Terry Waite at UWC Atlantic College’s Social Justice Conference
25th September 2012
Early this year, a representative from UWC Atlantic College was invited to attend a reception on behalf of Emmaus, the international charity for the homeless, by John Noble the Chair of Emmaus UK. Ken Corn, Director of Outreach, went along to the launch event where Sir Terry Waite was the keynote speaker - Sir Terry Waite is the UK President of Emmaus. Following on from his inspirational talk, and recognising an obvious synergy between Emmaus and UWC Atlantic College, Ken invited Sir Terry Waite to visit UWC Atlantic College. Terry Waite gladly accepted and it was decided that the most appropriate vehicle for such a visit would be as opening speaker of our Social Change conference organised by UWC Atlantic College's Social Justice Faculty.
On the 24 September, Terry Waite came along to the college and gave a fascinating and profoundly motivating talk to over 200 students and staff who attended the event. He spoke about the role of negotiator, based upon his experience in the 1980s as a hostage negotiator on behalf of the Archbishop of Canterbury, and of his own incarceration in Lebanon. He linked this experience to his audience’s recognition of the empathy needed to engage with those who find themselves in unfortunate, often dire circumstances, and the strategies required to retain their dignity, sanity and sense of self (not to mention their health and lives). This tied in neatly with his current work on behalf of Emmaus and his other charitable involvements.
After his talk and the subsequent Q & A, Terry Waite was surrounded by UWC Atlantic College students who wanted to hear more about his experiences, and more pertinently, the wisdom and lessons he took from this. Students also, as always, wanted to know how they could become involved in addressing issues of those who found themselves in deep trouble, marginalised and often forgotten by society, and in need of assistance and support. UWC Atlantic College’s developing relationship with Emmaus would seem to be the ideal platform from which a specific outcome to Terry Waite’s inspirational opening address to the Social Justice Conference will find an appropriate and meaningful platform in order to make a real impact in the wider community. Terry Waite promised he would be back to visit UWC Atlantic College in the near future.
Director of Outreach
UWC Atlantic College
24 September, 2012
A special thank you to Lucy Male (Visual Arts, Global Faculty) for photography