More Video Conversations – ADR’s Place in Navigating a Polarized Era

From AFOI Nancy Welsh:

I’m happy to report that we have posted more video conversations arising out of Texas A&M’s symposium on “ADR’s Place in Navigating a Polarized Era.”  You can find them here (scroll down to Current Events), along with links to the symposium articles in the Texas A&M Law Review and the Ohio State Journal on Dispute Resolution.

Have you ever wondered how you, your students or your dispute resolution program could help your community engage in productive dialogue regarding some of today’s difficult issues?  Have you wondered how to even begin that dialogue?  I encourage you to view the inspiring exchange with Sharon Press, Nancy Rogers, Josh Stulberg and Bill Froehlich.  Sharon (Using Dispute Resolution Skills to Heal a Community) describes the Dispute Resolution Institute’s involvement with the design, implementation and results of a series of community conversations after the death of Philando Castile in Falcon Heights, Minnesota.  Nancy, Josh and Bill (Sharing Dispute Resolution Practices with Leaders of a Divided Community or Campus: Strategies for Two Crucial Conversation) share insights from their experience with the Divided Community Project, focusing on the relevance of dispute resolution concepts for local leaders and – perhaps even more crucial – various means they have used (and we can borrow!) to reach those leaders.

Another video conversation just posted is with Howard Gadlin, former Ombudsman and Director of the Center for Cooperative Resolution at the National Institutes of Health.  Our conversation with him, arising out his symposium presentation (The Center Cannot Hold) looks at the question of whether an ombuds can and should be “neutral” when it comes to advocating for certain social values.  Howard urges that the ombuds role itself has normative underpinnings that are inconsistent with such an understanding of neutrality.  The role requires a commitment to connection, inclusivity, omnipartiality.  Howard also believes that the ombuds community in the U.S. may have made a mistake in failing to push for retention of the ombuds’ investigative function.

Many thanks to our presenters and authors, as well as my Texas A&M colleagues who have joined in these conversations.  It’s been such a joy and privilege.  I look forward to posting our last few video conversations within the next couple of weeks.


Nancy A. Welsh
University Professor
Professor of Law
Director, Aggie Dispute Resolution Program
Texas A&M University School of Law

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