Statement by Conflict Engagement Specialists about Conflict Engagement and Strategic Disruption (Originated by Bernie Mayer and Susan Terry)

From Bernie and Susan:

Friends - a group of conflict engagement practitioners have created a statement of intent regarding racism. We will follow this up with a deeper discussion and a Call to Action to conflict practitioners. It was, of course, spurred by recent events in the U.S. and the international response that we are seeing. We realize that our diverse group represents a number of countries and each of you will have to decide if this statement is representative of what you are seeing not only in the U.S. but in your country.

Our Goals:

Declare ourselves as not impartial about this issue - not in our private lives, not in our work.

Make a public commitment to take action to fight systemic racism.
Signal to the public that the work of mediators, etc. is not about making nice - it is about coming to grips with what is wrong and setting it right.
State publicly that no matter how good we are at the work we do, the issue of racial divide will never be okay until we deal with systemic racism.
The statement may not be perfect, but it is a start. The intention is to minimize wordsmithing and to quickly establish common intention.

In addition, in a fairly short time, we want to have a teleconference for folks interested in discussing how to turn this statement into a call for action. We've got to get beyond the handwringing about the president, the diversionary focus on people stealing sneakers, and any hesitation we may feel about speaking out decisively for justice because of fears of hurting someone's feelings or being perceived as biased.

Some of the early signers are: Bernie Mayer, Julie Macfarlane, Susanne Terry, Chris Moore, Tom Fee, Donzell Robinson, Peter Woodrow, David Anderson Hooker, Colin Rule, Peter Salem, David Campt, Cheryl Jamison, Beth Roy, Michael Lang, Lucy Moore, Selina Low and Jackie Font-Guzmàn.

Constructive Conflict and Strategic Disruption:

A Statement from Conflict Engagement Practitioners


We are conflict engagement practitioners – mediators, conflict coaches, negotiators, facilitators, convenors, dialogue coaches and more. We assist individuals, organizations and communities to engage with and deal more effectively with conflict.

Our collective experience has taught us that where injustice is embedded in the system that is experiencing the conflict, we cannot help bring about a more peaceful environment without addressing the injustice.

We stand with our brothers and sisters suffering the injustice and pain of racism, whether it was malicious or unintentionally caused. We stand with all people of color who live in a world made dangerous by racism. Black Lives Matter!

We call for an unprecedented effort to address inequity in our systems of governance, economy, housing, employment, healthcare… We also recognize that without disruption, systems of oppression will not change. No Justice No Peace!

We fervently hope for peace on our streets, but peace, real peace, meaningful peace, just peace, will only come when the systems of oppression that perpetuate the lethal injustice that killed George Floyd, Eric Garner, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor and so many others are ended. We support those who disrupt the systems of injustice and we recognize that strategic disruption is necessary to achieve genuine change.

We will continue to stand with our brothers and sisters who are fighting for justice so that we can then all proudly hold the banner of More Justice, More Peace!

Join with us.

Sign statement here:

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