ADDRESSING THE INCREASE OF VIOLENCE IN PUBLIC SPACES IN THE U.S.
The work of the Association for Conflict Resolution’s Environment and Public Policy Section and the University Network for Collaborative Governance fosters opportunities for diverse voices to be heard, and for all to participate in shaping the decisions that affect our lives. We are sobered and saddened by the fact that violence, hate crimes, and intolerance have reached crisis levels in the United States. In opposition to intolerance and indifference toward those harmed by this crisis, we consider robust, honest dialogue to be essential to our democracy. By robust and honest dialogue, we mean sharing our own insights and listening to those of others with respect, compassion and recognition for one another’s humanity. Rather than avoiding conflict or ignoring injustice, robust dialogue promotes constructive confrontation, allowing us to surface and address these issues directly to produce healthy, sustainable, and just outcomes.
As conflict resolution practitioners, we are on the front lines of strong emotions and impulsive actions in a polarized environment. We reject physical and structural violence as a means to express hate, disagreement and dissent, or as a strategy for achieving outcomes. Instead, we commit ourselves, as organizations and individuals, to encouraging respectful discussion, facilitating the inclusion of diverse perspectives in public dialogue, and striving to create an environment conducive to constructive and brave discourse. To that end, we hope that the tools and resources at the following link are helpful in making this happen: http://www.kitchentable.org/tools/addressing-increase-violence-public-spaces-us.