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Fighting for Unity: A Peacebuilder’s Perspective
September 14, 2020 @ 8:00 pm - 9:15 pm
What does it mean to fight for unity? There have been countless historic struggles waged to overcome divisions within a society and to create greater unity and inclusion. Many of the civil liberties we enjoy today stem from the outcomes of precisely such fights. Based on this, one could conclude that fighting to confront systemic inequalities and injustices have intrinsic social benefits. But, can we be so sure that this is the correct or only conclusion? Conflict—regardless of the goals—has destroyed the lives of countless millions and created unmeasurable destruction in our world. How can this be good? Since the 1960s theories and approaches to addressing social conflicts have grown parallel and in conjunction with social movements. What if these two distinct approaches to social transformation—revolution vs. resolution—do not need to be at such odds with one another? What if it were possible to create greater social cohesion through how we wage our fights? Drawing on a rich mix of knowledge and ideas—from conflict resolution theory to complexity thinking to theories of adult development—this paradox or tension is what this talk will explore.