I participated in the “Eleventh Workshop on Transforming Humiliation and Violent Conflict” which was convened by Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies (HumanDHS) and World Dignity University (WDU) in collaboration with the International Center for Cooperation and Conflict Resolution (ICCCR) on 4-5 December, 2014 at Columbia University in New York City. Morton Deutsch is the honorary convener of that annual workshop series since 2003. It was an extraordinary Professional journey and life experience for me. I met old friends and I have added new ones. I am thankful to my dearest dosts below for inviting me to the Workshop;
* Evelin Lindner, MD, Ph.D.s, Founding President, Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies,
* Linda Hartling, Ph.D., Director,
* Tonya Hammer, Ph.D., Conference Coordinator.
* I also feel honour for mentioning the name of the executive Director of ICCCR, Prof.Dr. Claudia Cohen as the hostess of the event. She made one of the opening talks of the event. Thus, we learned a lot what the important role of ICCCR for Teachers’ College and for the other organizations.
The theme of this year was: “Work That Dignifies the Lives of All People”.
For more than a decade, HumanDHS has cultivated innovative ways to work as a global community. This year, the aim was to explore not only the work that we are doing to transform humiliation and violent conflict, but also how we do our work. How do we design our lives for equal dignity as we work for equal dignity? What energizes our efforts? What sustains and replenishes our efforts?
There was a Public Event on 4th December in Horace Mann Hall and it was open to public as we did the same during the 15th Annual Conference in Istanbul on 28-30 April 2010. David Yamada and James E. Jones were the speakers of it. The afternoons were set aside for the “Co-created Dignilogue Groups”. Those groups focused on topics of interest proposed by participants. Instead of making traditional presentations, we were encouraged to enjoy the mutual learning experience of engaging in and also facilitating the authentic, creative conversations that led us to new ideas and new opportunities for action. I was one of the topics recommenders to be studied. Proposed 11 topics were voted and it was approved as one of the themes to be studies as a group. The theme was: “The main problems of females at the developing countries”. The most important problem was “violence to women”, as is easily understood. We tried to bring solutions and the main solution was “training, educating people”.
We also presented our papers during the video sessions. I shared the reflections of my “Nonviolence in Education” and “Conflict Resolution” courses which I have been giving at the Faculty of Education in Boğaziçi University since 2010. I was there on behalf of the “Boğaziçi University Peace Education Research Center (BUPERC)” and as a result, I shared the aims, activities and achievements of our Center there. I learned and also enjoyed a lot during those sessions. The warm atmosphere of the workshops gained new meanings through the lovely photographer Anna, lovely music teams of Eric, and also birthday parties of Rick and Evelin. I will never forget all those lovely sharings. I realized how important dignilogue grouping is for all countries including Turkey. All sharings were very impressive. However, I should emphasize some which impressed me a lot:
– Michael Britton’s and Stephanie’s talks created waves within me.
– “3 Vs”, mentioned by Michael Merlin was very practical to learn for conflict resolution issues: Voluntarism, Voice and Validatization.
– The talk of dearest Anne Wyatt about “Aging and Care giving” was so touchy. I could not stop my tears. She pointed out the significance of “Sitting next to Elders” which is nowadays very popular in USA instead of sending them to Nursing Homes.
– Lucien Lombardo’s talk on “Dignity in Work” was one of my favourite talks. The important question in the talk was this: “Why do universities not provide opportunities to study”work”? This is one of my main issues in quality management, too. I believe in the necessity of exchange programs for teachers from schools to factories or to business from time to time to teach them what is expected from their students in the future business World.
– The talk titled “The Dust never Settles” was one of the interesting talks. I admired Safa’s talk and her comment about finding a healthy space for healing and learning to walk freely with one’s traumaor challenges we meet. She said: “Be an arrow; from revenge to respect, from resent to renew, from resist to reconciliation, from refuse to regroup. The most important problem for girls was pointed out as rape and/or ensest relations from the males at home or nearby, like fathers, uncles, brothers, etc. We all know that it is also a big problem for my country along with “Child Brides”. The sad thing was pointed out the words of mothers to their daughters WHO were the victims of rape: “Don’t Tell anybody. Otherwise he will be taken into prison!”. So, we must be the wind to disperse trauma.
Another important thing in my New York Workshop was my three visits to different important sites of New York City. They were;
1. Our visit to Memorial Museum with Evelin, Linda and Rick . It was built and designed to the memories of the 11th September dead people. It has impressed me a lot.
2. Our visit to MoMA with Evelin was unforgettable. There I saw many World-famous Works of art. We also took the video of a post-workshop talk with dearest Evelin. During the talk we mentioned my last book which was published by Dignity Press. www.humiliationstudies.org/whoweare/annualmeeting/24.php
3. My visit to the Saint John Cathedral near my Hotel where I saw the “Phoenix Birds” of a Chinese architecture. They were magnificent.
As a result I must say that, the 11th Workshop of HumanDHS was one of the most productive and joyful events of my life. I am thankful to those WHO made that participation possible for me. My special thanks go to; Prof.Dr. Fatoş Erkman, Prof.Dr. Evelin Lindner and to Prof.Dr. Linda Hartling.
With love, peace and dignity.