Jo Berry is the epitome of triumph over adversity and challenge. When an IRA bomb, planted in the Grand Hotel, Brighton killed her father, Sir Anthony Berry MP, she had a choice. She could choose to harbour hatred and anger craving revenge or seek understanding and so bring peace back into her life.
Her extraordinary journey has led to her to become an established ambassador for peace and reconciliation. She now often appears on stage with the very man who planted the bomb that tore her life apart. Jo and Patrick Magee first met in 2000 and the beginning of their relationship was featured in a BBC porgramme “Everyman – Facing the Enemy”. They now work together sharing their story on their quest to inspire others to seek peace and reconciliation working towards putting an end to conflict and violence.
Jo is frequently invited to speak at international conferences and seminars in the world of humanitarian aid, conflict resolution and human rights. She has regular media requests to offer her opinion on such matters, for example the recent meeting between ex-IRA terrorist Martin McGuinness and the Queen.
Her work often involves facilitating workshops in many parts of the world, working with victims of genocide, war and terrorism as well as working alongside others whose own legacy of conflict has been transformed into one of peaceful acceptance and compassion.
Her adept skill during the question and answer sessions inspires audiences to express their desire to share their own experiences and delve deeper into Jo’s journey. Everyone has experiences of being hurt and she shows and inspires the listener how to take charge of the response and become a winner.
Jo Berry’s life is proof of the power of the human spirit in overcoming tragedy and a demonstration of responding to violence with non-violence. The impact of her story invariably touches the hearts of people in a uniquely powerful way. Audiences leave feeling inspired by her compassion, enriched by her experiences and empowered to work towards transforming the conflicts in their own lives. For many, hearing Jo speak can be a life defining event that instigates major changes and empower them to walk a new path to also pledge to make a difference in the world.
Jo will start by sharing her story of transformation and healing and will then describe the work she is doing in the world ending with the insights and lessons she has learnt.
- We have a choice whether to blame or choose empathy and by the end we will have an understanding of this process.
- Forgiveness is a journey.
- All that life gives us can be transformed.
- True alchemy is when we transform our feelings
- There is a gift in all our conflicts.
- All feelings are understandable.
- We can challenge another’s behaviour without blaming and demonising.
- We can all be each other’s story, there is no ‘other’.
- The only betrayal is when we betray our hearts which has the truth that we are all connected.