What Now?

| March 8, 2019 | 0 Comments

The Peacemaker Awards to Honor Those That Communicate, Collaborate and Connect

While the National Conflict Resolution Center (NCRC), in this 31st year of Peacemaker, continues to uphold and expand its mission of peacemaking, we fear the “world” is not keeping pace. Still, its current list of awardees, its creative new programs, worthy and compelling – gives us hope. Although the organization is presenting a new program, “Communicate. Collaborate. Connect” for businesses, what NCRC offers, can resonate for all of us.

Steve Dinkin, NCRC’s CEO, talked:

LW: How do we create more inclusive, more agreeable atmospheres?
SD: At NCRC, we are interested in prevention – preventing disputes, broken relationships, misunderstandings . Our series of trainings address these issues and more, and our “outcomes” are rewarding, satisfying. 85 percent of the time people who are dealing with a dispute undergo our programs and leave with a satisfactory, peaceful resolution. We track this outcome, and we’ve found that these resolutions held 90 percent of the time.

LW: How can we use these practices, tactics with our families, our neighbors?
SD: The same rules apply, but today, we seem to be increasingly divided, especially politically – all the more reason to learn – and embrace – the experience, the practice of mediation.

LW: We’ve had plenty of examples – good and bad – of how citizens and leaders behave in encountering hostile incidents. The Reverend Gregory J. Boyle, S. J., this year’s Peacemaker National awardee has surely distinguished himself.
SD: Reverend Boyle founded Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles – the largest gang intervention, rehabilitation program – in the world. The organization combats the problems and needs of gang-involved kids, developing programs that help them find jobs, begin legitimate and successful businesses (i.e. the Homeboy Bakery) – and, in essence, change their lives. Reverend Boyle says, “Nobody has ever met a hopeful kid who joined a gang.” The audience at the Peacemaker Award event will meet Father Boyle, and learn more about his amazing services and successes with kids who’ve left their gang lives behind..

LW: I’m sure the simple answer to how one can resolve interfamily conflicts is mediation. But, can you elaborate? Do the tactics you’ll describe apply as well to a team, a work environment?
SD: “Inclusive communication” is an art as well as a science. For the workplace, the home and society in general, we teach people to communicate more effectively – trainings that leave participants feeling valued, respected and understood – what virtually all of us wish for in our working and personal lives. Our workshops and programs are described on our website, of course, and our staff stands ready to consult and advise.

LW: You note the theme for this year’s event – “A Celebration of Human Dignity.” How do your awardees specifically embrace, embolden this theme?
SD: Besides Father Boyle, Malin Burnham will receive our Philanthropy In Peacemaking award, and our local heroes will be Steven Binder, for his work in homelessness; Imam Taha Hassane for Civility in Politics; Bishop Cornelius Bowser for his work in Gun Violence Prevention; and for Gender Equity work, Kim Sontag-Mulder.

LW: Per your awardees and the event’s inspiration, we wholly applaud and honor NCRC’s efforts, here and throughout the country. I have faith that here, at least, the lives and practices of San Diegans will expand – per your example – their own peace-making efforts, and like NCRC, inspire others to do the same.

The National Conflict Resolution Center’s annual Peacemaker Awards will be held Saturday, April 6 at the Hilton Bayfront Hotel.

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