Rotary Club of Belfast

The TABU Effect

Tori Watson VisitThe Club was delighted to welcome back Tori Watson as a guest of Doris Houston to the meeting Monday 08 December. Tori was a student on the 2010 TABU visit to Chicago. She noted that she last addressed the Club in September 2010 on her 18th birthday and was terribly nervous. However she now was privileged to address members again and look back at the last 4-5 years and scarily realise just how much TABU has influenced what has happened to her.

ToriAddressesTheClubShe pointed out that before TABU she had been involved in a Youth Forum but did not find it satisfying as it didn't address sectarianism. TABU came just at the right time in her life and although she found the trip physically and emotionally draining she saw things she will never forget and still keeps in touch with the team. She learnt that it was ok to ask questions and found her 'voice' and on her return to the youth forum she now asked questions and started to find compromises. Most memorable for her was Easter Sunday morning at 5.30am when they watched the sunrise on Lake Michigan's beach. They held their own Easter worship, each respecting the other's religious difference, and together, Jewish, Muslim, Catholic and Protestant were inspired to share prayers, readings, hymns, music and verse and she played the flute.

Due to TABU she opted to study Politics at Queen's University which fitted her perfectly and she graduated this year with a 1st class degree. She wants to be a journalist and to that end over the summer worked at the BBC relaying information and has begun an MA in Journalism at Queens. She has started and heads a successful flagship news and current affairs programme on QUB radio which over the last 3 months has had several local write ups and been featured on UTV live. Emphasising her TABU influence she said she aims to inform well and help people understand and make up own minds and her goal is to understand viewpoints, challenge and inform others and communicate. She will be meeting USA TABU 2009 student Azza Cohen next week who is coming to make a documentary on the murals. Members were most impressed by her and her impassioned view of the effect of the TABU programme on her.

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