Tag Archives: reconciliation

Trauma, Community and Reflection: Mandela’s Long Walk towards Solidarity with All South Africans

By Fanie du Toit

Like a stubborn tree growing from the crevice in a rock face, reconciliation has to take root and survive in adverse conditions where the very idea may seem counterintuitive. Although there is almost always a need for it, there is seldom a moment where conditions appear “right.”

It is hard therefore to envision reconciliation, not least while the fighting continues. Leaders will lament reconciliation’s absence, but in the same breath proclaim its total impossibility. “Desirable in principle, but not realistic,” they would say. It is therefore worth asking how it transpired that South Africa’s political leaders did in fact decide to adopt reconciliation as a guiding principle for activism towards peaceful, yet radical change. Much of their ability to turn hearts towards reconciliation hinged on dealing reflectively with the trauma resulting from three decades of brutal conflict with those they were seeking to recruit as fellow activists. Continue reading

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What is Political Reconciliation?

By Ernesto Verdeja

The death of Nelson Mandela in December 2013 brought renewed attention to the remarkable change in South Africa twenty years earlier, when the racist apartheid regime was finally dismantled and replaced with a democratic and broadly inclusive political order. For South Africans, the end of apartheid brought a host of challenges: how should society reckon with past human rights violations—through prosecutions, amnesties to secure peace, or truth-telling to clarify historical wrongs? What is owed to victims of atrocities, and how should victims’ needs be balanced with the numerous other pressing issues confronting the new democracy, such as fighting poverty and inequality or ensuring that violence would not return? Continue reading

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Anouncement: Reconciliation Symposium in Tulsa

I received an announcement some social movement scholars and activists interested in issues of racial equality and cross-racial coalitions may want to check out. May 30-June 1, 2010 the John Hope Franklin Center will host the 3rd Annual Reconciliation in America conference, which is meant to “Combine Academic Discussions with Real-World Solutions” at the Hyatt Regency, in Tulsa, Oklahoma. You can preview the entire program here or register for this event here. Details from their email are below:

In light of recent tragic events, Tulsa has become center stage in a national dialogue of racial tensions within our society. Yet, in all the talk of violence and justice, the idea of long-term reconciliation is often lost.

We all have a part to play in bringing racial reconciliation to our communities. But what are we doing about it today?

The John Hope Franklin Center’s 3rd Annual Reconciliation in America symposium will bring together the nation’s top thinkers, community leaders and activists to Tulsa to generate concrete solutions.

This year’s program includes:

  • Dr. Rajmohan Gandhi, grandson of Mohandas “Mahatma” Gandhi and an internationally known scholar and humanitarian, will speak on “Reconciliation and the American Dream: Pointers from Gandhi & King.”
  • Town Hall: “Cityscape – Former Mayors Reflect on Reconciliation Efforts,” a panel of innovative, forward-thinking American mayors with Tulsa’s dynamic former mayors Kathy Taylor and Susan Savage, plus former Denver mayor Wellington Webb.
  • Governor William Winter, former Governor of Mississippi.
  • Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum, President of Spelman College.
  • Dr. George Henderson, creator of the Human Relations Program at the University of Oklahoma.
  • Dr. Donald W. Shriver, Jr., an ethicist and President Emeritus of Union Seminary in New York City.
  • Reverend Doug Tanner, Senior Advisor of the Faith & Politics Institute in Washington, D.C.

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