In March 2022, the Cardozo Journal of Conflict Resolution hosted the Melnick Annual Symposium on “The Death and Resurrection of Dialogue.”
The symposium included nationally renowned speakers discussing a range of topics, including: the potential of the news media to develop public discourse and prevent conflict; the importance of dialogue and civic engagement in community building; methods to bridge inequalities in communities and in mediation; and the effect of virtual and caucus-only mediation on conflict resolution.
The first panel, “Political Discourse: Journalism, Blogs, Radio and Television: Their Effect on Developing Public Discourse,” featured Noam Levey, Claudia Maffettone, Professor Carol Pauli and Professor Kate Shaw. This was followed by remarks from members of the Divided Communities Project, including Bill Frolich, Maqube Reese, Carl Smallwood, Ted L. Ramirez and Andrew Thomas. The second panel, “Community Discourse: Building Community with Dialogue,” included Glen Parker, Peter Block, Se Won Park, Payton Silket and Jeff Thompson.
The symposium also focused on equity in conflict resolution during the panel “Race: Approaches to Dialogue to Address Issues Relating to Racial Inequalities, Implicit Bias and Discrimination,” which was moderated by Professor Maurice Robinson and included panel members Bobby Codjoe, Professor Ellen Deason, Professor Isabelle Gunning and Professor Sharon Press.
The final panel, “Mediation: The Decline of Joint Session & In-Person Contact,” and was moderated by Professors Lela Love and Donna Erez-Navot, and included panelists Professor Robert Collins, Eric Galton, Professor Jerome Weiss and Professor David White.
More information about the symposium is available here.
William Ury Awarded International Advocate for Peace Award
Best-selling author and speaker William Ury was presented with the 21st International Advocate for Peace Award in March 2022. He accepted the award at the Annual Melnick Symposium, and his remarks will be printed in the Cardozo Journal of Conflict Resolution. Ury shared insights from his latest book, The Third Side: Why We Fight and How We Can Stop. His remarks came shortly after the start of the war in Ukraine, and he began by underscoring that we should remember the “critical importance of dedicating ourselves even more deeply to the sacred cause of peace.”
Ury defined “the third side” as “using the power of peers, adopting the perspective of the whole, supporting a process of dialogue, negotiation and nonviolent action.” “Third siders,” he said, are members of the community who intervene in conflict to create peace.
Ury shared his experiences learning from “third siders” from the Kua tribe in southern Africa, highlighting “third siders” such as Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela, who were essential in bringing peace to their community. He also spoke of his work as an international advisor and “third sider” in the Colombian peace process. Ury closed his remarks with a note of hope, stating that he considers himself a “possibilist,” and shared an old African proverb, “When spider webs unite, they can halt even a lion.”
Past recipients of the award include former Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter,Tutu, Sir Paul McCartney, Leymah Gbowee and U.S. Sen. George Mitchell. A list of recipients can be found here.
The transcript of Ury’s acceptance speech is available here.