Making sense of polarization & violence

#Give #Articles #Resource + #Asks Two resources on prejudice, “othering”, & genocide useful for making sense of violence on a systemic level, and what can be done to intervene with further escalation.
The first, Allport’s Scale, is useful for general education.
Second, 8 Stages of Genocide, especially aids policy-shapers or for anyone focused on targeting very specific polarizing behaviors for creating peacemaking interventions, peace keeping, or peacebuilding efforts.
As counterintuitive as it may seem, listening is a valid and powerful action–when people and institutions choose to engage people who might not have been listened to before, creating goodwill–trust that people can be heard, and making tangible positive actions (even physical changes) as an outcome of an encounter can have a significant role in shaping human & organized behavior.
This means listening to understand why they might be angry. Why someone might feel like they are right. Who they care about, and why they shouldn’t have to shout, or even why it shouldn’t matter if they are shouting with anger and tears to be heard.
1) ALLPORT’S SCALE: Escalations From Prejudice to Genocide
Highlights how complex crisis (like racial tensions in the U.S. or religious violence) escalate from rhetoric into systemic violence (genocide/democide).
“Prevention of genocide requires a structural understanding of the genocidal process. Genocide has eight stages or operational processes. The first stages precede later stages, but continue to operate throughout the genocidal process. Each stage reinforces the others.
A strategy to prevent genocide should attack each stage, each process.
The eight stages of genocide are classification, symbolization, dehumanization, organization, polarization, preparation, extermination, and denial. “
“The strongest antidote to genocide is justice.”
For fellows familiar with “Polarity Mapping”, several of these approximate to warning signals on the lower axes.
The #Asks: I’d like to put the information to work, and it takes a lot of time & resources to do it on a neighborhood-by-neighborhood basis, would you be interested in brainstorming with me? If so, please send me a message.
1) How might we increase awareness for the above resources more accessible to the public beyond changemakers?
2) Do you, your employer, or team seek/use/specialize in conflict resolution or strategy for peacebuilding? If so, please let me know. I’d like to chat (perhaps even work with in collaboration or for you) and learn more about organizations that value this kind of work.
The systems-level research, collective impact and community building work I’ve done before has me believe these are strong and practical tools for making sense of chaos in a city, state, or country.
I’m still seeking people who have this kind of interest and recognize how these same patterns play out (hopefully in less violent ways) in the workplace or among families too.
The fear and tension that people sense in the world happens for visceral reasons, and the killings are real. Unchecked, these disparities can tear less cohesive nations apart with bloodshed along the way. On the other hand, risks can be governed, violence can be de-escalated, and practical peacebuilding is possible and already happening–just in disparate pockets.
I’ve said this before and continue to believe it even if little action had manifested previously–StartingBloc is one of the few “communities” where we can pioneer, validate, and improve ways to make viable futures happen by modeling these processes through the fellowship and what we choose to do as an organization of & for fellows who make change happen.

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