Women working for peace in Ukraine

A few years ago I had the pleasure of serving as an outside advisor for Maureen Flaherty’s dissertation.  Her dissertation titled “Narrating the past to vision the future: Constructing civil society with women in Ukraine” was completed at the University of Manitoba in the Department of Peace and Conflict Studies. She used Peace and Power processes in her work with the women. It is now published in a book – an amazing story of her work with ukrainewomen in the eastern and the western portions of the country to explore their visions of peace for their country.  When the recent conflict erupted in Ukraine, I contacted Maureen to let her know that my thoughts are with the women whose stories were told in her dissertation, now book.  She shared this message about her ongoing connections with the women she worked with:

I have had the great privilege of hearing from women in Ukraine – women whose stories contest what is being shared in the mainstream media. Peggy, as you know, at the time of the last presidential election in Ukraine (2010) I did a participatory study with a group of eighteen from the two reportedly most diverse areas of Ukraine. Eleven of the women were in Lviv in the west, and seven came from Simferopol in Crimea; all were born and raised in Soviet times. The study began as each woman met with my wonderful, interpreter/friend Sonya Stavkova  and me to share their life stories, hopes, and dreams for Ukraine. The women then gathered in regional groups Continue reading “Women working for peace in Ukraine”

Small steps with big results!

Recently I had a discussion with a nursing class at York University in Toronto, Canada!  No, I did not travel to Toronto – I participated over a Skype connection!  The professor, Adeline Falk-Rafael, has used Peace and Power processes in her classes for many years.  This class was a leadership class, and the students have been using Peace and Power as a basis for exploring ways to create effective group interactions in the workplace.  One of sunmoonthe issues we discussed related to making positive changes in a situation that might benefit from using Peace and Power.

In my experience, it is not possible to use Peace and Power to the fullest extent in most group situations. But it is often possible to bring some components of the process to the group with great success – meaning significant changes in creating cooperative and satisfying interactions.  One process that many groups welcome Continue reading “Small steps with big results!”

Just added!

Today I have added two very important elements  – Discussion Guidelines (see sub-menu under Rotating Leadership), and Responding to Critical Reflection (see sub-menu under Conflict Transformation).  Both of these topics point to the vital roles and responsibilities of women-talking3-300pgroup members!  The process of Peace & Power depends on every person in the group, not the designated leaders alone.  In traditional groups, we have learned to depend on the group leader to “manage” the discussion and to keep “order” when an issue arises in the group.  In Peace & Power, it is your responsibility as a member of the group to do your part in creating constructive discussions, and in creating constructive responses when an issue arises.  So check out these two new pages!  And please leave your comments for discussion here!  I will respond!

Let the conversation begin!

Today I  received a comment on my personal blog in response to a post about this blog!  I appreciated the person’s comments for a number of reasons.  I am not repeating the content of the comments here, because it was not the content of the comments that were significant for me, but instead, my own reaction to them, and what I came away with once I reflected on both the comment and my reaction.  The comment brought into discussion dreamsharp focus the opportunity that this blog offers to “model” processes of peace and power!

First, there was the issue that the person commented as an anonymous person.  In the context of Peace and Power, the “power of responsibility” is highly valued. One of my first reactions to the comment was that I would not respond at all, given the anonymity of the person who was commenting.  However, I do realize that on the Web anonymity is sometimes highly desirable, perhaps even necessary (although it still annoys me immensely!).  And for some people (perhaps celebrities for example) they might need a “cover” to protect their privacy. Still, for this blog and discussions around the challenges we face in creating “peace and power” I feel strongly about Continue reading “Let the conversation begin!”

Questions from around the world

Recently I visited a nursing leadership class at York University in Toronto by way of Skype!  The Professor is Dr. Adeline Falk-Rafael, and the class participants are enrolled in a program for nurses around the world who are seeking licensure to practice nursing in GlobeCanada.  They had recently read “Peace and Power” (8th Ed.) and had a number of questions about the book. Several questions related to putting the ideas into practice in their leadership roles.

There are no easy answers to these questions, and no magic wands to assure success with any attempts to put Peace and Power ideals into practice.  But here are a few ideas to consider when you want to do so:

  • It is possible to use just one or two components of Peace and Power in a group and make significant changes in how a group functions.  If you introduce the reason, or your intention in suggesting that the group use any part of Peace and Power, the group members may be more open and receptive to the idea.  For example, Continue reading “Questions from around the world”

Two new pages filled in … Making the commitment, and Principles of Solidarity

These two pages provide a guideline for groups that are considering “Peace and Power” as a basis for working together, “Peace and Power” processes seem so appealing at first, but they are not at all easy to actually put into practice.  If, as a group, you take some time to prepare by discussing the kind of commitment that you are all making, you will be muchSunset over Pacific better able to address some of the challenges you may encounter.  Your Principles of Solidarity are vital to your success, so review the information on the “Principles” page and take the time to get off to a good start!  Most important, post your comments, questions and ideas … we can have a virtual discussion any time!