Social change does not occur in isolation but must be a product of the social milieu it engages while remaining politically relevant, tactically innovative, and less vulnerable to repression, recuperation, and cooptation. Often those working on the front lines of social change find themselves engaged in a never-ending cycle of reaction, rushing to oppose the latest forms of violence rather than engaging in contestation on its own terms. In this session, individuals can get hands-on experience understanding how social movements grow, build, and enact change. Throughout the interactive workshop, participants will be encouraged to explore a variety of questions such as: What differentiates the strategy of direct action from that of representationism and electoral politics? What factors should be considered when determining whether a particular protest tactic is effective or ineffective, violent or nonviolent? What can the practice of mapping teach us about our strengths and weaknesses, and the opportunities and threats present? What role can organizational mapping — identifying influencers and understanding bureaucracies — play in this? How can we distinguish allies from opponents, and realistic solutions from false ones? What are the key steps in developing a social change campaign and what distinguishes disruptive, performative and symbolic action?
Nonviolence: An Assertive Approach to Conflict
This 50-minute activity lesson plan takes the Occupy Wall Street protest movement as a jumping off point to explore different approaches to resolving conflicts. The lesson is structured to help students explore what escalates/deescalates conflict; look at the difference between aggressive, submissive and assertive responses to conflict; focus on nonviolent action as an assertive response to conflict; and learn about Occupy Wall Street’s use of nonviolence as a strategy.
Something is Wrong – Exploring the Roots of Youth Violence
A 382-page pdf curriculum guide addressing violence in the lives of youth. From the introduction:” The Chicago Freedom School, Project NIA and Teachers for Social Justice have partnered along with other volunteers to develop a curriculum guide in order to contribute to the ongoing efforts by young people and their adult allies to analyze the root causes of youth violence and to create local solutions”
The authors “wanted to create a curriculum that would provide a holistic view of violence in the lives of young people across a number of arenas. Through this curriculum, we want to challenge youth to think about a) the roots of violence in their lives; b) the enforcers and victims of violence; c) the effects of violence on both victims and perpetrators; and d) how violence can ultimately be minimized through systemic changes.”
Proposed Guiding Principles for Israeli/Palestinian Academic Cooperation
Short version (29 page pdf) of a UNESCO study conducted by the Palestinian Center for the Dissemination of Democracy and Community Development (PANORAMA), with Walid Salem heading the Palestinian team, and by the Center for Research and Cooperation Jerusalem (CRC), with Edy Kaufman heading the Israeli team, within UNESCOâ€™s Civil Societies in Dialogue Programme. The goal of the project is to explore avenues for significantly increasing the percentage of Israeli and Palestinian academics and intellectuals engaged in constructive dialogue who can contribute towards a just peace. This document was launched in 2004 by UNESCO, which commissioned a study on the obstacles and promises of establishing a sound basis for academic and intellectual cooperation across the Israeli/Palestinian divide.
Coaching youth initiatives: Guide for supporting youth participation
150-page PDF guide which, “explores the concepts of coaching, youth initiatives and youth participation, including practical tools and methods, advice and information, opportunities and support for those encouraging young peopleâ€™s participation in youth initiatives … As a handbook which aims to offer practical support for people active in coaching youth projects, the biggest part of this publication deals with â€˜coachingâ€™ itself and the adaptation of different coaching techniques to the field of youth work.”
Application of the transactional view, An: A unique role for ombudsmen in campus protest
Pdf article from Conflict Management in Higher Education Report, Volume 3, Number 3, (May 2003), which examines the role of the Observer Program at University of Colorado, created by the Ombudsman office, in student protests.
Student protests, negotiation, and constructive confrontation
Pdf article from Conflict Management in Higher Education Report, Volume 2, Number 1, (Oct 2001), which “suggests a series of strategies that can be used by university administrators and students seeking more constructive ways of handling student protests.” Includes bibliography.