March of the Living Event: IMI Members Contribute to Preventing Hate Crimes

David Weiss, Board Member of the International Mediation Institute (IMI), and Pascal Comvalius, Chair of IMI’s Appraisal Committee, participated in a mediation workshop on preventing hate crimes hosted as part of the March of the Living Event.


On May 6, 2024, the annual March of the Living event took place at Auschwitz Birkenau, commemorating the victims of the Holocaust and advocating for a world free from hatred and discrimination. As part of this event, the Miller Center on Policing and Community Resilience under the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University, USA, led by Paul Goldenberg, organized a workshop on May 7, 2024, for senior executives and chiefs of various police departments from the USA and Canada. The focus was on strategies to prevent hate crimes in today’s society. David Weiss, a board member of the International Mediation Institute (IMI), and Pascal Comvalius, chair of the IMI appraisals committee, conducted a workshop on mediation, sharing their insights and expertise.

The Workshop and Its Impact

The workshop emphasized the role of mediation in preventing hate crimes, aligning with IMI’s vision and mission to promote professional mediation worldwide.

A significant part of the workshop was a fishbowl session with a case study on hate crimes, where participants acted as mediators and parties. This session allowed for self-reflection and group discussion, fostering a deeper understanding of mediation’s potential in law enforcement.

Insights from Professionals

David Weiss explained his involvement: “Paul Goldenberg initiated a project on preventing hate crimes in society, and as part of the Miller Center, I focus on promoting self-determination values through mediation concepts. Paul suggested that we present how mediation can assist senior law enforcement executives, and I felt it would be beneficial to collaborate with Pascal on this prestigious project.”

Pascal Comvalius highlighted the importance of understanding mediation’s foundational principles and recognizing the impact of bias. He elaborated on the workshop’s approach: “We believe in experiential learning. Before engaging in practical exercises, we discussed the foundational principles of mediation and the impact of bias. Recognizing the influential role of law enforcement officers as mediators, we designed a case study on hate crimes for a fishbowl session, where two individuals acted as mediators and four as parties. Following the session, participants engaged in self-reflection and shared observations with the group.”

Embracing Mediation

The workshop’s reception was positive, with participants embracing mediation as a valuable tool in addressing hate crimes. David Weiss noted, “The participants recognized the need for education and training in mediation techniques for law enforcement, as it is not commonly practised in policing.”

Future Steps

Looking ahead, David Weiss emphasized the importance of collaboration: “As IMI members, we intend to work with Paul Goldenberg to ensure the success of this initiative. We eagerly anticipate further collaboration with The Miller Center on behalf of IMI to promote mediation in combating hate crimes.”

IMI’s Role in Global Mediation

The International Mediation Institute (IMI) is dedicated to promoting mediation as a powerful tool for conflict resolution globally. This workshop at the March of the Living event highlights IMI’s commitment to promoting the versatility of mediation to address not only commercial or domestic issues but also social issues.

Conclusion

The pivotal workshop orchestrated by IMI members during the March of the Living event underscores the indispensable role of mediation in mitigating hate crimes and nurturing inclusive dialogue within communities. As stalwarts of conflict resolution, IMI remains steadfast in championing initiatives that propagate peace, equity, and justice on a global scale.

For additional insights on this event, visit the article published by the Miller Center.

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