Supporting local action to build resilience, relationships and social structures for a sustainable peace
Every conflict is a disorienting dilemma that challenges us to respond differently. Violent conflict, however, also charges us to exercise, in the words of John Paul Lederach, "a greater moral imagination ... to transcend rather than enter and sustain the cycle of violence."
Peacebuilding offers us the opportunity to stop what isn't working with the possibility that we might transform the destructive effects of violent conflict into the potential for constructive change. It tasks us to hold as separate yet interconnected realities both the volatility of the immediate situation, on the one hand, and the personal, relational, historical, structural, and cultural legacies, on the other hand. By designing participatory processes that are responsive to all such aspects of the conflict, we can help to construct a platform of support upon which participants and stakeholders engage and address the deeper patterns of relationships and social structures in pursuit of a peace that advances security and well-being. At heart, we seek to reconcile, harmonize, balance and build upon a multiplicity of needs and frames of reference with tolerance, dignity, respect, fairness, cooperation, and non-violent means.
In the context of peacebuilding, my work includes:
My understanding of developmental psychology, neurobiology, adult learning and leadership, and expressive arts allows me to serve the common, deeply human aspects of conflict, especially involving issues of individual and cultural identity, meaning making, and structures of interpretation.
"The perpetration of violence, more than anything else, requires a deep, implicit belief that desired change can be achieved independently of the web of relationships. Breaking violence requires that people embrace a more fundamental truth: Who we have been, are, and will be emerges and shapes itself in a context of relational interdependency."
John Paul Lederach