Jo Berry’s father, Sir Anthony Berry MP was killed in the IRA Brighton Bombing during the 1984 Tory Party Conference. Wanting to bring something positive out of the trauma, she went on a journey of healing and understanding and in 2000 met Pat Magee, the IRA activist responsible for planting the bomb that took her father’s life. McGee had been given multiple life sentences for the bombing but was released under the Good Friday Agreement in 1999.
Building Bridges For Peace was founded in 2003 by Berry as a means to practice peace building in UK. It is for anyone who has suffered from war, terrorism or violence and is transforming their grief into passion for peace; for those who resonate with its vision of seeing the humanity in the enemy, building bridges with the ‘other’ and understanding the roots of violence so that the causes are removed and the world can become more peaceful. Building Bridges For Peace works on a local level in the community and also on the international stage. Examples of the current projects are supporting healing groups in Palestine and Israel, working with prisoners, supporting and connecting with victims of the July 7, 2005 bombings in London and developing ‘nonviolence’ programs in schools and universities. Jo Berry was a participant in September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows 2006 International Conference and is currently chair of the International Network for Peace that grew out of that gathering.
To advance the education of the public in the understanding of the roots of war, terrorism and violence, and to promote dialogue and mediation or other non-violent expedients as the means of peace in situations of conflict.
A world which has moved beyond the concept of “enemy” – a world where the dignity and validity of all humanity is respected
We facilitate workshops where dialogue happens with opposing groups
We offer workshops in schools, prisons, universities on non-violence
We offer workshops in conflict resolution internationally where there is conflict
Create peace conferences where there can be examples of non-violence working to resolve violence and workshops in conflict resolution
Promote alternatives to violence
We offer training in facilitating dialogue between victim/victimizers.
Facilitate meetings between victims and ‘enemies’