Jo Berry is an inspiring speaker who works to resolve conflict around the world. Sixteen years after her father was killed by an IRA bomb, Jo first met with the man responsible, Pat Magee. This initial three-hour meeting led to them speaking on over three hundred occasions, on a shared platform around the world. Their unusual relationship has been told in the BBC documentary Facing the Enemy was featured in the film Beyond Right and Wrong and inspired The Bomb a play by Kevin Dyer.
The founder of the charity ‘Building Bridges for Peace’, Jo advocates that unbounded empathy is the biggest weapon we have to end conflict. With political, religious and racial divides deepening as global and local events unfold, her words offer a message of hope and encourage us all to see the humanity in others. Jo is frequently invited to address international conferences and seminars on themes of humanitarian aid, conflict resolution and human rights. She has worked around the world including Lebanon, Mexico, USA, India, South Korea, Australia, Rwanda, Ireland, Palestine and Israel as well as throughout the U.K. She has spoken in venues throughout this country and joined panels and discussions forums on radio and TV. Her work in reconciliation has become a source of learning for many studying peace studies around the world.
Jo trained with Parent Link in 1994 as a facilitator to work with parents on the subjects of how to listen to children, acknowledging feelings, challenging behaviour, the need behind the behaviour, self care, the importance of not labelling, and alternatives to blaming. This has been the foundation of all her work and she has built on these skills with training in conflict transformation, restorative justice, peace building and more.
Over the last years Jo has developed workshops in schools and with youth groups on topics of conflict transformation, storytelling, becoming positive changemakers, and challenging violent extremism. She is a TEDx speaker and a Visiting Fellow with the University of Nottingham (Research Primary Area in Rights and Justice). Jo is also trained as a Restorative Justice facilitator and is an advocate for Restorative Justice around the country.