Young Leaders Get Set To Go Stateside

25 September 2014

Twelve young leaders from across Northern Ireland are set to visit the United States as part of an innovative new leadership development program for community leaders.

The Transformation, Advocacy, Leadership, Knowledge (TALK) program aims to support emerging young leaders across disadvantaged communities.  With the help of a number of partners, the twelve-month initiative will focus on developing their skills in negotiation, conflict resolution, and civic leadership.  

The initiative is a partnership between the U.S. Consulate, the Northern Ireland Policing Board, and the Police Service of Northern Ireland. Funding for the program has been provided by the U.S. Department of State.  The international component to the program will be provided by the U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP), a non-partisan institution that provides training and support for those working for peace.  

Speaking at a reception at his residence prior to the groups’ departure to the United States, U.S. Consul General Gregory S. Burton said:  

“Over many years, the United States has observed how grassroots leaders quietly play a profoundly influential role in marginalizing extremism, encouraging civic leadership, and building reconciliation.   Against a much-improved backdrop, we have also observed how the policing structures reflect and represent the community in which they serve.  We are delighted to support those at community and policing level in their delivery of this exciting and innovative program”.

Policing Board Chair Anne Connolly:  “Through the TALK programme participants have the opportunity to share experiences and engage on some of the issues that shape views and perceptions of policing.

We are very grateful for the support received in developing this pilot and trust that the learning for these young people will be of much wider benefit.”

Welcoming the initiative, Chief Constable George Hamilton said: “Young people are our future and they deserve the recognition and encouragement to embrace the challenges and opportunities that today’s rapidly changing world presents. We are pleased to be involved with this pilot scheme which presents not only a learning experience for the young people involved but also an opportunity for them to share their views on sustaining and improving policing with the community.”


For further information please contact the Policing Board's Communications Branch on 07801 738795.

Notes to Editors

Program: The Transformation, Advocacy, Leadership, Knowledge (TALK) programme: This is a 12 month programme which aims to support and develop emerging young leaders in disadvantaged communities, to provide leadership at a community level to support building confidence in policing. It involves an international strand in WashingtonDC for 10 days from the 20th - 30th September 2014 and has several key areas of focus:

  • Relationship building between participants from other/different communities;
  • Building relationships, trust and confidence between communities and the police;
  • Exploring Policing With the Community (PWC) philosophy, culture and ethos and planning to make that happen;
  • Understanding accountability of policing to the community, the Policing Board, Policing and Community Safety Partnerships (PCSPs) and Office of the Police Ombudsman Northern Ireland (OPONI);
  • Training on self-awareness, negotiation skills, conflict resolution, and communication skills;
  • Understanding a political environment and building civic leadership; and
  • Exposure to an international perspective and different community projects.

Notes to Editors ends