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Virtual Exchange: Renewing Civic Engagement at a Time of Unprecedented Interconnectedness

This episode is a special edition for the Association for Conflict Resolution’s (ACR) annual conference and virtual track.

 

waidehi-gokhalerangineh-azimzadeh-tosangIn a digitally connected world where diversity of identities is a reality which we must confront every time we log into our smart phones and social media accounts, academia has played a pioneering role in the way we learn how to be inclusive and embrace diversity.  Nevertheless, recent demonstrations across American campuses as well as the growing expressions of hate and violence in online space worldwide, make question the preparedness of traditional education methods to tackle the virtual multicultural world we live in. Grassroots intercultural dialogue programs between citizens living in different societies have flourished over the past decade as a response to the growing antagonism between some of those societies. Those programs aim at building mutual understanding and a sense of empathy among participants, creating bridges and fostering a new culture of constructive engagement between young citizens. Lately, online dialogue programs carried out by organizations like Soliya have received an official acknowledgment of their relevance in a fast changing world. Panelists involved as implementors of Soliya’s Connect Program will engage in an interactive discussion with participants on the lessons learned from Soliya’s 13 years experience, the current evolutions of dialogue processes and the value of virtual exchange as a growing field in the world of intercultural dialogue and conflict resolution education.

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For more information or to apply as a facilitator, visit Soliya

Connect with Soliya:  Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn

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Hot Irritations: Strategies to Reduce Conflict Temperament

tired-hikers-249683_1280Have you noticed that you’ve been getting into more arguments lately? Or that every little thing seems to set you off? Not sure why your fuse is so short? Look no further than the outdoor thermometer!

I took notice of my more irritable state as of late. I don’t mind sweating if I’m working out or gardening, something that warrants breaking a sweat. However, I am not a fan of just sitting around and doing nothing and sweating. I am a big fan of controlled air, and I found when I sweat I feel overheated and testy.

I also became aware of the fact that the heat makes me tired which could be a side effect of not being well hydrated. I have determined that a combination of lack of hydration, sleepiness, and sweating puts me into rare form.  I became more conscious of this when I began picking fights for no reason and becoming more annoyed with my husband. I also noticed I have less patience with our puppy Alvin.

According to an article by Rachael Rettner, a senior writer for livescience.com, ” hot and especially humid weather is known to be associated with increases in aggression and violence as well as general mood.” The article goes on to explain that the limitations put on our daily activities due to the sweltering heat can cause us to be angry. Another interesting piece from the article, Rettner writes, “a lack of control over the situation may further irritate some people.”

Just another way my control issues can get the best of me! So what are we to do in these situations? Summer is the best time to soak up that vitamin D and be outside – we can’t be expected to hole up in our controlled climate houses fanning ourselves right?

* Be aware – the most important thing is that you are mindful of the fact that the heat could be affecting your mood. Be aware of what is triggering your annoyance. It is also important to remember the weather could be changing other people’s attitudes as well. So if someone seems to be biting your head off the heat could be a contributing factor.

* Take deep breaths- If you are feeling angry take some deep breaths to help focus your mind. Take a deep breath in, hold it for a few seconds and release. Just taking those few moments to refocus can help you be more aware of the conflict at hand.

* Take shade and hydrate – I am not asking that you sit inside all day, but it is important to take a break from the sun now and then to help regulate your system. Also, it is imperative that you stay hydrated especially if you are sweating, this will fend off tiredness and keep your system fresh.

* Use sunblock – I am a fair person, so I burn easily, and I know that when I get a sunburn, I am not a fun person to be around. So, keep yourself slathered in sunblock and fend off the painful burning experience.

It is important to remember to cool down before engaging in a summer battle both figuratively and literally. These may seem like common sense suggestions, but I rarely think of the weather as being a factor in a fight. Keep the weather in mind and be aware of your triggers. You will be sure to have a great summer experience!

 

Have a great week,

Abigail R.C. McManus M.S Negotiation and Conflict Management

Apprentice

 

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Become a Virtual Judge or Have Your Case Settled on the Net- Part 2

Oct 6th

StephenKotev2Brāv is a new way for people of any age to find a solution to bullying, violence, and conflict. Find out why this is so important and join our guest, Remi Alli to learn how to settle family, school, and workplace disputes online.

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Become a Virtual Judge or Have Your Case Settled on the Net- Part 1

Oct 6th

StephenKotev2Brāv is a new way for people of any age to find a solution to bullying, violence, and conflict. Find out why this is so important and join our guest, Remi Alli to learn how to settle family, school, and workplace disputes online.

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Portraying Peace in the Media: Making Peace Sexy and Creating Peace Superheroes

Marianne_Perez_de_FransiusOften it seems that all we see in the media are violence, conflict and competition, whether it’s in the news, in entertainment or even in sports reporting. And this can have a significant impact on how we feel, how we see the world and how we deal with conflict. Marianne Perez de Fransius will share how exposure to so much violence in the media is negatively affecting us as individuals and as social beings and how to break the cycle. You’ll learn where to find media that gives you food for creative, collaborative and compassionate thoughts, including two initiatives that Marianne is involved in: Peace is Sexy and the Peace Superheroes. 

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Coexistence and Conflict

Managing inter-communal conflict and violence is critical to national and international security in today’s world. As societies are becoming more diverse, many more countries are facing ethnic, religious, cultural and social conflicts. The globalization of such conflicts is also increasing. Mari Fitzduff, the Program Director of the Coexistence and Conflict program at The Heller School of Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University is our guest expert.

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Navajo Peacemaking – Bringing Indigenous Wisdom into Healing Community Tragedies

Robb Redsteerzena ZumetaStephenKotev2Tragedy not only destroys families it leaves aftershocks of substance abuse, violence and hatred within the community. Calling upon centuries of tradition and experience, Navajo Peacemakers use their traditional wisdom, methods and customs to help heal this tragedy.  Navajo Peacemaker, Robb Redsteer will discuss how this tradition moves communities through denial and anger to heal old wounds and return to balance.

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More Information:

Navajo Peacemaking Demo: April 17, 2008

Letter to the Navajo Times,

Dr. Devon Mihesuah,

Navajo Justice,

Mr. Philmer Bluehouse

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Building Peace Through Religion


Often times religion has been cited as a cause of violence. More and more scholars are exploring religion’s potential for peace. In her new book, Civil Society in Malerkotla, Punjab: Fostering Resilience through Religion, Bhangoo looks at a diverse religious community in Northern Punjab that became legendary for it’s commitment to peace under the threat of violence.

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Restorative Practices: Can ancient traditions of accountability and peacemaking create safer schools today

Bill SowerSusan Butterwick  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Many schools need more practical and effective measures for ending violence and disruption and for promoting more cooperative behavior. Restorative Practices derive from indigenous cultures and are based on time-honored principles of respect, resolution and community. In schools, they promote problem solving, conflict resolution, personal accountability, and productive climates for learning. They can dramatically reduce reliance on suspensions. Our guests will discuss the recent, worldwide emergence of the ancient “Restorative Practices” and describe how they are improving schools in Michigan.

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Back to School Series: Cyber Bullying & Sexting

PatriciaCastilloDeAnneCuellarWhat are sexting, cyber-harassment, and online stalking? While families are preparing for the new school year advocates against violence are gearing up to face new threats to our community’s safety. Every day we hear more and more stories about the endless ways young women and men are using technology to harm one another. Parents are terrified by the notion that their teenagers are engaged in sexting, and at the same time, they are anxious to learn how to face this issue head on. How has the prevalence and availability of new technology affected the frequency and ease of perpetrating these abusive behaviors? What can you do if you find yourself the victim of cyber-harassment or sexting?

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