1.1 Community, identity, belonging
In the first session you explored how important the idea of community is to your sense of who you are, how you see yourself and also to how other people see you. You read and heard from the contributors about the values they have in relation to community and what it is they hold dear. Some of these demonstrate that there are similarities in how people value community but, equally so, some differences. You have also been introduced to the Shankill community, a predominantly Protestant/Unionist/Loyalist (PUL) community in Belfast, which like a lot of communities in Northern Ireland (and also possibly the ones in which you live) is emerging from conflict. And you considered how a history of conflict or violence or division in a community can also affect how outsiders see people from that community. Some of the comments from the young people are still rooted in the history associated with their community and how this may have influenced some of the choices they have made thus far in their lives.
In Session 1 you also developed some new skills to help you think creatively about who you are, what community means to you and how you can find your own sense of identity within this. You might want to take look again at your answers to the question ‘mind map on what community means to you from Session 1.’ and your
Having a clear sense of your own identity and values – as opposed to what other people think about you – is the first tool to help you make decisions and choices that are right for you.