Over 100 leading figures in the international research, policy and practice arenas celebrated the 10th anniversary of The IARS International Institute at a prestigious evening reception that took place on the 4th November 2015 at the House of Commons in London.
The Institute’s 10 year celebratory Impact Report was also launched at the event, demonstrating the long-lasting positive impact of community-led research and individual empowerment on marginalised communities worldwide. The Report attests to IARS’ commitment to its user-led ethos and three founding values.
This milestone event, hosted by Rushanara Ali, MP, celebrated the Institute embarking on its second decade of providing innovative community-led solutions for a fairer society. Originally set up by Dr Theo Gavrielides as an international youth-led network, the Institute has now expanded its work to cover a broad range of social research, policy and practice areas, contributing to local, national and international initiatives across its three core areas of expertise: Young People, Justice, and Equalities.
Viewing social change as an organic process and focusing on the most marginalised groups, over the last 10 years the Institute has empowered individuals including young people, victims, and refugee and asylum seeking women who have been traditionally excluded from decision-making to get out of the margins, produce evidence themselves, have their voices heard, and shape policy and practice that affects them directly.
Sir Bert Massie CBE, IARS Patron said: “As a disabled person, I know that one thing that infuriates the disabled is when we are not involved in making the decisions that affect our lives. At the heart of IARS programmes is to promote the involvement of people to empower them to control their own lives and to promote justice and equality. Long may it continue.”
Last year alone, the Institute generated over 300 part-time internships and 1000 volunteering opportunities for marginalised groups enabling them to enhance their skills, civic engagement and employability. IARS has also worked in partnership with over 5,000 professionals and service providers, providing them with accredited training that enabled them to develop and deliver their own bottom-up models for user involvement in the planning and delivery of their services.
Rushanara Ali, MP for Bethnal Green and Bow said “I was delighted to host the IARS International Institute reception at the House of Commons last night to mark their 10th anniversary. IARS has done some fantastic work over the past decade and continues to make great progress in providing community-led solutions for a fairer society, and in particular I commend IARS International Institute’s efforts to provide a voice and platform for the most marginalised in our society.”
Dr Theo Gavrielides said “IARS will close its doors when society is a more equal place, where voices that want to be heard are organically empowered to do so. We are not there yet, and thus, I’d like to use our 10th year anniversary to humbly say a big thank you to all those who supported us. I am proud to be leading a team that can only be characterized as passionate, dedicated, and loyal and experts in what they chose to do. We are all united by our belief that the best solutions to our society’s failure are not found in high ivory towers, but in the sufferings of our communities. We are also united by our founding values of user & civic participation, restorative justice and dialogue, and individual empowerment and responsibility. Here’s to another 10 years”.
Faisal Kassim IARS Youth Advisory Board Member said: “I firmly believe that true democracy cannot exist if those deemed young in society are excluded from the decision-making process. This is why I joined the Youth Advisory Board. It essentially provides a platform for young people to get their voices heard and their issues addressed”.
Margaret Greenfields, IARS Trustee said: “I am delighted and honoured to be working with the IARS International Institute and continue supporting them with the immensely important work they do with young people, refugee women and other communities whose voices are often silent.”
In many ways, IARS has transformed from a group of young people who believed in individual empowerment and responsibility to a highly reputable user-led and user-focused International Institute with a distinct voice in research, policy and practice worldwide.
In the years to come, the IARS International Institute is committed to making a difference by reaching and empowering communities – always remaining as true to its ethos and organisational values as when it opened its doors 10 years ago.
Notes to Editors
- Embargoed until 5th November 2015
- The full Impact report can be downloaded here.
- The IARS International Institute is a membership organization; If you would like to become a member and benefit from a range of free services (e.g. the IARS International Annual Conferences, the peer review Youth Voice Journal, books and many more) follow this link
As a charity we rely on individual’s kind contributions to continue our cause. If you believe in our mission, vision and values then please consider donating via Big Give.
For more information: Contact Andriana Ntziadima – IARS Communications and Youth Projects Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org, +44(0)2070644380 or Direct Mobile 07931596900
About The IARS International Institute
The IARS International Institute is user-led and user-focused charity with a mission to give everyone a chance to forge a safer, fairer and more inclusive society. Over the last 10 years, the Institute has been providing world-class educational, research, policy and networking services of local, national and international significance. We are focused on empowering the most marginalised communities through direct service delivery, while enabling organisations to achieve, measure and improve their social impact. To find out more about the IARS International Institute please follow the link www.iars.org.uk