Empowerment

 


Where Empowerment is Used

Nancy Ferrell discusses mediators' role in empowering minority or low-power parties.
Jannie Botes explains how parties use the media as a tool for empowerment for their own group and cause.
Helen Chauncey explores the similarities between transformative mediation and their coexistence work, both of which encourage recognition and empowerment of the parties.
Pamela Aall, of the U.S. Institute of Peace, describes the important role of NGOs on "forgotten conflicts."
Angela Khaminwa, Program Officer for Outreach and Communication at The Coexistence Initiative, discusses shortcomings of training in the field, which can stifle creativity and are costly.
Nancy Ferrell discusses the important fact that empowerment of one party is a benefit to all, and doesn't diminish anyone else's standing in a mediation.
Stephen Thom discusses the need to "level the playing field" for mediation between parties of unequal power.
Wallace Warfield describes how parties often try to disempower each other before even reaching the table, and talks about how this can be addressed by the intervenor.
Civil rights mediator Ozell Sutton always tried to help the parties learn how to deal with their future problems themselves.
Nancy Ferrell describes how she coaches all the parties so they can participate effectively in the mediation process.
Community Relations Service Mediator Silke Hansen describes how it helps to level the playing field by helping community groups prepare for mediation.

How Empowerment Occurs

William Ury describes the role of the equalizer in intractable conflicts. Equalizers build up the power of the low power group to enable them to be able to negotiate fairly with the other side.
Frank Blechman suggests that what makes him most successful as an intervenor is lowering expectations for his own role, thereby empowering the parties to work things out on their own.
Elise Boulding talks about the importance of networking for empowerment.
Elise Boulding explains how a positive image of the future is empowering, while a negative image is disempowering.
Louis Kriesberg observes that blaming the other side is common, but believes it actually disempowers the blamer.
Olympio Barbanti explains how development efforts empower some groups but not others.
Jannie Botes explains that journalists frequently escalate conflicts. This can be positive or negative, depending on the situation.
Nancy Ferrell talks about the difference between "power over" and "power with," and discusses how a transition can be made from the former to the latter during mediation.
Ozell Sutton discusses empowerment and "systemic illiteracy" -- a lack of understanding about how to work within "the system" to become empowered.
Stephen Thom talks about how police officers can empower community members to deal with problems.
Will Reed emphasizes that empowerment is a side-effect of the work that he does, not the primary goal.
Civil rights mediator Dick Salem explains how you help disputants devise an acheivable agenda.

Case Examples

William Ury describes how they worked at all levels of society to nurture a third-side movement in Venezuela.
Mari Fitzduff talks about empowering paramilitaries in Northern Ireland to participate in politics.
Julian Klugman discusses a situation involving a school system, in which empowerment of a minority population was achieved partly through nonviolent direct action.
Stephen Thom discusses a case in which he guided a school principal through a student empowerment process over the phone.