Background to JEDI Partnership
The JEDI Initiative was established in the summer of 1998.
It is a creative partnership aimed at producing a cultural change within the youth service through embedding the principles of Equity, Diversity and Interdependence (EDI).
Since its inception key partners within the youth service have been engaged in this initiative with a view to developing a more coherent strategy for community relations work, specifically within the context of the post conflict era in Northern Ireland. The initiative has involved research into community relations issues for youth work practitioners, and a joined up approach to developing policy, practice, and training across the Service.
Whilst the legacy of sectarianism and segregation between the two largest communities is its fundamental focus, JEDI is also concerned with redressing wider issues of prejudice and division to reflect the diversity of problems confronting young people in Northern Ireland. The pursuit of EDI has involved making space in busy workloads and taking time out to name and surface issues that often remain submerged.
The vision is "to increase the ability and confidence of youth organisations and young people to be at ease with difference, acknowledge one another as equals and promote improved relations between all".
A central task of youth organisations to "to pay attention to the individual young people who come to them, offer relationships in which they are given their place (equity), value their experiences, background and abilities (diversity) and support them to learn from, rather than avoid or bury, any or all of their encounters with the world around them (interdependence)".
JEDI is essentially about the principles and values that underpin youth work; and about a planned approach to improving relationships at every level. It is asking practitioners, young people and policy makers to visualise the role the Youth Service has to play in creating a better society and to consider the policy, training, practice, and research and evaluation implications of this vision. The work will inform changes to support and promote the realisation of the vision.