Effective Activism: Mapping Tactics and Strategies, Allies and Opponents

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?

Fellowships in Conflict Resolution and International Peace

In search of that dream you didn’t know existed? Hoping to gain additional experiences while studying at a university? Recently graduated and struggling to figure out what to do next? This workshop will help individuals locate fellowships in conflict resolution and international peace in accordance with their own interests. Additional tips in applying for fellowships will also be discussed. Short-term and long-term fellowships will be highlighted, along with several essential websites to search for additional opportunities.

Faculty Resources for Adding Civil Resistance Content to Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution Programs

There are times when diplomacy, dialogue, mediation, and conflict prevention efforts are not sufficient by themselves to win rights, freedom, and justice. Recent research also documents that nonviolent civil resistance campaigns are more effective than just using “normal institutional channels” such as elections, lobbying, and litigation, one-off mass protests, or violent rebellions when undemocratic power elites dominate a county’s economic and political life. This has been shown to be true in dictatorships, authoritarian societies, and in formal or backsliding democracies like the United States. Can peace studies and conflict resolution education programs be complete without exploring civil resistance movements and strategies? What resources are available to faculty members wanting to learn about and teach students about this often neglected, but very important element of conflict transformation? This workshop will share the many academic resources available from the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict, a Washington, D.C.-based educational foundation that promotes the study and use of civil resistance movements and campaigns and supports innovative faculty research, teaching, and publishing.

Supporting ex-offenders: creating community with college social systems

This discussion will present current statistics about incarcerated students and the invisible numbers of those ex-offenders attending college. We will examine ex-offenders as a marginalized group struggling to belong in a community while facing dim prospects for success due to a lack of housing, employment, and education. Our focus will be the factor of the lack of social support offered in our communities and colleges. This session should benefit faculty, staff, and administration in any educational institution working on attaining completion as well as anyone with an interest in working to hire, to connect or to provide resources for those needing an inclusive community. In addition, join us for a unique look at current and previous felons through a lens of art and narration. Ex-offenders will participate in the discussion.

Preparing Tomorrow’s Peacemakers: Robots vs. Resumes

Resume writing has changed drastically especially due to the rise of the digital revolution. The ways of writing resumes has revolutionized how job/career seekers are positioning themselves in the workplace. This interactive workshop teaches how to prepare a professional resume that reflects skills, knowledge, education and experiences that are relevant to the job students are seeking to pass through the scrutiny of the ATS systems (robots):
• Identify the key components of the resume
• Understand the importance of tailoring and targeting resume to the employer
• Create and practice writing accomplishment statements that are the key to today’s resumes
Participants will leave this workshop with a resume draft and the tools to be able to beat the robots, and get to the hiring authorities.

High School Mediation Manual – Spanish Language Edition

This mediation training manual, developed by the Washington Heights Inwood Coalition Mediation Program, is the product of ten years experience teaching mediation skills to secondary students in New York. The school program worked mostly with Latino students, newcomers to the country. So the trainings have been in Spanish. The material and activities of this program are designed to prepare high school students as mediators. The basic mediation skills taught and practiced are the same as in adult training.  It updates and adapts the lessons and activities to the level of development and interests of students.

Connecting Schools, Communities, and Families through SEL

Long-time conflict resolution educator Linda Lantieri speaks about the importance of building bridges between homes, educational institutions and community organizations in order to create caring learning environments for children and youth. She shares specific tools, strategies, inspirational stories, and a framework for supporting integrated peace education efforts in schools, families and community organizations. She will also share the Collaborative for Academic Social and Emotional Learning’s work (CASEL), the nation’s leading organization advancing the development of academic, social and emotional competence for all students.

Choosing Love in Every Situation

Scarlett Lewis, parent of a child who was killed at the Sandy Hook Elementary School attack, shares her personal story and the prevention and response strategies she advocates for through the Jesse Lewis Choose Love Foundation. Planting the seed of post traumatic growth and teaching children personal responsibility, emotional intelligence and cultivating connections will give them the ability to choose love. A simple but powerful equation gives us insight into how to choose love and have the courage to do it.

Cultural Sensitivity in Peace Education

Cultural sensitivity is helpful in building relationships and can be fun. Cultural sensitivity integrated into communication skills helps prevent identity-based conflicts – from interpersonal conflicts to national conflicts. Examples of how educators and facilitators can create a culturally sensitive curriculum will shared.

Conflict Resolution Skills for Youth and Adults – Incorporating Traditional Teaching and RJ

The Take Ten program – developed at the University of Notre Dame – began by teaching CRE skills to youth and has evolved to teach adults as well. Most recently, the program has returned to its Restorative Justice (RJ) roots to teach the curriculum in a Circles format and to lead participants in a truly restorative Circles experience. Participants will engage with the presenter in an authentic Circle process experience, demonstrating how the Take Ten curriculum is now available as a Circle event. As part of the discussion, programmatic evaluation results will be shared with participants.

Can Buddhists Help Restore Harmony in Modern Society?

Violence is a worrisome concern for religious minorities in some south and south-east Asian countries today. Fundamentalists and conservative political groups who try to dominate the political and religious landscape in states such as Bangladesh and Myanmar have oppressed minority religions, while communal disturbances have become a painful reality in the greater societies and the disturbing consequences spill over to neighbors as well. This workshop will propose resolutions at different levels to address violent situations, with application of Buddhist teachings to resolve inter-religious conflicts and promote religious tolerance and harmony.

Supporting Community “Thirdsiders” via the East Side Conflict Resolution Outreach Project

Students and faculty affiliated with the Master of Arts in Dispute Resolution program at Wayne State University in Detroit have created a service learning and community building initiative on Metro Detroit’s East Side. The ESCRO project reimagines the community boards’ civic engagement community mediation model, extending it via a service learning element and via the promotion of a broader range of Thirdsider conflict intervention roles. This workshop will review the underlying philosophy promoted by the initiative, explore the creative ways that a Thirdsider perspective opens up engagement opportunities, and report on the project’s progress to date.

Best Practice in Integrating Conflict Management Education into Armenian School Curriculum

Learn about the The Peace Education project launched in 2002 by the NGO Women for Development Armenia in order to form a culture of peace and conflict resolution among teachers and schoolchildren. By 2015, the “Peace and Conflict Resolution in Schools” project was implemented in 800 schools in Armenia’s 11 provinces, about 60% of Armenia’s schools, reaching 4000 teachers and approximately 70,000 students. The project evaluation showed that the cases of school conflicts with violent outcomes decreased by 72%, cases of verbal violence decreased by 67%, and the cases of indirect violence decreased by 50%. As a result, the “Conflict Management Education in schools” handbook was officially adopted by the National Institute of Education as a framework for all schools.

Using Extracurricular Activities to Broaden Perspectives of a Diverse College Community

At Cuyahoga Community College, students organized several events to educate other students and the public about diversity in an attempt to diminish conflict on campus and in the community. These activities included a panel discussion on the relationship between the police and the Cleveland community, a debate among presidential candidate representatives, a panel discussion on radicalization and extremism, the psychology of radicalization and the role of the media, a panel of five religious leaders, and several other activities. The students will discuss their activities and the impact they have made on the campus.

A Review of Recent Scholarship on Nonviolence

This presentation will explain the basic processes by which nonviolence creates social change on a societal or national level. The presenter will describe the major debates in the field, and then focus on the findings of recent research which analyzes databases of nonviolent and violent national campaigns. These data demonstrate the effectiveness of nonviolence compared to violence, and help in understanding the factors that produce success or failure. The accompanying publication will provide lists of materials that can aid in teaching high school and college students about nonviolence.