When people are willing to walk toward their conflicts, acknowledge their differences, and dialogue together, magic happens.
Together We Thrive
Separation and struggle transformed into mutuality and partnership
Community well-being, in all its forms, is increasingly acknowledged to be reliant on the quality of the relationships and the sense of cohesion and belonging of its members. Yet many communities around the world are reporting an increased sense of isolation, fragmentation, and individuation leading to a decreased sense of safety and increased violence in many forms. The very fabric of our communities seems to be unraveling.
Conflict is natural – human beings see the world each through our own filters – so it is natural that there would be times when those ways of seeing the world do not match. These moments are opportunities – opportunities for learning or opportunities for judging.
Dialogue In Action
This documentary tells the story of former Maoist combatants, conflict victims, and government officials engaging in a restorative dialogue, following the aftermath of the 10-years armed conflict in Nepal. It shows what can happen when people are able to connect with one another across divides, beyond fear, stereotypes, and enemy images.
The goal was to offer those involved with the transitional justice process in Nepal an opportunity to experience a restorative dialogue first hand. The documentary was produced in order to support the various parties to the formal Truth and Reconciliation process in Nepal and to raise awareness about Nonviolent Communication and restorative dialogue as tools for healing, reconciliation, and justice.
How do people move from violent exchanges to stony silence to cautious curiosity to connection and understanding?
What follows are stories of what can happen when people are given the support, structures, and skills to build peace. These are stories of heartbreak and hope; of small steps forward, some backward, and some steps into the seeming impossible; of ordinary people stepping toward their conflicts in ways that change their lives and their communities.
Not all of these stories are successes in the conventional sense, but then conflict is never conventional. Yet all are stories of courage, and of forward movement in the understanding and quality of connection that occur between people in conflict who walk toward each other.
The 3 Pillars
“The holiest [place] on earth is where an ancient hatred has become a present love.”
– A Course in Miracles
Nonviolent CommunicationSM (NVC) is a specific approach to communicating – thinking, speaking and listening – which guides us in transforming old, habitual patterns of relating with new, compassionate ways of acting, expressing ourselves and hearing others. It is founded on language and communication skills which step outside of judgment, criticism, blame, and humiliation, and enable people to connect with the life in themselves and others in ways that inspire a compassionate response.
Restorative Circles (RC) is a systemic response of community self-care that directly addresses a community’s sense of relatedness, belonging, cohesion and connection. It invites us into a whole new way of understanding and experiencing being in community, engaging in justice, and living interdependently. RC establishes a simple, concrete structure which empowers communities to consciously choose how they would like to respond to misunderstandings and conflict before it occurs – a form of proactive conflict transformation.
“All I’m saying is simply this, that all life is interrelated, that somehow we’re caught in an inescapable network of mutuality tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly.”
– Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr
We offer a variety of opportunities to impact your community including training, hands-on mentoring, and program development.
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Facilitator Duke Duchscherer is a Certified Trainer with the International Center for Nonviolent Communication and was on the Board of Directors for the MK Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence for 8 years. He has facilitated training in Restorative Circles and Nonviolent Communication around the world with a depth and breadth of peoples and communities from small villages at the grassroots to governmental leaders at the United Nations on four continents.
In addition to working throughout N. America he continues to travel to places in the world where people have been trying to resolve differences through violence, and where people have been struggling to hold onto the humanity of themselves and their neighbors when dealing with the challenges of everyday living. He has worked with youth in Sri Lanka who have seen their lives torn apart by war; communal harmony workers and UNHCR staff in Pakistan; social welfare staff of the Islamic government of Iran; and community extension and peace workers in Nigeria.
He has also supported deep dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians; between the Ukrainian army and the pro-Russian community where they reside; and between ex-combatants, victims, and government trying to reconcile after 10 years of war in Nepal; among others. Duke really enjoys working with people from a variety of backgrounds to support them in creating understanding and seeing each other in ways that generate peace, harmony, connection, and action.
His vision includes creating resilient communities that care for themselves and each other through collectively finding ways to transform conflict and make decisions that acknowledge the shared humanity of all involved, celebrates differences, and supports and nurtures relationships. For Duke this means taking responsibility for his own role in creating such communities and to be willing to step forward and offer his energy to support communities becoming whole when they are experiencing something less than this.
Celebrating the incredible diversity and pageantry of this beautiful world we live – the people, culture, architecture, food.
I would enjoy hearing from you to mutually share learning or inspiration or to hear how the stories here touched or inspired you.
If you want to learn more about how my offerings can be customized to fit your needs or dreams, please feel free to contact me using the form below.