Healing the Divide

A participatory focus on the Role of Conflict Resolution Practitioners, Partners, and Stakeholders in Divided Communities.

Event Date:  May 9th, 2020
Start Time: 8:30 am
End Time: 4:30 pm
Metropolitan State University
New Main Building
700 E 7th St, St Paul, MN 55106

About Conflict Resolution Minnesota(CRM)
Conflict Resolution Minnesota is a statewide Agency of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) professionals based primarily in Minnesota. Our members practice in all facets of ADR, including mediation, community mediation, education mediation, restorative justice, court-sponsored mediation, and arbitration. We are a chapter of the International Association for Conflict Resolution.  We connect those in conflict with providers and connect providers with high-quality professional development. 
Every Year Conflict Resolution Minnesota (CRM) hosts an Annual conference at Metro State University, this annual event is attended by many people who work with conflict in MN including Conflict Resolution Practitioners, Lawyers, Social Workers, Educators, Stakeholders and Students, Businesses, Non-profits, and People from all walks of life.
The CRM Conference 2020 will be hosted at Metropolitan State University
Healing the Divide: A participatory focus on the Role of Conflict Resolution Practitioners, Partners, and Stakeholders in a Divided Community.

The 1964 Civil Rights Act, Section 10, is a call to aid individuals and communities in resolving disagreements or difficulties around practices that impair human rights and thereby threaten peaceful relations.  What should we be doing and not doing to respond to this call?

At the 2019 Conference we began taking a fresh look at the field of Conflict Resolution in Minnesota. Listening Sessions with our community highlighted divisions between the community, the field of conflict resolution, and the work in addressing human rights issues that threaten peaceful relations. At the conference, we began exploring and redefining the relationship between conflict resolution and equity. The 2019 keynote speaker and practitioner panel shared insights from their unique and diverse perspectives. Workshops provided opportunities for participants to explore the theme as it relates to their context.

The 2020 CRM Annual Conference expands on this work with a collaborative and participatory approach. In addition to a diverse array of keynote speakers and workshops, we are invited to conversations in our sectors of the community to reflect on what we take away from the conference and imagine next steps. In a wrap-up reflection and action session we will learn from each other across our sectors and begin planning action steps forward to Heal the Divide.

Conference Objectives:

  1. Defining our divisions and actionable steps to healing the divide
  2. Equitably engaging voices who are historically harmed
  3. Exploring culturally humbling conversations in diverse communities
  4. Confronting our Own Biases in our everyday work and life


Volunteers are vital to helping create the best experience for conference attendees.  Sign up HERE as a conference volunteer or to reserve your spot in a workshop as a Room Host!

Parking is available at the main Parking Ramp at 400 Maria Avenue, St. Paul, 55106 just across Maria Avenue from the New Main building where the conference is held. Vouchers for FREE Parking may be requested at the check-in table on an as-needed basis. A campus map is attached below.

Conference Registration/Check-in starts at 8:00 is located in the New Main building located across Maria Avenue between 6th and 7th Street. The Address is 700 E 7th St, St Paul, MN 55106. Signs will direct you from the parking ramp.

A light Breakfast will start at 8:00am followed by a full Lunch and afternoon snacks. Water, Coffee and Tea will be available throughout the day. All refreshments are included. You may even choose to sit outside.

We are providing some handouts electronically on our website. Feel free to print them or bring your electronic device to view them in the session.

Wifi is available by selecting “Metro_Guest,” opening a browser and “Agreeing to the Terms.”
Continuing Education Credits: We will be applying for 6 Standard CLE, 1.5 Ethics CLE, 1.5 Elimination of Bias CLE, 6 Rule 114 credits and 6 CEUs applied for to the Minnesota State Board of Social Work.

Pre-Conference Listening:

Share your perspective about how conflict resolution can address community issues at their roots.  CLICK HERE for the survey link to answer the listening session questions.  Responses will be shared anonymously at the conference and attendees will be invited to respond to insights that the responses reveal.

8:00- 8:30 Registration in New Main – Breakfast – Exhibit Tables
8:30 – 8:45 Welcome Session in Auditorium
8:45 – 10:15 Subject Expert Speakers on Participatory Processes – Auditorium
10:15 -10:30 Break in New Main – Exhibit Tables
10:30 -12:00 Session 1 Workshops – New Main and Auditorium
12:00 -1:00 Lunch in New Main – Exhibit Tables
1:00 – 2:30 Session 2 Workshops  – New Main and Auditorium
2:30 – 2:45 Afternoon Snack in New Main – Exhibit Tables
2:45 – 3:45 Healing the Divide Themed Conversations – New Main and Auditorium
3:45 -4:00 Break in New Main – Exhibit Tables
4:00 – 4:45 Putting it into Practice: Conference Wrap Up & Action Session (outcomes from Themed Healing the Divide Conversations, conference wrap up, & next steps) – Auditorium
4:45 – 5:00 Clean Up
5:00 – 6:30 After Party – location TBA

Our 2020 Theme fosusing on PARTICIPATORY APPROACHES Builds on our 2019 Conference:

2019 Conference Theme

Who We Are: Taking a Fresh Look at Conflict Resolution in Minnesota

Our 2019 Objectives:

*Explore our abundant diversity of practice and people.
*Create collaborative relationships to effect equitable interpersonal and systemic change.
*Reflect on how our personal identities intersect with our professional ethics and bias.

2020 Conference Theme

Healing the Divide: A participatory focus on the Role of Conflict Resolution Practitioners, Partners, and Stakeholders in a Divided Community

Our 2020 Objectives:

  1. Defining our divisions and actionable steps to healing the divide
  2. Equitably engaging voices who are historically harmed
  3. Exploring culturally humbling conversations in diverse communities
  4. Confronting our Own Biases in our everyday work and lifef

2019 Keynote Speaker

Lissa Jones: Executive Leader, KMOJ Radio and Podcast Host.

Lissa hosts “Urban Agenda”, a celebrated Twin Cities forum for dismantling race and racism, for creating community connections and engaging in collaborative problem solving. She is focused on helping organizations to cultivate diverse leadership through modeling and coaching, to strengthen governance as an integral element in meeting mission, and to develop tangible practices for making EQUITY a VERB!

Lissa is a frequent presenter on the intersection of black history and present-day thought and on black historical figures and movements. By day, she provides interim executive leadership for nonprofit organizations experiencing change and coaches leaders on getting closer to equity in their organizations.

For more than 11 years, Jones has served as Creator, Executive Producer, and Host, of ‘Urban Agenda’ on KMOJ Radio, Minnesota’s oldest black radio station. She is also privileged to host Seasons 2 and 3 of the podcast, ‘Black Market Reads’, produced by iDreamtv, for the Givens Foundation for African American Literature.

Jones has also served as the Direct of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for the Minnesota Council on Foundations, and as executive director of African American Family Services.

In Her Words:

“Organizational Behavior is a field of study that investigates the impact that individuals, groups and structure have on behavior within an organization. It is the study and application of knowledge about how people act within organizations. It is a human tool for human benefit.

In my case, at work and on radio, I investigate the impact that beliefs and values held around ‘race’, place, class, identity, orientation, gender, faith, and occupation (vocation) impact the behavior of individuals, groups and structures within organizations.

This is equity: just and fair inclusion into a society in which all can participate, prosper, and reach their full potential. Unlocking the promise of the nation by unleashing the promise in us all.” -Lissa Jones

Lissa Jones will lead us in the keynote presentation and the exciting first ever conference wrap up session where we will deepen our learning from the conference and look at next steps.

2019 Keynote Address:

a) What would getting closer to equity in conflict resolution look like? Will this help or hinder the field?
b) How can individual practitioners impact getting to more equitable results?
c) If you have the ‘checklist’ for getting to equity, please, hand it out already!

This session will offer a working definition of equity, examples of ways that equity and inequity show up in conflict resolution and restorative justice, and ways to measure personal
cultural competencies. Attendees will have opportunities for self-assessment and reflection and will gain concrete ideas on achieving more equitable outcomes. Bring a pen and paper!

2019 Conference Wrap Up Session:

Join our keynote speaker, Lissa Jones, for a dynamic, two-way dialogue which will draw us in, challenge us to get out, and invite us to stay with the conversation where equity and conflict resolution meet. Through a process of self-reflection, collaborative examination of issues and collective solution identification, you can make EQUITY a VERB!

2019 Practitioner Panel:

Conflict Resolution & Equity: Beyond Buzzwords & An Opportunity for Action

Moderator: Charles Dennis
Panel Members: Dr. raj Sethuraju, Nayakade Tot, Jeffery Aguy, Saciido Shaie, and more

The first annual practitioner panel is an opportunity to hear insights from diverse practitioners about where we are as a field in relation to equity, what has gone well and what needs to improve. Each practitioner will share their individual and collective community centered practices, highlighting how they are making equity a verb in Restorative Practices and Circle process work.

2019 Workshop Sessions Included:

Understanding the Intersection of Trauma and Restorative Practices – Tamara Mattison & Crixell Shell

Don’t Let the Jerks Get You Down – Chad Snyder

Mediation for Seniors and their Families During Transitions – Amy Miller

Beyond Certification: Competency–based Professional Mediation Credentialing – Marilyn McKnight & Stephen Erickson

Strategic Collaboration and Engagement is Transforming Local Government -Pamela Whitmore & Dave Bartholomay

Storytelling: Peace Literacy for Young Children and Youth Mentors – Julie Penshorn & Louisa Hext

Responding to Conflict in Minnesota with Listening for Action Sessions – Sarah McVicar & Robin Johnson

Resolving Conflict Within–From Individual Passion to Collective Action – Stevan Jackson, Patrick Seka, & Juriad Hughes

Understanding Diversity to Achieve Mediation Equity – Calandra Revering & Ishmael Israel

Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity: Considerations for Conflict Resolution – Regina Seabrook & Paula O’Laughlin

Exploring West African and Civil Rights Roots of Community Mediation – Ahmed Sirleaf, Christopher Mendez, Beth Bailey

Mindfulness Practices and the Work of Conflict Resolution – Chamath Perera & Jamie Williams

Promoting Understanding between Communities in Minnesota – Nyakade Tot & Lori Anderson

Moving forward – listening to the past. Redefining expertise from a grassroots perspective. – Jeannie Zimmer, Cynthia Prosek, Dr. Raj Sethuraju, Tina Sigel

How We See and How We Are Seen as Mediators – Antoinette Vacca & Mike Gregory

Into the Safe House: Building Community with Restorative Practices and Courageous Conversations – Sheila Dokken, Marius Massie, & Troy Homstad

Thanks to our 2019 sponsors:

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