Process sows the seeds of Peace and Justice

April 23, 2012 Leave a comment

Wonder why I’m passionate about collaborative process and strong, creative process design?

Join us at Fundamentals of Facilitation for Racial Justice Work on May 8-9 in Boston to explore these ideas and more!

You can’t have peace or justice without it. Consider the following:

Peace comes from being able to contribute the best that we have, and all that we are, toward creating a world that supports everyone. But it is also securing the space for others to contribute the best that they have and all that they are.” So says Nigerian human rights and democracy activist, Hafsat Abiola. Her words echo those of John Paul Lederach , who wrote in The Moral Imagination that peace is not a condition—a process through which people can build relationships conflicting parties and continually engage to create a reality where “the other” continues to exist.

Justice is the ultimate social good. The just social system would be one which power (control of decisions) is diffused, decision making is participatory, accountability for decisions is visible, and resources are adequate and equitably distributed. Justice can only result from continuous interplay of individuals and groups adequately empowered to represent their own interests, with a minimum of superordinate umpiring to prevent power concentrations and, therefore, abuses. Given human fallibility, a system of justice … must emerge from the interplay of empowered, meaning-seeking individuals and groups.”  James Laue, Gerald Cormick in The Ethics of Intervention in Community Disputes

 Power is not a thing—something you have. It’s an action—something you do.” Beth Roy

These statements form a kind of gyroscope for my work. They cause me to ask myself: Am I designing and facilitating collaborative processes that create conditions where improbable groups of people can build authentic relationships? Where they can create deep, shared meaning? Where power is constructed together and exercised responsibly? Where solid, fair and meaningful agreements lead to lasting change? How do these statements influence your thinking and practice?



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