BUILDING COMMUNITY ACROSS DIVIDES:
LESSONS FROM FAR AND NEAR
What can we learn from peace workers around the world who are using dialogue, mediation, and other community-based approaches to heal divides and interrupt cycles of violence?
Drawing on Karuna Center’s partnerships in Bosnia, Rwanda, and Nigeria, as well as promising efforts in the US, this virtual talk & discussion series has highlighted creative, innovative, and successful responses to conflict that are building community and supporting lasting peace.
Recordings of Past Events in this Series
THE POWER OF DIALOGUE: FINDING FRIENDSHIP AND JOY IN UNPREDICTABLE RELATIONSHIPS
March 10, 2021
With Paula Green and Ben Fink
After the 2016 elections, Paula Green and Ben Fink organized Hands Across the Hills with their communities in Western Massachusetts and Eastern Kentucky. Despite different voting patterns, histories, and socio-economic conditions, the intensive dialogues gave all of the participants opportunities to expand their boundaries, deepen compassion, develop skills, and enlarge their hearts.
Paula has been using models of intensive dialogue in communities around the world since founding Karuna Center for Peacebuilding in 1994.
LESSONS FROM RWANDA & BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA
April 1, 2021
With Vahidin Omanovic, Seth Karamage, Olivia Dreier, & Miki Jacevic
This conversation with two community-based peacebuilding practitioners who have worked very closely with Karuna Center—Vahidin Omanovic and Seth Karamage—explored the very different experiences of reconciliation in Rwanda and in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and lessons for the U.S. as we confront our own deep divides and violent history.
Karuna Senior Peacebuilding Advisors Olivia Dreier and Miki Jacevic facilitated the discussion, drawing out Vahidin’s and Seth’s insights for the U.S. context.
ADDRESSING THE ROOTS OF POLARIZATION
April 8, 2021
With Dr. Fatima Akilu, Tim Phillips, and Karen Bernstein
What can be learned from innovative peacebuilding initiatives and research to address the deeper psychological and neurological aspects of conflict? We were joined by leading experts in the psychology of conflict and polarization: Dr. Fatima Akilu of Neem Foundation, and Tim Phillips & Karen Bernstein of Beyond Conflict. Our discussion will review the research and work done by both Neem Foundation and Beyond Conflict, and some of the creative and adaptive peacebuilding approaches that have been developed and applied based on the findings of their work.
THE TRUST NETWORK: A NATIONAL INFRASTRUCTURE FOR SOCIAL COHESION & SECURITY
April 21, 2021
With Prabha Sankaranarayan, President and CEO of Mediators Beyond Borders International, D.G. Mawn, President of the National Association for Community Mediation, Angelia Tolbert, Esq, Executive Director of Arkansas Community Dispute Resolution Centers, and Don Han, Director of Operations (formerly Hate Crime Prevention Program Coordinator) of Orange County Human Relations Commission
We talked with organizers of the TRUST Network about their work to build a first-of-its-kind national infrastructure—across the U.S.—to strengthen community cohesion and build positive peace. The TRUST Network launched in the lead-up to the 2020 elections, creating the first-ever U.S.-focused Early Warning-Early Response platform to help mitigate electoral violence. They spoke with us about their ongoing work to transform the momentum of division into a momentum of unity at this critical time.
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