CONTACT Summer Institute Offers Four Week-Long Electives

The School for International Training's CONTACT program - Conflict Transformation Across Cultures - is a professional development program designed to strengthen and support the community-building, coexistence and conflict intervention and resolution efforts of peacebuilders from the United States and around the world. Participants can enroll in a 2-3 week residential Summer Institute at SIT?’s Vermont campus (this year taking place from May 31 to June 18, 2004), or the Graduate Certificate program, which includes the Summer Institute, an additional week in residence at SIT's Vermont campus (this year from June 19 - June 23) followed by a practicum, coursework delivered through interactive distance learning, and a seminar, held either at a regional field site or at SIT. As part of the June Summer Institute, CONTACT is offering several electives that can be taken independently. These electives offer an opportunity to learn new skills and to study with their international community of peacebuilders. The electives are five-day courses, June 14-18, each of which costs $600. Scholarships or special rates may apply for non-profits and students. Email for more details or click below to read about the electives.

CONTACT participants explore the causes and complexities of contemporary conflict, examining methods that respond to conflict without perpetuating cycles of revenge, hostility, and division. Supported by the strength of community, participants surface common bonds and perceptual differences, reflect on forgiveness and reconciliation in their own traditions, and study worldwide endeavors to heal the wounds of war.

Here are brief descriptions of each elective course:

Compassionate Listening: Healing Our World from the Inside Out
Leah Green, Instructor

Compassionate Listening is a powerful tool for reconciliation. It is used to initiate peace-building efforts in conflict at all levels: personal, community and global, offering insight and healing for all. This course focuses on the fundamentals of Compassionate Listening and provides the skills and practice necessary to bring this technique into your daily life, including listening in challenging situations. Listening to "the other" is challenging to the degree that pain and misunderstanding exist. With intention, open-hearted listening creates a true foundation for reconciliation and peace.

Leah Green is founder and director of The Compassionate Listening Project and an internationally recognized as a leader in Jewish-Palestinian reconciliation, having led 16 citizen delegations to Jordan, Israel/Palestine, and Syria/Lebanon.

Fundamentals of Fundraising
Carrol and Jonathan Otto, Instructors

Fundamentals of Fundraising is an intensive, participatory learning program that helps civil society professionals develop the skills needed to prepare successful grant proposals that further their vital work of conflict transformation. The experiential learning methodology deals with all essential aspects of grant-based fundraising, from project design and donor relationships to the production of polished, compelling proposals.
Participants come to the workshop with a proposal they hope to develop, whether still at an early conceptualization stage, or an actual proposal to an identified donor interested in peacebuilding. They then work on these proposals during the workshop, directly applying concepts to their real-life funding needs of civil society organizations under the facilitators?’ tutelage.

Media and Peacebuilding
Francis Rolt and Oussama K. Safa, Instructors

This course will explore professional practices in using media to promote the peaceful resolution of conflicts. Designed for conflict resolution practitioners who are interested in using the media in their work and programs, it will explore the principles of peace media and the very broad range of media tools that can be used for peacebuilding, while using concrete examples of success from the field. Participants will also gain an understanding of the different stages and challenges of the production process (in broadcast media) and intended-outcome programming. This course will be very practical and interactive. By the end of the week, each participant will have designed a media project adapted to their work and environment.

Francis Rolt and Oussama K. Safa work with Search for Common Ground as trainers in conflict resolution and media, and have extensive professional experience with peace media.

Reconciliation and Forgiveness
Joseph Sebarenzi and Vahidin Omanovic, Instructors

Joseph and Vahidin speak with personal authority when they teach about reconciliation and forgiveness. Joseph is a survivor of the Rwandan genocide and Vahidin lived through the genocide in Bosnia. Both former CONTACT students and now faculty, Vahidin and Joseph have spent years observing and reflecting on the process of reconciliation.

The course will explore concepts and applications of reconciliation as currently applied in peacebuilding and conflict transformation. Participants will reflect on their own development and capacities for forgiveness and reconciliation in inter-personal and inter-communal relations, and will develop working drafts of reconciliation models for particular regions, conflicts and circumstances.

Added by Sandy on May 24, 2004