The University of Bedfordshire has been shortlisted for a Times Higher Education Award in the International Impact category thanks to the work the University has done with Remembering Srebrenica. The University has been collaborating with Remembering Srebrenica to raise awareness of the genocide and to bring the lessons of tackling hatred and discrimination to local communities in Luton.
The partnership began in 2015, when a group of Criminology and Sociology students from the University attended one of Remembering Srebrenica’s ‘Lessons from Srebrenica’ delegations to Bosnia, where students visited the site of the genocide and met with survivors. Students were able to see first-hand the tragic consequences of hatred, and were encouraged to take the lessons of Srebrenica back to the UK to build stronger and more cohesive communities. The University then funded a Survivors Tour in 2016, when survivors of the Bosnian conflict came over to speak to local schools and Universities across Bedfordshire about their experiences and the importance of challenging hate.
The continued collaboration between the two organisations has led to Dr Helen Connolly, a Senior Lecturer in Sociology at Bedfordshire, becoming the Chair of Remembering Srebrenica’s East Midlands Board, which organised several commemorative events across Luton in July, including hosting Munira Subašić, President of the Mothers of Srebrenica and Žepa Enclaves Association, for a panel event at the University. Earlier this year, the University of Bedfordshire also awarded Srebrenica genocide survivor, Nedžad Avdić, with an honorary doctorate in Philosophy.
Dr Connolly said:
“I am delighted to be shortlisted for this award. Our collaboration with Remembering Srebrenica and the genocide and war survivors in Bosnia has been extremely profound. It has acted as an important counterpoint to the historical silence and injustice in Bosnia and opened up national conversations about the genocide.”
Rebecca Heron, Education Manager at Remembering Srebrenica, said:
“We are delighted that the University of Bedfordshire has been shortlisted for this award, and that the work they have been doing with Remembering Srebrenica to tackle hatred and intolerance has been recognised in this way. It is crucial that we educate young people about the tragic consequences of hatred, and equip them with the tools to become dynamic and active members of their communities in promoting diversity and challenging intolerance. We hope to continue working closely with the University in future to expand and build on our existing impact both in the UK and in Bosnia-Herzegovina”.