McCormack Speaks

April 17, 2017
by McCormack Speaks
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Nigerian Military Attend McCormack Peacebuilding, Interfaith Dialogue Workshop

by the Center for Peace, Democracy, and Development

Nigerian Military conference attendeesIn late March, the McCormack Graduate School’s Center for Peace, Democracy, and Development (CPDD) hosted a two-day workshop on religion, peacebuilding, and conflict resolution for senior Nigerian military leaders.

The delegation included a major-general and two brigadier-generals who lead the Islam and Christian chaplaincies for the Nigerian army. They seek to develop the army’s ability to work with local populations, cooperate with religious institutions and community associations, and build local peace and security without the use of force.

In this highly interactive training, participants explored an array of methods through which religious conflicts can be mediated and resolved. The Nigerian delegation learned to understand the core of religious conflicts, to evaluate approaches to improve religious relations through several mediation theories and practices, and to facilitate interfaith dialogue, community outreach, and peace building strategies. Read more.

The Center for Peace, Democracy, and Development at the McCormack Graduate School promotes conflict resolution, democracy, economic development, education building, media development, and legal and judicial reform through partnerships and training programs across the globe.

February 17, 2017
by McCormack Speaks
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UMass Boston, Suffolk DA Partner on Restorative Justice Program for Juvenile Offenders

McCormack Graduate School will assist in Boston juvenile restorative justice programMcCormack Graduate School’s Restorative Justice Project, part of the work of its Center for Peace, Democracy, and Development, recently signed a memorandum of understanding  to create an initiative for juvenile offenders that uses restorative justice.

The pilot project is the first of its kind in Massachusetts.

Read the news story written by UMass Boston’s Colleen Locke.

February 15, 2017
by McCormack Speaks
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McCormack’s Community Mediation Grant Program Shows Large Return on Investment

"Solution" written on blackboardAs the state dispute resolution agency, the Massachusetts Office of Public Collaboration (MOPC), part of UMass Boston’s John W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies, awards annual state operating grants to 12 local community mediation centers statewide delivering services through trained volunteers. Each January, through a legislative briefing at the State House, MOPC reports back to state officials about the impact the public funding has made in providing conflict resolution services to local courts and communities.

Convened by Representative Sarah Peake and Senator Adam Hinds, the briefing was attended by more than 130 people who listened to students from middle and high schools in Fitchburg, Greenfield, Lawrence, and Lowell talk about helping to resolve conflict in their respective schools and what being a peer mediator has meant to them.

Read the entire news story on our website.

January 23, 2017
by McCormack Speaks
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Five Key Tips to Resolve Conflict: What I Learned in Small Claims Court

Anonymous
A Conflict Resolution student at the McCormack Graduate School

courtroom

While many people might like to avoid conflict altogether, as a graduate student in conflict resolution, I jumped at the opportunity to gain hands-on practical experience learning to mediate between plaintiffs and defendants in small-claims court. However, through this internship, I not only learned effective mediation strategies from skilled and experienced mediation mentors, I also learned skills applicable to all levels of human communication. Through this internship, I was able to put into practice the art of recognizing and appreciating the underlying human values behind a dispute, learn to balance engagement in the conflict with detachment from outcome, and to become aware and mindfully check my own biases towards one party or another. Continue Reading →

November 23, 2016
by McCormack Speaks
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How NOT to Avoid Political Conversations at Your Holiday Dinner

by Karen Ross
Department of Conflict Resolution, Human Security, and Global Governance

holiday dinner

Credit: Flickr user Zeetz Jones

Are you hoping you can avoid political conversations with family at the holiday dinner table or are you dreading a confrontation with that know-it-all brother-in-law? The recent election cycle has made evident the deep divisions that exist in the United States. As we head into the holiday season, the desire to avoid political conversations is understandable. These are difficult discussions to have in any context, all the more so at a holiday dinner in the wake of an election campaign that has left people along the political spectrum feeling angry, fearful, joyful, arrogant, and dismissive. It is easy for conversations to turn into attacks that leave nobody feeling better and certainly don’t result in changes of opinion.

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