The SMU Conflict Management and Dispute Resolution Center is partnering with Peace is Possible for this one-day event designed to educate and develop community leaders that are passionate about dismantling racial divisions within our society. Topics and activities include: presentations from academics and thought leaders, dialogue processes, and learning opportunities centered around the importance of personal narratives and how they enable common understanding within communities. Creating positive change starts with understanding the problems and a willingness to engage with them in meaningful ways. Many of the speakers live and work here in North Texas, and represent social justice efforts being carried out right here in DFW.
From the Peace is Possible website:
“The Symposium is designed to educate, motivate, and inspire positive change in the North Texas community. Participants will learn the importance of personal narratives as it relates to understanding the lived experiences of those individuals whose narratives are too often missing in history. Actionable ideas will be presented to help attendees begin to shift from consciousness awareness to being agents of positive change in their workplaces and communities. Participants will learn from thought leaders and academics, participate in dialogue processes, and, ultimately, have the opportunity to become peacemakers in our shared North Texas community.”
Registration for the event is $45, and includes a light breakfast and lunch. Come learn how to engage your community as a peacemaker, and create positive, equatable change at the Race & Reconciliation Symposium.
SMU Dispute Resolution faculty, students and guests, in collaboration with ALARM (African Leadership and Reconciliation Ministries), recently traveled to Rwanda to deliver peacebuilding and peer mediation training. After returning to Texas, the group shares their individual experiences with the Rwandan people and insights on what we could all learn about peace.
Dr. Betty Gilmore, SMU Dispute Resolution Program Director
“I believe that we learned more from the Rwandan people than they learned from us. Despite unthinkable adversity, there are many areas in which the country is thriving. The entire nation has committed to sustainable peace.
What touched me most was the resilience of the human spirit and the ability of people who have caused such harm to each other to come together to rebuild a nation. I hope that we can all learn from the gift they have given us with their example. If a country learning to forgive under such extreme conditions can heal, why can’t we? We must put aside our differences, look for the things that unite us, and realize that we are better together.”
Ashley Aguilar, MA Dispute Resolution, Class of 2017
“I have never witnessed selflessness like I did in Rwanda. This quality was exhibited by everyone I encountered. Every person was more concerned about the well being of those surrounding them, than that of themselves. I’ve seen people with this quality before, but never have a seen this in everyone surrounding me on such a large scale. The Rwandan people have shown me what it truly means to live selflessly. We could use selflessness to build peace here. If we could teach more people the benefits of perspective taking and vulnerability and shift the paradigm, then I think selfless acts and decisions could follow. Imagine living each day for something more than just yourself. I felt blessed to be a part of it.”
Elizabeth Blake, MA Dispute Resolution, Class of 2017
“The Forgiveness Villages in Rwanda in which victims and perpetrators of the 1994 genocide live and work together were by far the most bold and courageous systems of peace and reconciliation implemented in country. Our group was able to visit one of the Forgiveness Villages in Nyamata, Rwanda to hear testimony from victims and perpetrators. They use civil discourse processes as a means speak their truth, share their personal narratives, hear testimony of victims AND perpetrators, and work toward peaceful resolution, and ultimately forgiveness and repentance.
Americans generally do not participate in civil discourse as a means to understand other perspectives, and American media tends to promote political and social polarization. Hatred and division have become the norm in American culture. Civil discourse involves great courage, compassion, and desire to understand the other person. Rwandans have mandated conflict resolution curriculum in schools as a means to teach children from a young age how to listen for understanding, show compassion for the other, and resolve conflict in their families and communities. Imagine the compassion, tolerance, and cohesion the next generation of Americans would have if we started teaching them conflict resolution when they first start school. Imagine the possibilities!” Continue reading “SMU Dispute Resolution students and guests share insights from Rwanda experience”
SMU Dispute Resolution Alumna Robyn Short will debut her new book, Peace in the Workplace: Transforming Conflict Into Collaboration, at the Conflict Resolution Author Series on Oct. 11 at 6:30 p.m. at the Center for Dispute Resolution and Conflict Management at SMU-in-Plano.
Her lecture, Peace in the Workplace, will be followed by a book signing. The event is free and open to the public. Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
SMU Conflict Resolution Author Series presents Peace in the Workplace Lecture & Book Signing
Tuesday, October 11 at 6:30 p.m.
5228 Tennyson Parkway, Building 3
About the Book Peace in the Workplace: Transforming Conflict Into Collaboration
If you lead or manage people, processes or projects, you have experienced workplace conflict. After all, where there are people, there is conflict. And where there is conflict, there is a choice. In Peace in the Workplace: Transforming Conflict Into Collaboration, international speaker, peace-building trainer and mediator Robyn Short provides insight and guidance to help leaders and
organizations understand that conflict. Continue reading “DRCM Alumna Debuts New Book at Author Series on Oct. 11”