The Praxis of Conflict Transformation
Wendy Kroeker and Michael “Mike” Frank A. Alar
March 16 to April 20, 2021
Tuesday | 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM, Philippine Time (GMT+8)
Prerequisite: Introduction to Conflict Transformation or Fundamentals of Peacebuilding or an equivalent course or experience.
Conflict is an everyday reality. This advanced course will expand on the conflict transformation foundation and introduce participants to a lens for viewing conflict positively with the intent to find ways to better understand and transform conflict. The praxis approach – a combination of reflection and action with the hope to bring about social change – will provide participants with tools to examine the contexts within which they live and work and make use of their everyday environment as a resource for strengthening their capacities for sustainable peace through reflection, learning, and practice. This course is ideal for professionals, who are working in various capacities in conflict-affected settings and seek to utilize their own experience in the journey of becoming a reflective peace practitioner.
Participants are expected to dedicate additional hours to complete individual assignments and readings outside of the live sessions.
The course will utilize John Paul Lederach’s 5 dimensions of conflict transformation as the framing for the discussions, readings, and activities of the course.
1st Tuesday: Personal dimension, learning about self;
2nd Tuesday: Relational dimension, learning about skills to enhance interpersonal dynamics;
3rd Tuesday: Structural dimension, learning about underlying causes of conflict and frameworks for building social change;
4th Tuesday: Cultural dimension, learning about ways in which conflict changes the patterns of community/organizational life;
5th Tuesday: Spiritual dimension, learning about the interconnectedness of all those involved in the conflict; and
6th Tuesday: course wrap up and sharing of learnings
Wendy Kroeker is the Director of the Canadian School of Peacebuilding and an Assistant Professor in the Peace and Conflict Transformation Studies Department of Canadian Mennonite University in Winnipeg, Canada. Wendy has over 20 years of experience as a community mediator, conflict transformation trainer, peace program manager, and program manager for international development projects. Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Korea, Laos, Myanmar, Palestine, and the Philippines are some of the locations in which she has worked over the past two decades with indigenous groups, NGO staff, community and religious leaders, and various educators.
She holds a Certificate in Mediation and Conflict Resolution from the Resolution Skills Centre in Winnipeg as well as a MA in Theology with a focus on Contemporary Theology and Peace Studies. After significant years of practice within the conflict transformation field, she entered the Peace Studies PhD program at the University of Manitoba, Canada, and completed it in June 2018. Her research focused on the space of local actors in building a culture of peace in Mindanao. Wendy has taught at MPI since 2003.
Michael “Mike” Frank A. Alar is an Independent Consultant on Conflict Transformation, Dialogue and Peace Processes and currently consults for the World Bank Philippines' support to the Mindanao Peace Process as part of its Fragility, Conflict and Violence team. For more than 15 years, Mike has worked, studied, and volunteered in the peace field in countries that have included Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Switzerland, Thailand, Tunisia, and Turkey. In the Philippines, he has been a consultant for the United Nations Population Fund on Youth, Peace, and Security and has worked at the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue Philippines Office as Project Manager where he provided capacity building and technical support to Mindanao Peace Process stakeholders. Mike also worked for the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process of the Philippine Government where he designed and facilitated trainings on peace and conflict for civil society organizations, local governments, the security sector, and the Bangsamoro Development Agency. He holds a MA in International Peace Studies from Japan, an Advanced Specialist Degree in Peace and Development Studies from Spain, a diploma in Islamic Studies and Interfaith Relations from India, and earned his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Silliman University in Dumaguete City, Philippines.