I felt privileged last week to participate in a special workshop for facilitators on the topic of Facilitating Dialogue in the Context of Conflict and Diversity, with about 20 Jewish and Palestinian facilitators from all over Israel. ICCI co-sponsored this worskhop in cooperation with the St. Ethelburga’s Centre for Peace and Reconciliation, based in London, and the Corrymeela Community, based in Belfast and Ballycastle in Northern Ireland.
The two-day workshop was led by Justine Huxley and Helen Gilbert, of St. Ethelburga’s, and Susan McEwen of Corrymeela. These highly trained professional women brought a great deal of experience to our discussions, which made this experience so valuable for all of us. The tools that they shared with us in an experiential and interactive way–and the models and concepts with which they challenged us–will remain part of our consciousness for a long time to come.
Some of the highlights of the workshop included discussions on creating safe space, issues of co-facilitation, models for analyzing conflict, and the value of silence in the dialogue process.
What I found most useful about this workshop was the technique of “collaborative learning”, i.e., not only did I learn a great deal from the presenters but I also learned much from all the participants in the workshop, many of whom came with extensive experience in the facilitation of dialogue groups in the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
I am grateful that this is the beginning of a process, and I look forward to more workshops in Northern Ireland and London later on this year.
Also, I invite other participants in the workshop to add their reflections on the ICCI blog.