Bootcamp meets bandcamp: scenes from a mediation training


Folks, we just wrapped up a 40-hour Basic Mediation Training, putting 26 people from all walks of life on the path of joining New York City’s largest civilian peacebuilding force. This was a pretty eclectic group — including a mother & daughter, a hypnotist, a couple of triathlete trainers, and three people from Switzerland. (Yep, we were teaching the Swiss about neutrality. Oy.). Here’s a little photo essay to give a sense of how we roll — combining visual, auditory, kinaesthetic, and verbal learning styles.  We like to think of our trainings as a friendly assault on the senses.

Pictured above is Melissa, our Manager of Mediator Education, spieling about building agreement. She uses the acronym ADD UP (which I shan’t spell out…spoiler alerts and such).  We used to use the acronyms APUDD and DDUPA, but they were, respectively, nonsensical and a Slavic obscenity.  Behind Melissa are some of the infographics I drew for the training.

Click here for more pictures on our last mediation training!


Namaste, Ravi Shankar: on sitars, Beatles, and mentors.

george ravi

Virtuoso sitarist Ravi Shankar passed away this week.  George Harrison called him the father of world music, for introducing the sitar to the west…

…and to the Beatles.  I recently gave a presentation on the Beatles and conflict resolution at the Cardozo Law School Journal of Conflict Resolution Symposium, using a bunch of my drawings.  I’ll write a series of illustrated posts on this, starting with this homage to two great artists we lost too soon.

Click here to read more…

what a year it’s been!

Celebration_ Brooklyn Bridge_ New York City

Dear friends,As we hurtle toward 2013, I want to thank you all for your support and solidarity during our first full calendar year as New York Peace Institute.  Because of the commitment of our staff, board, volunteers, donors, and partners, we helped thousands of people resolve their disputes peacefully, creatively, and durably this year.  We launched and grew innovative new programs, ranging from restorative justice initiatives that heal communities, to court diversion programs that allow people to resolve their dispute quickly and efficiently.  We just launched an initiative to mediate disputes resulting from Hurricane Sandy.  And we proudly do it all free of charge to our clients.  But wait, there’s more:


Let’s make a squeal.

One of my housemates had a pet Vietnamese pot-bellied pig named Taylor.  These cat-sized creatures were illegal as pets — they were livestock, according to The Man. We did not have whatever license or facilities one needed for raising farm animals, so belated apologies to the USDA.

Click here to read more


Sandy-related disputes, disagreements, and kerfuffles? We’re on it.

Folks, we’re committed to helping resolve conflicts resulting from Hurricane Sandy. Our board member and Mensch of the Month Emeritus Alan Gross is spearheading our effort to help people move forward in the aftermath of this disaster, in cooperation with other wonderful initiatives.  Here’s our flyer and contact info…feel free to print, forward and disseminate it.