I strongly encourage all of you to watch/record Traces of the Trade next Tuesday (June 24th). It premieres on PBS next week, and I especially encourage anyone who’s joining us in Austin for the 2008 NCDD Conference to watch this film. We’ll have representatives from Traces at the conference — showing the film, working with Eastern Mennonite University’s Coming to the Table program on race dialogue-focused workshops, and helping us connect all we’re learning and experiencing related to race, bias and oppression at workshops and plenary sessions at the conference.
Those of you who attended NCDD 2004 in Denver may remember that our friends at Animating Democracy gave conference participants the opportunity to view the rough cut of the film, and played it again during the Open Space because so many people were talking about it that many who missed out demanded another opportunity to see it.
Supported by Animating Democracy, a program of Americans for the Arts supported by the Ford Foundation, the film follows director Katrina Browne and nine of her relatives as they retrace the voyage and industry of their ancestors—the largest slave-trading family in U.S. history—from the former mansion and wharf in Bristol, RI, to slave forts in Ghana, to former plantations in Cuba. Step by step, the family uncovers the vast extent of Northern complicity in slavery while also stumbling through the minefield of contemporary race relations. In this bicentennial year of the U.S. abolition of the slave trade, Traces of the Trade offers powerful new perspectives on the black/white divide.
Traces of the Trade will be a catalyst for heart-to-heart dialogue, education and action through screenings in communities and classrooms. There are many steps you can take, on your own or with others. For a full list of these types of opportunities, visit www.tracesofthetrade.org/get-involved.
Check your local listings to see when the film will debut in your area. You can also go to www.tracesofthetrade.org to learn more about this amazing film.
An article about NCDD member Judith Mowry’s Restorative Listening Project was featured on the front page of Friday’s New York Times. The article by William Yardley, entitled Racial Shift in a Progressive City Spurs Talks, covers how Judith’s Portland, Oregon dialogue project has opened people’s eyes to the pain and hardship caused by the city’s rampant gentrification. Her Restorative Listening Project uses uses dialogue, storytelling and restorative justice to engage the city in race dialogue.
We’ve already posted about the great multimedia coverage Judith got on the Oregonian website. I was impressed with that, but now I’m just floored! Congratulations, Judith!! (Click “more” to see the full article.) (more…)
Emily Menn, Director of Education and Professional Development at the New York State Dispute Resolution Association, manages a great mailing list that shares, on a weekly basis, a long list of current jobs in the dispute resolution field. We’ve posted a few of these lists in the past, but if you want to keep up-to-date, I would highly recommend subscribing. To receive future job listings, you can join the list by emailing her at emily dot menn at gmail dot com with the subject “ADD TO JOBS IN DISPUTE RESOLUTION LIST”
Here’s an example of a current job opportunity… (taken from the Dispute Resolution List)
Assistant Dean of Mediation, Woodbury College, Montpelier, VT
Woodbury College, a dynamic institution offering graduate degrees in mediation and legal studies, and undergraduate degrees in paralegal, pre-law and advocacy studies, seeks an Assistant Dean of Mediation with the capacity, credentials, energy, and wisdom to lead its Mediation and Applied Conflict Studies program to its next level of national prominence. The ideal candidate will hold appropriate academic credentials and be an accomplished mediator, teacher, and established — or emergent — leader in the field. Strategic vision, organizational expertise, and process management skills are essential. Expressions of interest, including a cover letter and vita, and nominations, should be sent to Alison Underhill at . Additional information is available at www.woodbury-college.edu.
Charles Behling, the Co-Director of the University of Michigan’s Program on Intergroup Relations, emailed me this weekend asking me to share a job announcement with the network. The announcement is actually for two interdependent half-time positions, and you must apply for both:
The University of Michigan’s College of Literature, Science and the Arts seeks a highly motivated and inspired person to serve as Associate Director of the Program on Intergroup Relations. The Program on Intergroup Relations is a joint academic and student affairs program concerning social diversity and social justice. A sequence of at least eight courses is offered, with special attention to Intergroup Dialogue pedagogy (a formal methodology developed at UM and now employed nationally).
The Program on Intergroup Relations (IGR) also invites applications for a position as Adjunct Lecturer to begin September 1, 2008. The successful candidate is likely to have substantial experience in intergroup dialogue pedagogy, social justice education, and experiential teaching. The position will teach three courses each academic year, with at least one course being taught each term [Fall and Winter]. Among the courses to be taught include the processes of intergroup dialogues facilitation; a practicum in facilitating intergroup dialogues, and a first year seminar and/or foundations of intergroup relations.
See the full descriptions for both positions.
Recently a couple of news items have caught my attention as exemplary of what NCDD’s Dialogue Bureau aspired to achieve. Readers might recall that during 2004 and 2005 NCDD sponsored research into the feasibility of a service that would: 1) assist news outlets make better use of dialogue and deliberation techniques to augment reporting; 2) help dialogue and deliberation practitioners make better use of partnerships with news outlets; and 3) help track and promote dialogue and deliberation in the news.
This week, two news items caught my attention for their salience to how dialogue and deliberation can enrich the coverage of local and national issues. The first is the City of Portland’s Restorative Listening Project sponsored by the city’s Office of Neighborhood Involvement headed by NCDDer Judith Mowry. The second is the recent establishment of a National Commission on Information Needs of Communities in a Democracy.
NCDD member Judith Mowry runs a Restorative Listening Project in Portland, Oregon that uses dialogue, storytelling and restorative justice to engage the city in race dialogue. Some amazing press coverage went up today on the Oregonian website which highlights the project using articles, a multimedia website and beginning a year long community wide dialogue. Check it out at www.oregonlive.com/special/.
Mowry, now with the city Office of Neighborhood Involvement, designed the project from her background in restorative justice, which aims to mend harm by inviting the sufferer to describe the harm, revealing, for both sides, their shared humanity. “The one who strikes the blow doesn’t know the force of the blow,” Mowry says. “Only the one who has received the blow knows its force.”
I love one page of this web coverage in particular, and the image on the right shows you what the page looks like. The page allows you to click on the faces of dialogue participants and then listen to audio of them talking about what race and gentrification means to them (I clicked on Judith’s name so her image and audio is the one highlighted). It’s an amazing example of how to cover dialogue in the local press using new media.
Be sure to also read the accompanying article by Erin Hoover Barnett, called “Speak. Listen. Heal.” and the column by S. Renee Mitchell titled “A successful crossing of the racial divide.”
You can also read a nice write-up of the Restorative Listening Project in NCDD’s Learning Exchange.
One of my FaceBook friends, Lucie Mayer, just sent a video to my “SuperWall” that I thought might be interesting and inspiring to many of you. The moving 3-minute and 40-second video promotes an advocacy effort that focuses on conversation. While we’re not talking about true dialogue where multiple viewpoints are shared, it’s interesting to see a major advocacy effort focused on the importance and power of sharing one’s story as a means to change people’s minds on a highly contentious issue.
As it says at www.letcaliforniaring.org, “There is no marriage without engagement. Let California Ring is about engaging people like you to talk to people you know. It’s that simple. Our goal is to engage at least 1 million Californians in a conversation about the freedom to marry and through those conversations to enable 500,000 Californians to pledge their support for the freedom to marry.”
You can view the video at www.youtube.com/watch?v=IbLOpyYoBzE if you’re interested.
There’s an interesting article posted at Change.org that those of you involved in intergroup relations might find especially interesting…
A report from the U.S. State Department details an upsurge across the world of hostility and discrimination toward Jewish people over the past decade. “Today, more than 60 years after the Holocaust, anti-Semitism is not just a fact of history, it is a current event,” the report says. The report, called Contemporary Global Anti-Semitism and given to Congress on Thursday, details physical acts of anti-Semitism, such as attacks, property damage, and cemetery desecration. It also lists manifestations such as conspiracy theories concerning Jews, Holocaust denial, anti-Zionism and the demonization of Israel.
Click here to see the full article.
The Association for Conflict Resolution (www.ACRnet.org) is working on the summer issue of ACResolution magazine and they are seeking contributions that focus on the topic of Social Justice and address key concerns from the points of view of interveners, parties, and theorists from all practice areas. Do conflict resolution and transformation theory and models effectively address them? What are the consequences when social justice is not attended to? How is social justice critical to the outcome and process of conflict intervention? For more information about ACR publications and submission guidelines, please visit the ACResolution website. Authors do not have to be ACR members. Deadline is May 15, 2008.
Indigenous Issues Forums has announced the new seasonal book selections for its unique Circle of One Book Forum series. Circle of One promotes thoughtful conversations and celebrates Native lifeways through the reading of selected books by Indigenous authors:
Winter (Slow down to reflect)
The Good Path
by Thomas Peacock and Marlene Wisuri
Spring (Welcome new ideas)
Three Plays: Indolent Boys, Children of the Sun, The Moon in Two Windows
by N. Scott Momaday
Summer (Blossom of creativity)
Lana’s Lakota Moons
by Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve
Fall (Harvest Ideas into Action)
Our Story: Aboriginal Voices on Canada’s Past
by Tantoo Cardinal, et al.
Indigenous Issues Forums provides safe and respectful, family-centered environments to talk through complex issues. Connecting with the human spirit, self, friends, family, and community creates a space for us to visit and to discover a shared purpose together.
For Circle of One Book Forums materials or information about Indigenous Issues Forums, contact Ruth Yellowhawk at .
(From the latest issue of Kettering News and Notes)
The Study Circles Resource Center (SCRC) just announced that they have selected eight community programs to take part in a national initiative aimed at helping communities create and sustain public engagement and community change on issues around racial equity.
The programs will work with SCRC (soon to be called “Everyday Democracy”) over the next two years as part of the Communities Creating Racial Equity initiative. Programs included in the initiative are from Stratford, Conn.; Syracuse, N.Y.; Montgomery County Public Schools, Md.; Lynchburg, Va.; Burlington, Vt.; Jacksonville, Fla.; Sacramento, Calif.; and New Haven, Conn. The eight programs will work in their communities to reduce persistent inequality among racial and ethnic groups that show up in areas like education, housing, health care, the justice system, immigration and jobs.
Learn more at www.studycircles.org/en/Article.660.aspx.
Barb Lehner, Sarita Lief and Nancy Arthur, all participants in the 2006 Compassionate Listening Advanced Training, traveled to Louisiana this past April. The purpose of the trip was to follow up with people they had met with earlier in the year and to lay the ground for the first Compassionate Listening delegations to the Gulf Coast, planned for April 2008. They spent two days in Lake Charles in Southwest Louisiana, an area spared by Hurricane Katrina but hit head-on a month later by Hurricane Rita. We’ve included Nancy Arthur’s reflections on the trip below, published in the most recent CLP newsletter. For information on how to join this CLP project, keep reading! (more…)
The Social Science Research Council (ssrc.org) has announced a new small grants program in support of outreach activities undertaken by Title VI-funded National Resource Centers on U.S. campuses, with a special thematic focus on ”Islam and Muslims in World Contexts.” The objective of the program is to support activities that successfully disseminate the results and insights of academic research on different societies and regions to the general public, and encourage public scholarship by facilitating interaction between research scholars and a variety of constituents, including media, policy institutions, business, and local communities. Current Title VI NRC recipients on U.S. campuses are eligible to apply for grants of up to $50,000 per center, to be used over a period of twelve months to enhance existing capacities on their campuses, or to create new activities, for promoting public understanding of Muslim societies and communities in all their variety and diversity across all geographical regions of the world. Please visit the SSRC website for more information.
Georgetown University is currently accepting applications for the Master of Arts in Conflict Resolution. The innovative and academically rigorous program is housed in the Department of Government, with multidisciplinary core and elective course offerings. Students study with leading faculty from across the university, and take courses such as Conflict Resolution Theory and Skills, Intergroup Relations, Cross-Cultural Negotiation, and Alternative Dispute Resolution. For more information, please see their website (http://conflictresolution.georgetown.edu/), or email . Applications will be accepted through February 15, 2008 for the fall 2008. All prospective students are cordially invited to attend an open house at Georgetown on November 29, 2007 from 4-6 pm. For details, please see the website.
Announcing the 2008 Co-Creative Stakeholder Engagement Workshop: If you are interested in building a network of trust-based stakeholder relationships, and are looking for new ways to engage stakeholders to resolve complex issues, this two-day executive workshop is for you. Stakeholder engagement is a critical 21st century competency in today’s complex, dynamic, and interconnected world, yet companies, government agencies, and community/civil society organizations often find it difficult to work with diverse and conflicting stakeholder needs. Led by Ann Svendsen and Myriam Laberge, participants will learn knowledge and skills related to Understanding the Power of Networks, Building High Trust Stakeholder Relations and Convening Networks for Learning & High Impact Solutions.
Register online before the Early Bird date of May 2nd to benefit from the discounted rate. For more information, please review the Executive Program information at www.sfu.ca/cscd/cli. For registration inquiries, please call the course registrar at 604-677-2758.