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 →

Getting to We! Consensus Decision Making

This presentation explored the world of consensus building and decision making. The process does not require that everyone agree, rather that everyone is heard and supports moving forward with an action. In order for the process to be successful everyone has to have input and communicate in a nonviolent manner.  The group has the freedom to select its preferred methods of communication and method of making a final decision as a group.  It is best to selected a decision making method that requires a super majority to agree, Continue reading →

Environmental Toxins and Conflict: Mutant Minion Madness

In this session we will discuss the effects of pollution and contamination on populations or communities and disputes encountered by attempts to remedy or safeguard against this hazard.  The complexities involved in multiple party environmental disputes will be discussed. The Environmental Protection Agency’s method to address disputes regarding significant health concerns will also be explored. Please join us for a realistic discussion of this often convoluted subject matter. We intend to cut through the regulatory red tape and investigate the REAL safety of an average Continue reading →

But Can It Heal? Restorative Justice Practices, Problems, and Potential

The Restorative Justice Movement has been growing and receiving national attention for some time. The New York Times, The Today Show, Huffington Post, and other news outlets have run interesting stories that feature people who have utilized Restorative Justice. The movement has gained considerable traction in various arenas (most notably in schools and the Criminal Justice system). Despite that, there is a lack of clarity about what exactly Restorative Justice is, and what practices are used to further Restorative Justice. Even when there is clarity 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 →

An ADRx Prescription for Healing Healthcare

Disputes and conflicts in the high stakes and high-pressure business of healthcare are bound to arise. To add to these encounters is the complex nature of the new healthcare law, better known as the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s mandate that individuals purchase health insurance.  Alan will be discussing some practical measures and strategies, along with some problem-solving techniques, to help deal with the multifaceted conflicts that occur in our current healthcare system. UPDATE: Slides from this presentation now available. Also referenced: Why Medical Continue reading →

Process Consulting: Your Team’s Path to Change

There’s a new manager in your office, and people are feeling lost.  Your organization is restructuring but staff are clinging to the old way of doing things.  The mayor and council president are both great leaders, but they’re often in conflict over direction for the administration and the community. Organizations often reach out to consultants to help them through tough times.  Sometimes they need expertise they don’t have on staff.  Sometimes an outside perspective can help diagnose a problem.  In some cases, the challenges are Continue reading →

Words as Windows or Walls: Exploring Nonviolent Communication

The ability to communicate more effectively and compassionately is critical to the health of our relationships. This session will review the theory and methodology of Nonviolent Communication offered by Marshall B. Rosenberg, Ph.D.  It is his belief that it is our nature to enjoy giving and receiving in a compassionate manner. A number of concepts will be presented that will guide participants towards more loving, caring and authentic relationships. Some of the topics covered will include: Identifying and Expressing Feelings, The Power of Empathy, Connecting Compassionately Continue reading →

Dispute Resolution Systems in Organizations

Having worked with different organizations for the past 17 years, I have learned that we live in conflicts everyday. However, I have never thought of a formal conflict resolution department until I joined a dispute resolution master’s program. During my studies, I realized that many business either ignore or overlook the importance of  having a conflicts management system to increase their productivity. Issues concerning human diversity, and cultural and societal differences were never a focus in most of the management’s strategy to achieve their organizational Continue reading →