shared Future project, the University of Missouri School of Journalism and the Reynolds Institute are launching Journeys of Belonging, an original multimedia project that takes an in-depth look at the personal narratives of 17 men and women of a diverse range of ages, backgrounds and religions.
A group of Missouri students produced 114 astounding video testimonials from people including former President of Portugal Jorge Sampaio, Rabbi Arthur Schneier, Auma Obama, and activist and athlete Beatrice Faumuina to shine a spotlight on the fundamental things we share in common through the many identities each of us hold. Journeys of Belonging tackles mistaken religious, cultural and gender identity stereotypes like the inaccurate assumption that non-Westerners hold contrary values to those of Americans, the British and other Europeans.
“This innovative multimedia project has the ambition to explain through short personal testimonials how our identities are much more complex and multiple than stereotypes. We all hold various roles in various aspects of our lives,” says UNAOC Director Marc Scheuer.
These video narratives have been compiled on a website where users can explore stories by theme or by person.
“Part of what it means to develop the skills to live in multicultural, diverse societies is to recognize that we are the product of diverse strands of identity. Personal stories play an important role,” says Our Shared Future project manager Emmanuel Kattan of the British Council.
In December, the various partners will host a panel discussion in Washington D.C. to talk about issues surrounding personal identity, the relationship between religion and democracy, the “us versus them” mentality and many more topics discussed in the project.
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The British Council is the UK’s international organization for educational
opportunities and cultural relations. We create international opportunities
for the people of the UK and other countries and build trust between them
worldwide. We work in over 100 countries in the arts, education, society and
English. The Our Shared Future project, based in the US, aims to improve the
public conversation about Muslims and intercultural relations in the US and
Europe. Our Shared Future is supported in large part by a grant from the
Carnegie Corporation of New York.
www.britishcouncil.org/usa | www.oursharedfuture.org