In contexts where there is historic division and intractable violence, where “enemies” or “rivals” vie over control of resources and securing their own futures, are there pathways to promote constructive dialogues and difficult compromises – where a vision of a “bearable” future for all involved is possible? Byron Bland will share what he and colleagues at the Stanford Center on International Conflict and Negotiation learned while working in Northern Ireland and Israel/Palestine. These lessons also provide a useful lens for examining political, racial, and cultural divides currently taking place in the United States. He will describe strategies to address problems of distrust, the particular susceptibility to hate-mongering populist leaders shown by those who are feeling the most painful losses, and the thorny question of just entitlements. Additionally, he will explore the distinction between the vision of a shared future and a shared vision of a specific future.
Join us on Tuesday, February 16 at 11:30 a.m. EST / 4:30 p.m. GMT
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Byron Bland is a fellow at the King Institute at Stanford University where he works on the legacy and relevance of Martin Luther King for the 21st century and a senior consultant for the Stanford Center on International Conflict and Negotiation (SCICN). Bland served as Associate Director of SCICN and also as Research Associate at the Center for Democracy Development and the Rule of Law for 12 years. During his forty-year tenure at Stanford, he was a Lecturer in the School of Law, the School of Education, and the Department of International Relations as well as campus minister for United Campus Christian Ministry. Having worked for over 25 years in Northern Ireland and for over 15 years in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Byron continues his involvement in both conflicts. More recently he has turned his attention toward applying what he has learned from his international experience to conflicts now raging in the United States.