A Facilitated Conversation: HNMCP Creates a New Learning Tool on Bridging Hard Divides

Ferguson Video filmingIn a world where genuine dialogue across deep political divides seems ever more rare, trained facilitators can help create spaces for citizens to engage in challenging conversations that promote mutual learning and build empathy.

To answer the need for educational resources in this area, the Harvard Negotiation and Mediation Clinical Program (HNMCP) has created a new pedagogical tool. This summer we gathered police officers and community members to engage in an unrehearsed dialogue which was facilitated by two professional facilitators, Danielle Bart ’13 and Toby Berkman ’10. With this video we hope to inspire educators, students, and citizens to bridge hard divides.

After the dialogue concludes Prof. Bob Bordone, Director of the HNMCP, interviews the facilitators about various choices they made when preparing for the dialogue as well as about choices they made at various key moments during the dialogue itself. This post-dialogue interview provides a rare, inside view of how facilitators prepare for hard conversations and how they think about challenging moments in the room.

This video will be available soon, through the Harvard Law School Case Studies website, to help teachers, students, and practitioners learn important facilitation skills. To receive a 50% discount on this educational video and to receive notification when it becomes available, please fill out the below form.

Our work has shown that when citizens have the opportunity to participate in well-facilitated dialogue, everyone benefits.

For more information about our dialogue initiative, contact Adriel Borshansky.
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