Joanne “Jo” Berry is a hopeful peace-enthusiast and speaker. Berry is the founder of the program Building Bridges for Peace. She also spoke for Ted Exeter and has taken part in the Forgiveness Project. Despite all of her success, Jo Berry has a significant history.
Jo Berry is one of the six children of Sir Anthony Berry. Sir Berry was a british politician. On October 12th, 1984, Sir Anthony Berry attended a Conservative Party conference at the Brighton Hotel in England. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was a guest at the conference. In the meantime, the Irish Republican Army (IRA) was planning to assassinate Margaret Thatcher. They didn’t believe that women should have been so powerful in the government. A man named Patrick McGee worked for the IRA. McGee began to set up a bomb at the Brighton Hotel. When the bomb went off, Margaret Thatcher escaped injury. Although, there were five people who died in the bomb. Sir Anthony Berry was one of those people.
After two days of mourning over her father’s death, Jo Berry made a decision that changed the path of her future. Berry was determined to bring something positive out of this experience. She wanted to give up blame and revenge, while replacing them with passion and peace. About 2 months after the incident, Berry was riding a taxi. There, she met a man who had previously worked for the IRA and killed a British Soldier. Although Berry and the IRA were practically enemies, they both began to discuss world peace. This gave Jo Berry more and more inspiration for peace.
The next step for Jo, was to come face-to-face to the man who killed her father. Patrick McGee. Throughout the years, many of Jo’s friends were encouraging her to make that next step. In the year of 2000, Jo Berry finally did.
Patrick and Jo met at Berry’s friend’s home in Dublin. Patrick began to speak to Jo, pouring out his feelings. Jo did the same, expressing her anger and pain. Jo Berry’s intention of meeting McGee, was to perceive him as a human rather than a harmful monster. She succeeded her intentions, and Jo and Patrick soon became very great friends. This changed Berry’s view on life in general.
This year, it has been 29 years since the bombing. During these years, Jo Berry has began and participated in many programs. She is working toward her goal of beginning world peace and she is most definitely achieving it.