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Diasporas in Dialogue: Conflict Transformation and Reconciliation in Worldwide Refugee Communities

Barbara Tint (Editor)
ISBN: 978-1-119-12977-6
224 pages
April 2017, Wiley-Blackwell
Diasporas in Dialogue: Conflict Transformation and Reconciliation in Worldwide Refugee Communities (111912977X) cover image


Diasporas in Dialogue is an indispensable guide for those leading or participating in dialogue processes, especially in ethnically diverse communities. The text offers both a theoretical and practical framework for dialogue, providing insight into the needs, assets and challenges of working in this capacity.

  • The first book to offer structured processes for dialogue with refugee communities - demonstrates how diaspora communities can be engaged in dialogue that heals, reconciles and builds peace
  • Relates the story of the Portland Diaspora Dialogue Project, a remarkable collaboration between university researchers and African community activists committed to helping newly arrived refugees
  • Written accessibly to provide practitioners, academics, and community members with a simple and cogent account of how, step by step, the process of healing communities and re-building can begin
Published at a critical time in the face of the worldwide refugee crisis, and offers helpful frameworks and practical tools for dialogue in situations where individuals and communities are displaced
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Table of Contents

About the Authors vii

About the Partners xi

Foreword by Paula Green xiii

Foreword by Mette Brogden xvi

Preface xviii

Acknowledgments xxii

01 Diaspora Stories: Endings 1
Marie Abijuru and Rukia Mohammed

02 Diaspora Populations 6
Barbara Tint, Caroline Sarkis, Sa’eed Mohamed Haji, Vincent Chirimwami, and Carmina Rinker Lass

03 The Transition Framework 23
Diana Bianco, Barbara Tint, and Roland Clarke

04 Recruitment 40
Daniel Amine, Barbara Tint, and Mindy Johnston

05 Cultural Considerations 48
Caroline Sarkis, Barbara Tint, Gloria Ngezaho, Roland Clarke, and Mindy Johnston

06 Dialogue 62
Barbara Tint, Julie Koehler, Mary Lind, Vincent Chirimwami, Roland Clarke, and Mindy Johnston

07 Evaluation 131
Mary Lind and Barbara Tint

08 Implications for Policy 169
Roland Clarke and Djimet Dogo

09 Diaspora Stories: New Beginnings 172
Rukia Mohammed and Marie Abijuru

10 Closing Reflections 176
Djimet Dogo and Barbara Tint

Bibliography 184

Index 194

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Author Information

Barbara Tint is Professor of Conflict Resolution at Portland State University and an international trainer, consultant, and facilitator. She travels globally training groups in issues of dialogue, status and power, intercultural relations, leadership, gender dynamics, and resilience. She has published widely in multiple books and journals on these topics. She has facilitated dialogue processes with Jewish Israelis and Palestinians, mixed race groups in the US, Tamil and Sinhalese community members in Sri Lanka, white and Aboriginal Australians, mixed gender groups and with refugee communities from Africa.
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Feeling overwhelmed by the scale and complexity of global problems, such as war, genocide and the growing tide of refugees? Do not give up hope. Here is a simple and accessible account of how, step by step, the process of healing communities and re-building a better world can begin.  When refugees reach a new home it is not the end of their journey. They bring with them not only gratitude for refuge, but also the wounds of war and old enmities. This book shows how diaspora communities can be engaged in dialogue that heals, reconciles and builds peace. - Di Bretherton, Adjunct Professsor, The University of Queensland

The multiple authors of this book modestly call it a “manual.” It is indeed a manual – guiding readers in a series of detailed, well-organized and accessible chapters through the logic and methodology of intercommunal dialogue. But it is much more than this. It tells the story of the Diaspora Dialogue Project between 2007 and 2012, based in Portland and a remarkable collaboration between university researchers and students and African community activists committed to helping recently arrived refugees, mainly from the Great Lakes region of Africa, in their resettlement. These are refugees fleeing mass violence and genocide, and not surprisingly they bring with them the identity-based, national and tribal, enmities that were the cause of their plight. Victims and perpetrators, sometime both at once, they now find themselves in a strange land as refugees sharing the same space and most of the same challenges of their new lives. The Dialogue aimed to bring these individuals, bearing their scars and wounds and traumas, together to build trust despite the violence of their shared history. Readers will learn about dialogue structure and process but, more than manual, also about the theories – of culture, identity, transitions, and power – that underlie any dialogue of this sort that hopes to succeed. - Kevin Avruch, Dean, Henry Hart Rice Professor of Conflict Resolution, Professor of Anthropology, School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution, George Mason University

As a former refugee from a traumatized war torn country of Somalia, I can deeply identify myself with the three stages (ending, transition and beginning) through which new arrivals undergo during their settlement in their new countries.This book offers very creative and insightful models of dialogue, reconciliation and social healing for African Diaposra from conflict zones and it can also be applied to other migrants from similar experience. - Dr. Yusuf Sheikh Omar, Global Advisor for Global Reconciliation, Australia

Dr. Tint and the entire DDP team deliver an indispensable guide for those seeking to lead or participate effectively in dialogue processes, especially in ethnically diverse communities. This text comes at a critical time, as the need for deeper and persistent dialogue efforts are required to manage the challenges posed by mass displacement, refugee movements and immigration". - Dr. Susan S. Raines, Editor, Conflict Resolution Quarterly, Professor of Conflict Management, Kennesaw State University

Diasporas in Dialogue is a comprehensive guide for helping new arrivals, and those who receive them, find ways to build resilience and thriving relations. It offers helpful frameworks and practical tools that will be useful in many newcomer-receiving contexts. I recommend it with enthusiasm. - Michelle LeBaron B.A. J.D. M.A., Professor and Dispute Resolution Scholar Allard School of Law, the University of British Columbia

I congratulate and applaud the work of Dr. Tint and the DDP team. For close to 40 years, I have had the good fortune of working closely with refugee newcomers in their struggles to rebuild their lives here in America. The book offers many valuable tools for dialogue, insights and perspectives for newcomers in their journeys of peace and reconciliation. I recommend this book highly to anyone involved with refugee resettlement processes. - Salah Ansary, Regional Director, Refugee Resettlement Services, Lutheran Community Services Northwest

This useful combination of theory and practice offers a valuable resource at a time when the movement of people is at a peak across the globe, and people are facing increasing divides in their own and others' societies. The authors’ willingness to share their insight and experience gives us the opportunity to learn more and to apply their very practical wisdom in our own contexts as we work to build peace amongst individuals, families, communities and societies. - Jonathan Dudding, Institute of Cultural Affairs, UK

Life is a challenge as well as a lesson always, but it is beautiful to see the bonding of different cultures, values, and norms for a peaceful cohabitation. The work in this book is a great contribution to building a peaceful global village. Higiro Issa, President, Rwanda Centre for Council, Kigali, Rwanda

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