Author Archives: ESCRO Team Leader

ESCRO Team Leader

About ESCRO Team Leader

Bill Warters is the Academic Director of the Master of Arts in Dispute Resolution (MADR) Program at Wayne State University. An Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication, Dr. Warters teaches courses such as the Roots of Social Conflict; Neutral Intervention Theory and Practice; Ethnography; and an online course in Communication Technology and Conflict. In addition to teaching and research, Dr. Warters' work includes developing innovative conflict resolution knowledge dissemination and skill building platforms and tools. For example, in August of 2012 Bill released a free iPad app developed to promote conflict resolution in educational settings. The app drew on resources developed at his two federally-funded web clearinghouses, and Project links are available at When he is not prepping for class, responding to program inquiries or going down twitter rabbitholes, Bill likes to ride his bike, canoe, play frisbee and attend Quaker Meeting.

Harper Woods Unity in the Community Resource Fair

The ESCRO project has been working collaboratively with a  volunteer committee in Harper Woods that includes representatives of the local public library, the court, the community dispute resolution service, the police, city council members, the school district, and the city. We are pleased to announce a community resource fair scheduled for October 4, 2014 from 1:00-3:30 pm at the Harper Woods High School. The event, the first of its kind, will focus on building connections, learning conflict resolution skills and getting to know your neighbors and important community service Continue reading →

Of Interest – Local Lessons for International Peacemakers

This story about a local community mediation program based in urban New York City makes the connections between the skills and techniques developed by community mediators and how these are similar and different from those used at the international level. Brad Heckman, the featured mediator, was trained in the same approach as I was, namely the Community Boards Model of Mediation. Community mediators at the local level need to use their skills in everyday encounters as well as when hosting formal mediation sessions. ESCRO seeks Continue reading →

Efforts to Bridge the Racial Divide in Detroit focus of HWPL Book Talk

As a resident of Harper Woods, I’m especially pleased to announce that the Harper Woods Library will be hosting a book talk on June 30th at 6pm with the distinguished authors of Detroit: Race Riots, Racial Conflicts, and Efforts to Bridge the Racial Divide. The 2013 book from Michigan State University Press was awarded a Michigan Notable Book Award and it has been receiving high praise. The authors are Joe T. Darden and Richard W. Thomas. Joe Darden is Professor of Geography at Michigan State Continue reading →

Free Conflict Resolution Professional Development Series

This series of professional development presentations is brought to you by students and faculty from the Master of Arts in Dispute Resolution Program, Wayne State University with support from Harper Woods Public Schools. All sessions, held on Monday nights in March and April (March 24-April 21 2014), are free and open to the public. They will be held in the Media Resource Center Room (2nd Floor) at the Harper Woods High School, 20225 Beaconsfield Ave, Harper Woods, MI 48225. A flyer about the series is Continue reading →

Community Building via the Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP)

In this April 7 session, Bill Warters will introduce participants to the basic premises behind the Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP) being used in prisons and communities around the world since 1975. AVP is a multicultural organization of volunteers offering experiential workshops that empower individuals to lead nonviolent lives through affirmation, respect for all, community building, cooperation, and trust. In this short workshop, we will pay particular attention to the ways that AVP teams approach the building of community. UPDATE: Here are the slides from Continue reading →

Building Conflict Competencies Through Service Learning

This session, the first in our series of professional development presentations, will explore the value inherent in doing service work related to managing conflict and solving community problems. We will review some broad concepts related to learning via direct experience from big-name theorists like Dewey, Freire, and Mead, and then focus down on the special case of managing community conflicts as a rich learning opportunity. We will tap into the long tradition of service learning in America and share stories of successful conflict resolution service Continue reading →