About the CRC
“Fundamentally, conflict resolution is an act of hope and expression of trust; we believe that the present and future can be better than a conflicted and unjust past, and we, as relational individuals across identity affiliations, choose to invest in just communities and work for peace (Schrage and Giacomini, pg 9)”
The Conflict Resolution Center seeks to support the University of Redlands community in navigating conflicts successfully. Conflicts vary in terms of scope, participants, context, and content. In addition, culture and individual identities shape the ways we perceive and respond to conflict.
For these reasons, the Conflict Resolution Center utilizes an interdisciplinary and multifaceted framework and approach to conflict by incorporating scholarly and practical tools for understanding conflict from fields such as philosophy, psychology, political science, communications, business, education, and human resources to name a few. Specifically, we ground our practices in Restorative Justice, The Spectrum Model, Nonviolent Communication, and Transforming Historical Harms frameworks. Utilizing all of these frameworks we seek to move our understanding and adjudication of campus conduct beyond procedural justice to include social, restorative, and transformative justice.
Conflict Resolution Center Mission
Our mission is to make the University of Redlands the most healthy, inclusive, and excellent community of scholars it can be by teaching, facilitating, and supporting a healthy approach to conflict.
Our Core Beliefs
- Many would agree that conflict is inevitable, but we also believe that conflict (when dealt with in healthy ways) is healthy and beneficial to individuals and a community. We do not seek to avoid or minimize conflict, in part because that is often achieved through wielding power to silence voices/viewpoints and tacitly enforce homogeneity. Also, it is only through continuous dialogue and even conflict that communities continue to grow and develop. Instead, we seek to minimize harm resulting from unhealthy approaches to conflict.
- Conflict is not a “zero sum game.” It is not true that for one party to benefit from the resolution of a dispute, another party has to “lose.” In fact, confronting and correcting this fundamental misunderstanding of conflict is central to everything we do.
- No single approach or tool is best for all situations.
- We believe in intentional relationship building and leadership that creates safe, brave, and inclusive spaces for everyone to be their authentic selves. It is important to build capacity for managing conflict successfully in our community by equipping individuals with knowledge, skills, and perspectives to engage conflict in healthy ways.
- Dignity and Kindness for all. There is never an excuse for denying the dignity of others (within or outside of our community), directly or indirectly. When we begin to view others as “the problem”, demonizing and dehumanizing begins. For this reason, all of the resolution pathways offered by the CRC are multipartial rather than impartial. This means all parties, regardless of the nature of the conflict or their role, are deserving of kindness and dignity throughout the resolution process.
- We do not try to have “everyone get along” in ways that excuse or minimize harmful behavior. Therefore, the CRC can assist you in navigating options for formal reporting and adjudication, as well as voluntary alternative dispute resolution pathways. There is no one “best” pathway, and we encourage all parties to make those decisions for themselves.
- Conflict Resolution is not “compromise.” The word “compromise” often implies that each party agrees to have some of their needs go unmet for the sake of “getting along.” This kind of blind adherence to “meeting in the middle” often leaves all parties dissatisfied and with unmet needs. We do not believe in forcing apologies, shaming people into agreements, or silencing any party. We do believe in working together to find solutions to conflicts that acknowledge harm, repair harm, and create pathways to moving forward as a community.
Schrage, Jennifer Meyer and Giacomini, Nancy Geist (Eds.). Reframing Campus Conflict: student conduct practice through the lens of inclusive excellence, 2nd ed. Stylus Publishing, 2020.