Dr Chang-Yau Hoon
Dr. Hoon is Associate Professor and Director of the Centre for Advanced Research (CARe) at Universiti Brunei Darussalam. He is also an Adjunct Research Fellow at the University of Western Australia, where he obtained his PhD (with Distinction) in 2007. Prior to this, he was Assistant Professor of Asian Studies at Singapore Management University (SMU), where he was awarded the SMU Teaching Excellence Award in 2012 and the SMU Research Excellence Award in 2014.
Dr. Hoon was Co-founder of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee at SMU and a regular speaker at various interreligious dialogue gatherings in Singapore. He was also a trained Circle Keeper and has conducted Intercultural Conversation Circles for over a decade. Dr. Hoon is an active researcher specializing in identity politics, multiculturalism and religious and cultural diversity in contemporary Southeast Asia.
He has authored and edited 6 books and almost 60 journal articles and book chapters. He has held visiting positions at the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies, Copenhagen; the Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies (KITLV), Leiden; the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, Jakarta; Fudan University, Shanghai; and Guangxi University for Nationalities, Nanning. His motto is: “Expand the circle, so that no one is excluded’’.
Interreligious Activities and Initiatives
Youth for an Inclusive Society
This initiative involved a two-day workshop and a half-day follow up session conducted in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam, with 16 selected youth leaders (8 males, 8 females) from a diverse ethnic and religious background. It deployed the Conversation Circle and a series of experiential activities to allow participants to introspect, dialogue and to understand the “Other”. Activities conducted include Privilege Walk, Surface Your Assumptions, Letter Writing to the Person Who Inspired You, and Setting Up Your Own Inclusive Community. Specifically, the program has achieved the following objectives: 1) To create an inclusive community and a safe space to mutually engage at a deep level. 2)To enable participants to experience and collaborate to create safe spaces for meaningful and reflective conversation, and develop skills of Listening, Empathy, Compassion, and Awareness of one’s own assumptions. 3) To create opportunity for the practice of using the Conversation Circle in dialogue, whereby participants practice holding space for each other as they speak, presence and non-judgmental listening.