Mindfully Resolving Conflicts: Facilitation for Diversity Issues

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How do we begin a conversation with people culturally different from ourselves? What if they get angry or hurt? Explore what it takes to develop authentic and meaningful relationships, even in conflict or misunderstanding. This experiential professional development workshop (for teacher educators, teachers, and educational administrators) combines roleplay, training vignettes/exercises, and discussion to address issues such as racism and cultural differences. Participants will learn to de-escalate a conflict within minutes, replacing adversarial/defensive statements with mindfully and culturally receptive responses. They also learn skills to train others in group process, conflict facilitation and a variety of cross-cultural communication techniques. This training strengthens community by breaking the silence around conflicts that disallows authentic connection. Addressing issues such as racism, this training teaches the value of differences; fosters safer, more effective dialogue; and improves retention, morale and cross-cultural relationships.

Participants will:

  • Investigate new ways to perceive conflict.•Learn various interactive exercises that can stimulate awareness of issues of racism, sexism and other areas of oppression.
  • Become more sensitive to the effect of covert and unintentional behaviors.
  • Become more proficient in de-escalating conflict through cultural awareness and sensitivity.
  • Practice effective diversity mediation techniques.

Traditional methods of facilitation, group process and therapy do not adequately address cross-cultural communications/conflicts. Lee Mun Wah has developed a technique called The Art of Mindful Facilitation - a unique way of relating and observing from an Asian and Buddhist perspective. He believes that teaching skills to his audiences is essential to practicing diversity work. Throughout the seminar he points out different communication techniques and asks the audience to practice them throughout the session. Participants will learn numerous skills that will apply to their work and community, and they will further understand the theoretical basis that supports the paradigms of valuing differences.


Keywords: Diversity, Bias, Cultural Differences, Conflict Resolution
Stream: Race and Racism
Presentation Type: Workshop Presentation in English
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Lee Mun Wah

Director, Diversity Training, StirFry Seminars & Consulting
Berkeley, CA, USA

Lee Mun Wah has been serving communities since 1967, including working as a grief counselor for Shanti Project, a resource specialist for the San Francisco School District, and as founder/director of multicultural men’s groups. A nationally acclaimed lecturer and Master Diversity & Communications Trainer, Lee Mun Wah is a Chinese American community therapist, documentary filmmaker and educator. In 1996, Lee Mun Wah opened his first StirFry California Training Center to help others learn how to "mindfully" facilitate cultural and communication issues. Over 200,000 trainers and facilitators, in corporations, educational institutions, and government and social agencies, have received certification in his training centers throughout the United States and internationally, so that they could then begin facilitating discussion groups in their agencies, schools, communities and homes. In 1993 his first film on Asian Americans, Stolen Ground, won the San Francisco International Film Festival’s Certificate of Merit Award for Best Bay Area Documentary. The National Media Network voted his second film, The Color of Fear, the Gold Medal for the Best Social Studies Documentary. In 1998 The Color of Fear 2 won the Cindy International Film Festival’s Silver Medal for Best Social Studies Award. Most recently, Lee Mun Wah has released his first book, The Art of Mindful Facilitation (2004). In 1995 Oprah Winfrey presented a one-hour special on his work and life, watched by over 15 million viewers across the nation. Lee Mun Wah received an M.A. in Counseling and an M.S. in Special Education from San Francisco State University. Lee Mun Wah has written countless manuals on communication and facilitation techniques, including “The Art of Listening”. StirFry Seminars offers trainings on facilitation and film techniques as well as Three-Day Intensive Trainings for Managers, Facilitators, and Trainers.

Ref: D08P0274