UMass Boston News

4 Day Skill Building Workshop: Facilitation of Inter-Ethnic/Sectarian Dialogues in Conflict Zones

Event Date: June 02, 2014 - 6 p.m.
Event Type: Open to public
Location: Wheatley Hall, 4th Floor, Room 141
Event Cost: $200

This workshop focuses on building skill sets in facilitation and dialogue processes which can be used effectively in violence-prone societies. Examples will be drawn from the instructor’s 20+ years of experience designing and leading such trainings in numerous conflict zones around the world.

June 2—5, 6–9 p.m. each night

Day 1 – Understanding ethno/sectarian conflict: nature of contemporary conflict, relationship of Identity-based and substantive conflict drivers, Identity formation and reframing, role of values differences, linkage between extremist groups and wider society, and typical conflict cycle.

Day 2 – Approaches to transformation: of perceptions, mentalities, attitudes, positions, and behavior; bridging ideological divides, addressing relational dynamics – clarifying/changing perceptions, recognizing intention and impact, and enhancing communication skills (listening, handling emotions, and dealing with difficult behavior),

Day 3 – Reconciliation processes (religious and tribal; modern Western and traditional indigenous): dealing with grief, grievances, fears, needs; evaluating practices involving apology, justice and forgiveness; and use of such processes in countering violent extremism

Day 4 – Overall facilitation process and practice: overview – distinguishing dialogue and debate, facilitation functions and challenges, types of facilitation (relational, dispute resolution, and meeting basic needs), and methods of influence/persuasion and joint problem solving; plus concluding role play on post-war facilitation of ethnic and sectarian conflict.

During each session, approaches related to the day’s topic will be presented, followed by participatory exercises which will give students firsthand experience in dealing with at least some aspect(s) of the subject. 

 

About the Instructor:

David Steele has worked with political, religious, and other civil society actors to facilitate conflict transformation within unstable, violence-prone inter-ethnic and sectarian conflict. He currently is adjunct faculty in the Graduate Program in Coexistence and Conflict at Brandeis University and is a consultant with the African Union on developing inter-religious reconciliation in Sudan/South Sudan. He has recently written a manual on countering religious extremism and a commission paper on conflict prevention/transformation for use in discussions among 600 religious leaders from 70 countries, as well as evaluating online courses on religious and ethnic violence developed by the US Institute of Peace. He has written curriculum materials and led workshops for Israeli and Palestinian seismologists and environmentalists, and for 100 NGOs following post-election violence in Kenya. He served as Senior Reconciliation Facilitator with the Baghdad office of the U.S. Institute of Peace, providing training in negotiation, problem solving, and interfaith dialogue for a variety of personnel from Iraqi Government agencies, educational institutions, religious groups, and civil society organizations. He has also worked for Mercy Corps, Conflict Management Group, and the Program on Preventive Diplomacy at the Center for Strategic & International Studies in Washington, leading and training others in facilitated dialogue, problem solving, and dispute resolution in the Balkans, Iraq, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, and other conflicted societies. Steele has a PhD in Christian ethics and practical theology from the University of Edinburgh.

Registration Deadline: April 27, 2014

For disability-related accommodations, including dietary accommodations, please visit www.ada.umb.edu two weeks prior to the event.