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After a year of creating social change across the UK, 45 university students of different faiths and non-religious beliefs graduate from 3FF’s ParliaMentors leadership programme on Monday 6 June. The ceremony in Portcullis House, Westminster, will highlight the achievements of the ParliaMentors and the inspiring change they have created in their university cities under the mentorship of MPs.
Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg and Baroness Williams of Trafford will deliver the keynote speeches at the graduation ceremony, which will bring together MPs, third sector change-makers and other high profile guests. The ceremony is the culmination of a year-long leadership journey for the students on the UN award-winning programme, who have been uniting people from different backgrounds to bring about real change in their communities.
An exhibition will display the social action projects these emerging leaders have delivered, including ones tackling LGBTQ+, religious and disability prejudice, promoting positive attitudes towards mental health, and helping to settle incoming refugee families from Syria.
One of the students, Aqeelah Malek, said: “ParliaMentors has by far been one of the greatest experiences of my life. I have taken away so much more than I expected to, I have left with friends of different and no faith, a newfound confidence in public speaking and most importantly a deep understanding and appreciation for those different to me.”
Each group of five students receive support from their own MP mentor. This year’s mentors are Keir Starmer, Yasmin Qureshi, Jess Philips, Stephen Timms, Lilian Greenwood, William Wragg, Mark Spencer, Shabana Mahmood and Geoffrey Robinson.
Since launching in 2007 over 350 people have graduated from the ParliaMentors leadership programme. The graduating students go on to join an Alumni Network of other young global leaders committed to creating better relations between people of different faiths and beliefs, and championing more inclusive political and community leadership.
The programme has won the UN Award for Intercultural Innovation, and is a partner of the British Council’s Active Citizens programme. It is supported by Pears Foundation and Dulverton Trust.