Short Biographies of the speakers at the Identity in a Diverse Society Conference being held at Kilkenny College on Friday, August 5th –
Dr. Anca Minescu, Assistant Professor at the Department of Psychology at the University of Limerick has a career-long interest in migration, ethnic relations and interculturalism. As well as publishing widely and working with professional and stakeholder groups, Anca’s research is largely focused on the broad field of ethnic relations with particular emphasis on cultural diversity, discrimination, group-based prejudice, group identity and group mobilisation in political and collective action.
Julius Fako was born in the Czech Republic but has lived for most of his life in Ennis in Co. Clare. As a member of the Czech Roma community he has experiences of life as a child in both Ireland and the Czech Republic and the challenges and opportunities he encountered as a result of his ethnic background in both countries In 2015, Julius worked as a peer researcher on the Pavee Point and Department of Health led Roma Health Research Project.
Sindy Joyce is a PhD student at the University of Limerick and also the module coordinator and lecturer in ‘Travellers, Rights and Nomadism’ and ‘Travellers, Ethnicity and Rights’ in University College Dublin with the School of Social Policy, Social Work and Social Justice. Sindy has a number of publications and in 2014 she won the Traveller Pride Award for Education. Her research addresses the original and important question of how anti-Traveller racism shapes young people’s use of and movement through public space.
Linda Kirwisa has worked in the social and caring services in both Ireland and Africa. She is an advocate for all vulnerable groups, including migrants, and has a passion for equality, justice and social inclusion. Linda has been a volunteer with Doras Luimni for many years and is also an African community representative on the Limerick City and County Integration Working Group.
Ariana Ball is Programme Coordinator with Fáilte Isteach. Fáilte Isteach (which means ‘Welcome In’), an initiative of Third Age, is a community based project involving predominantly older volunteers welcoming migrants to Ireland through conversational English classes. Ariana joined the Third Age team in 2009 as National Development Officer and supported its growth from 10 groups in 2009 to 65 groups by 2014. In that year Ariana was appointed National Programme Manager, and has overseen further national and international growth.
Malcolm Noonan is a Green Party Councillor on Kilkenny County Council. He is a former Mayor of Kilkenny and the Green Party’s Environment Spokesperson. Malcolm is both Chairperson and a founding member of Kilkenny Integration Forum and a number of other other voluntary organisations in Kilkenny.
Joan Lincoln lived and worked for 23 years in France and French-speaking Africa, followed by 20 years of service at the Bahá’í World Centre in Israel. After undergraduate studies in classical music, Joan earned a Master’s degree in African Ethnomusicology from the University of Abidjan in the Ivory Coast. Her work at the Baha’i world centre involved Joan travelling extensively in Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe and the Pacific.
Dr. Albert Lincoln has recently returned to the United States after 20 years at the Bahá’í World Centre in Haifa, Israel, where he served as Secretary-General of the Bahá’í International Community. In this capacity, Albert represented the Bahá’í community in interactions with governments from many parts of the world. Before moving to Israel, Albert practised law in both France and Africa for 23 years. He was a Fulbright Lecturer at the Law Faculty of the University of Bangui and is a frequent speaker on a variety of subjects including inter-faith dialogue and heritage preservation.
Yuvi Basanth is a documentary filmmaker. Most of his film work focuses on social issues. Originally from South Africa Yuvi now lives and works in Kilkenny and the South-East of Ireland. Yuvi is very interested in the issues around integration and he works with asylum seekers at the Integration and Support Unit in Waterford.
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