The work of the Association for Conflict Resolution’s Environment and Public Policy Section and the University Network for Collaborative Governance fosters opportunities for diverse voices to be heard, and for all to participate in shaping the decisions that affect our lives. We are sobered and saddened by the fact that violence, hate crimes, and intolerance have reached crisis levels in the United States. In opposition to intolerance and indifference to those harmed by this crisis, we consider robust, honest dialogue to be essential to our democracy. By robust and honest dialogue, we mean sharing our own insights and listening to those of others with respect, compassion and recognition for one another’s humanity. Rather than avoiding conflict or ignoring injustice, robust dialogue promotes constructive confrontation, allowing us to surface and address these issues directly to produce healthy, sustainable, and just outcomes.
As conflict resolution practitioners, we are on the front lines of strong emotions and impulsive actions in a polarized environment. We reject physical and structural violence as a means to express hate, disagreement and dissent, or as a strategy for achieving outcomes. Instead, we commit ourselves, as organizations and individuals, to encouraging respectful discussion, facilitating the inclusion of diverse perspectives in public dialogue, and striving to create an environment conducive to constructive and brave discourse. To that end, we hope that the following tools and resources are helpful in making this happen:
- Racial Equity Tools: Racial Equity Tools is designed to support individuals and groups working to achieve racial equity. This site offers tools, research, tips, curricula and ideas for people who want to increase their own understanding and to help those working toward justice at every level – in systems, organizations, communities and the culture at large.
- Divided Community Project: The Divided Community Project offers tools and resources to help leaders and citizens in communities seared by tensions, unrest, and civil discord — from Sanford, Baltimore and Ferguson to Dallas and Orlando — to strengthen and expand their capacity and resiliency to meet these challenges.
- Not In Our Town: Not In Our Town is a documentary series and campaign that combines public television broadcasts with outreach and new media to help communities battling hate talk to and learn from each other.
- Life After Hate: Life After Hate, Inc. was created by former members of the American violent far-right extremist movement. Through powerful stories of transformation and unique insight gleaned from decades of experience, we serve to inspire, educate, guide, and counsel.
- Rural Organizing Project - The Rural Organizing Project (ROP) is a statewide organization in Oregon of locally-based groups that work to create communities accountable to a standard of human dignity: the belief in the equal worth of all people, the need for equal access to justice and the right to self-determination.
- National Institute for Civil Discourse: The National Institute for Civil Discourse (NICD) was established in May of 2011 after the tragic Tucson shooting that killed six people and wounded thirteen others including former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. All were participating in a “Congress on Your Corner” event, a fundamental act of democracy. In response to the tragedy, the Tucson community came together to create NICD, a non-partisan organization based at the University of Arizona that would promote healthy and civil political debate.
- ADR Safety Planning: Recommended Guidance: The Association for Conflict Resolution (ACR) Taskforce on Safety in Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) has drafted the “ADR Safety Planning: Recommended Guidance” to promote the safety of practitioners and participants in ADR processes. The Recommendations are intended to encourage and assist practitioners and ADR provider organizations when considering, planning for, and implementing safety procedures in all ADR processes they conduct.
- World Without Hate: Through website, programming, and speaking engagements around the world, World Without Hate is committed to sharing the transformational power of forgiveness, embracing compassion and mercy, and teaching others the beauty of acceptance and empathy.
- Meet a Muslim Community: “Meet a Muslim" is a series of gatherings in which people meet a Muslim for coffee and talk about the religion, with an aim to show that followers of Islam aren't all alike.