Jon McCourt, who has been a peace activist in Derry, Northern Ireland, for more than 30 years, will present “The Force of Argument is Greater Than the Argument of Force: How 40 Years of Conflict and Community Reconciliation Work in Northern Ireland Influenced Government” on Monday, Oct. 22, at 7 p.m. at Hope College in room 102 of VanderWerf Hall.
The public is invited. Admission is free.
As a young man, McCourt went on the first civil rights march in Derry in October 1968 and was actively engaged in the conflict, including the Battle of the Bogside and Bloody Sunday, when 14 people died at the hands of the British Army. Since 1978 he has worked at building bridges between the two major communities in Derry. His story was one of several featured in the film “We Carried Your Secrets.”
He has also worked with those involved in conflicts in other areas of the world, including Bosnia, the Middle East, Ukraine and Africa. He will discuss struggle, loss, division, polarization, hope and healing, and share personal moments and reflections.
McCourt has met with Hope students in Belfast on the Celtic May Term for the past six years, and while on campus will also be meeting with classes. He previously spoke at the college in September 2016.
VanderWerf Hall is located at 27 Graves Place, between 10th Street and Graves Place (11th Street) and Central and College avenues.