One of the world’s most famous civil rights campaigners, The Reverend Jesse Jackson, is to receive an honorary degree from De Montfort University (DMU) when he attends a national conference in Leicester looking at the threat of terrorism in the UK.
Reverend Jackson, who twice ran for president in America in the 1980s, will be the keynote speaker when DMU hosts the Roots of Violent Radicalisation Conference, which has been organised by the Parliamentary Home Affairs Select Committee.
The select committee is looking into the root causes of violent radicalisation in the UK, the individuals and groups vulnerable to radicalisation and where this radicalisation tends to take place.
The findings of the conference will inform the Committee's report to the Government on its Prevent Strategy, which is designed to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism.
Reverend Jackson’s keynote speech will look into the lessons to be learned from the US experience of tackling radicalisation.
He will then receive his honorary degree after the conference in a special ceremony at the 12th century St Mary De Castro Church, adjacent to the DMU campus, in front of hundreds of invited guests.
Keith Vaz MP, who is chairman of the Home Affairs Committee, said: “I am delighted to be bringing the Committee to De Montfort University to hold this unique conference. The roots of violent radicalisation remains a subject of great national interest and this prestigious institution, with its reputation for hosting and furthering national debates, is the perfect location.
“This Conference is set to contribute significantly to the conversation on radicalisation and I am looking forward to hearing from Rev Jesse Jackson when he delivers his keynote speech next Tuesday”.
Professor Dominic Shellard, vice-chancellor of De Montfort University, said: “We are very pleased to welcome Jesse Jackson to DMU and honour his numerous achievements as an inspirational advocate and campaigner for civil rights in the USA and around the world.
“We share Reverend Jackson’s values throughout our university community and are proud of the role DMU plays as a public good and the positive contribution we can make to political and social development.”
Other speakers will address topics such as how the experiences of Northern Ireland can inform the Government’s Prevent strategy, look at how big a threat there is from the far right, challenges facing police today and how to counter radicalisation in prisons.
Invited speakers include James Brokenshire MP, Minister for Crime and Security at the Home Office, Professor Peter Neuman, from the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence, Ian Paisley Jnr MP, of Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party and Dr Dipu Moni MP, Foreign Minister for Bangladesh. Dr Richard Hall, of De Montfort University, will also speak, on how to best counter radicalisation in universities.
Posted on Thursday 8th December 2011