In August 2017, Legacy International organized an immersive educational experience for 20 young people from across the United Kingdom. Sponsored by the U.S. Embassy in London, the Jo Cox Memorial Exchange Program afforded these young leaders the opportunity to explore the topic of social cohesion in the United States. The program is named after Jo Cox, a member of Parliament for Batley and Spen, who had a strong moral compass and a passion for finding solutions to end violence and discriminatory hate. Jo Cox tackled issues of Islamophobia, refugee rights, and was a champion for representing ethnic diversity among her constituents. Her tragic death in June 2016 sparked global outrage and strengthened the resolve of the international community to carry on her legacy of tackling extremism and violence and promoting social inclusion and cohesion.
2017 participant, Faiza Ali from London used the skills gained during the program to make positive social change in her community.
“Last year I was lucky enough to be selected to take part in a Social Cohesion Exchange programme between the UK and United States. The programme enabled me to learn from US community organisers and practitioners to develop a own social action project once I returned to the UK. Last week we ran a 3-day workshop with 12 young men to deliver the vital employment training and connect them with professionals for mentoring and further employment opportunities. We also had special guest visit from Harun Maruf, VOA journalist and author who spoke to our group about his new book “Inside Al-Shabab – The Secret History of Al-Qaeda’s most powerful Ally.”
Congratulations to Faiza and her co-organizers for their amazing work!