Pittsburgh Chapter – Free Talk on Feb. 16th 3:00PM Speaker: Jon McCourt All Welcome


Jon McCourt has been a community Peace Activist and a member of the Peace and Reconciliation Group in the City of Derry for over 30 years. As a young man he went on the first Civil Rights March in Derry in October, 1968. He has been actively engaged in almost every aspect of the conflict that arose as the result of that march. Jon took part in the Battle of the Bogside, when the police laid siege to Catholic/Nationalist of Derry for three days. He saw the first soldiers arrive on the streets of Derry in August 1969 and witnessed the murder of friends and neighbours on Bloody Sunday when 14 people died at the hands of the British Army’s 1st Battalion of the Parachute Regiment.

Since 1978 he has worked at building bridges between the two major communities in Derry; encouraging and engaging in cross community activities that have assisted in rebuilding contact, trust and cooperation across the city. Jon played a major part in the development of the Community Awareness Training Programme used by the British Army which contributed to the reduction of soldiers on the streets, through a process of de-escalation and disengagement locally.

Jon co-founded and established the first Victim Support Service in Northern Ireland in 1986 and his story was one of several that became the first “Theatre of Witness” ground-breaking production “We Carried your Secrets” (www.theatreofwitness.org) and has facilitated study visits from the U.S and elsewhere, giving students an insight into the impact of the Northern Ireland Conflict.  He has travelled to and worked with those involved in conflicts in other areas of the world, including Bosnia, the Middle East, Rwanda and other countries in Africa.

Jon will discuss struggle, loss, division, polarization, hope and healing and share personal moments and reflections in the forthcoming presentation. SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2013 3:00PM TO 5:00PM UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH DEPT. OF HISTORY LOUNGE  3711 POSVAR HALL (3RD FLOOR)

For more information contact: Sarah McAuliffe-Bellin 412-512-9388 or sarahm1916@comcast.net.

Parking available on-street and at Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall.  Posvar Hall is located at the corner of South Bouquet and Schenley Drive next to Hillman Library.  From Forbes Avenue turn right onto to Schenley Drive.   The building is also directly across Schenley Plaza from the Carnegie Library


Tags: , ,


No comments

Be the first one to leave a comment.

Post a Comment