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Welcome to Dr Erinma Bell

18th May 2019

In April, we were humbled with the visit of Dr Erinma Bell, a British born Nigerian, the CEO of her own formidable charity known as CARISMA – Community Alliance for Renewal Inner South Manchester Area. Dr Bell employs methods that offer profound solutions to those who seek to promote social cohesion within their communities to bring about peace.

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'The perpetuation of evil happens when good people do nothing.' Edmund Burke 

Erinma created a comfortable environment for a Religious Studies A-level class to explore their curiosity on problematic aspects of society that are often considered a taboo in the media. The class learned that peace was not about the lack of conflict but more about the courage of a community to address the endless challenges faced as a societal unit. Erinma educated the young people on how to confront destructive conflict and transform it into constructive conflict.

Dr Bell’s impact has earned her the honour of being the first and only woman to have her statue erected in the Manchester Town Hall as a tribute to her work to reduce gun and gang crime in Manchester. Her successful strategy has enabled a 92% decrease in gun and gang crime in the area, and Erinma tirelessly continues to fight for the cause, focussing her work upon issues such as Restorative Justice, Peace and Conflict Resolution as well as Peace Making, Peace Building and Peace Keeping. Whilst serving as Deputy Lieutenant of County of Greater Manchester as a representative to Her Majesty the Queen, due to her passion for community peace which has seen her travel widely to share her stories and experiences with others seeking peace in countries across the world.

We would like to thank Dr Bell for taking the time to talk to us and the inspiration that she provided. It is easy to decide to step back from society and not try to make a change for peace, because what can one single voice achieve? Dr Bell inspired otherwise. Her story teaches that one voice can make a change because one voice inspires more voices and in turn, social change for peace can occur. Her motto of being ‘non-PC’ really changed how I view discussions regarding cultural differences and the different lifestyles adopted in our society. She highlighted that asking questions that many feel stupid asking doesn’t show your lack of knowledge of a culture but is an important aspect of building bridges in communities. Therefore, we should take time to understand one another in order to take steps towards peace together!

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