S: 2011 Comm 485 Practicum in Conflict Resolution
BC: Communication 485: Practicum in Conflict Resolution Instructor: Professor Jonathan Shailor Students: Katie Clemins Carrie Dennett Ashley Downey Delicia Evans Erica Flores Amanda Gibson Darryl Griffin Marquis Hazelwood Curtis Hines Julie Middendorf La'Keeda Murphy Loreal Patterson Deborah Roberts Greg Teuton Jordan Woiteshek John Worrell HALO Director of Family Programs: Stephanie Kober
FC: 2011 Comm 485 Practicum in Conflict Resolution
1: Welcome to the University of Wisconsin-Parkside's 2011 Conflict Analysis and Resolution (CAR) program. This program is a remarkable asset that the University of Wisconsin-Parkside has to offer its students. The program consists of classes that focus on the best and most effective ways to resolve any conflicts that may arise. This can range from every day personal conflicts, to issues that are affecting people worldwide. This type of program forces the students to perceive the world from several different viewpoints. This kind of thinking and research gives people a firmer grasp on how our world and societies really function. With readings like The Lemon Tree by Sandy Tolan, which talks of the Israeli/Palestine conflict, and Peace is Every Step by Thich Nhat Han, which teaches the idea of mindfulness, it invokes new thinking on what is really important in our lives.
2: One of the main concepts that is learned in this program is called The Theatre of Empowerment. This type of theatre starts with a real conflict that someone is dealing with, preferably something that everyone can relate to. This person explains what the conflict is about and acts it out in front of the audience with the help of other group members. Once the audience has seen the conflict, they will most likely have their own opinion of how to resolve it. Instead of suggesting how to resolve the conflict, that person gets up on stage and takes the place of the protagonist. As many members as possible try to handle the situation differently to have the most constructive solution. The point of this exercise is to see the multiple amounts of ways that anybody could handle the situation. Some of the attempts are not the best solutions, but it is witnessing the variations that help you learn what to avoid and how to approach the conflict in the best way possible.
3: The main objective of the CAR program is to help others without these skills or abilities develop them. There are three main goals that everyone should attempt to accomplish during a conflict including: (1)Helping members of their community to identify their goals, recognize their resources, and develop their capacities to manage conflict productively. (2) Engage members of their community in conversation and dialogue that creates respect, understanding, community, and compassion. (3)Lead members of their community in the pursuit of peace and social justice.
4: This semester the internship that was presented to the final class of the CAR program was to advance the people in the homeless community of Racine, WI to their full potential. The class, working as a whole, spent two consecutive hours a week at a homeless shelter called HALO (Homeless Assistance Leadership Organization) for two, five week sessions. It was not an easy task, but the class utilized its knowledge of Theatre of Empowerment to give as many people as possible the same skills and abilities they acquired in the course. Some of the Halo participants were required to attend and in response to that they were not very responsive. It was hard for them to break down these barriers, but the ones that opened up and took it seriously seemed to take a lot away from it. Throughout the book you will see what the students learned within the class and from the Halo participants.
5: The Homeless Assistant Leadership Organization (HALO) is committed to preventing chronic homelessness in Racine County by meeting emergency shelter needs, coordinating supportive services and providing community leadership. In 2009-2010 a total of 951 individuals were served, totaling 40,420 nights of care. On an average, the shelter serves 111 people a night of the 951 individuals, 753 created individual success plans and worked towards moving into stable housing. Students from the University of Wisconsin-Parkside's Certificate Program in Conflict Analysis and Resolution have been coming to the homeless shelter for several semesters. Each semester Professor Shailor brings a group of students who are diverse and ready for a challenge. What is great, is that the students do not know what they are getting into. They know they are coming to a homeless shelter to work on the skills they have learned in class. The shelter participants who are assigned to the program also come to the first group, not knowing what is in store for them. Often the room is full of anxiety, nerves, and fear. I have sat in the group's first meeting each time. As the students begin to break down the walls, it is amazing to see the relaxation begin to set in. The groups begin to merge and become one. I participated in the first group that came to HALO and it has left such an impression. The group was amazing and really made a difference to the participants at the shelter. Ever since, the groups have continued to impress me. This group bonded with the participants on another level. The group introduced more theatre to the shelter participants. They took the shelter participants as their friends and let them "in the circle." The participants could not wait for Tuesday nights and the Parkside group to get there. Watching these adults become friends was amazing. The impact that Professor Shailor and his students have on the homeless population is something that can never be duplicated. Each group that come in leaves their own mark in the participants. The Theatre of Empowerment is an experience that will never be forgotten. ~Stephanie Kober, Family Program Manager, Homeless Assistance Leadership Organization
6: My name is Erica Flores and I am so honored to have been a part of the CAR program and HALO. There are so many wonderful things that I have learned about these people and the HALO organization and I hope that in some small way, we as a class have been able to give back to them. My first time at HALO was very nerve racking. I didn’t know quite what to expect. I didn’t know if the people there would be willing to open their hearts and allow us to create a community. I will admit that I was scared, but as soon as I saw our HALO participants walk in, I knew in my heart that we were all going to create something special. That first night was interesting because we talked about whom we were, our ground rules and personal and community goals. One of the things that Jordan and John, the facilitators for that night did was that they made the group comfortable with each other very quickly.
7: We each were asked to come up with three words, one for our past, our present and our future. Then we were each given the opportunity to share our words with the large group. I believe that this exercise showed that although we may all have different backgrounds, we are all the same in a small way because we all have struggles, whether that may be at work, school, home or family. I remember leaving HALO that night excited. I was encouraged because of the amount of participation that we had received and I could not wait until we got to continue our work next week. On our second session, we focused on scene building. Amanda and Curtis were our facilitators and they came up with a lot of neat activities to get the group motivated. One of the activities was using props like a wig, a fish net, and a crutch and create scenes using those props. I think that this exercise allowed us to create a fun and loving environment that made people want to be a part of. Aside from the activities, each Parkside student was starting to create an individual connection to a HALO participant and vice versa. The wiliness of the HALO group to open their mind and heart to us was very special and gave us a lot of encouragement to continue our work. In the CAR program, one of the methods that we use to understand conflicting issues is by using theatre of empowerment. In brief, theatre of empowerment is like role playing. Someone volunteers a conflict that they are currently facing and the conflict is acted out. After the conflict is presented to the group, questions are asked to determine were the needs of the person with the conflict met. If they were not, the group is to figure out how the needs can be met in a healthy matter. When someone has an idea that may work, they are asked if they want to act out their idea. Our goal is to ensure that conflict is discussed in a healthy matter while at the same time, one is aware of their environment.
8: In the third session, Greg and Lakeeda, the facilitators for the week, introduced the idea of role playing to the group. At first, there was a lot of anxiety because people really didn’t know if they wanted their conflicts out there to be looked at. I guess you can say that we hit a little hiccup on the road and we were all unsure how to pick up the pieces. We all knew that we had created a connection with our HALO participants. They were willing to share their stories, some like Leroy who told us that he felt more comfortable talking to us than he did talking in his Alcoholic Anonymous group session. When he said that, I remember thinking to myself, I am glad that we are having an impact in Leroy’s life. He talked about how important his sobriety was to him and his dreams of owning his own restaurant one day. Our fourth session was the dress rehearsal. Ashley and I were the facilitators for the week and we knew that we were going to have our work cut out for us. Quickly, we broke the large group into four smaller groups and asked them to talk about a conflict that they were facing in their lives. Going around each group was interesting because people felt more comfortable talking in smaller groups than in larger groups. One of the HALO participants, Jasmine was quiet in her group discussion. I went over to her and told her about my life story and the abandonment of my mother. I am still unsure why I shared my story, but later in our large discussion, I heard that by me telling her my story, it helped her open up and share her story. After giving the group about 30 minutes to share stories and create scenes, each group went up to the front and acted out the scenes. The four scenes that were presented were: Open Window, a scene about a group of roommates dealing with a roommate who didn’t want to hold responsibility for leaving the window opened during a cold winter night. The other scenes were about a HALO conflict with the rules of the shelter, losing children and dealing with insecurities. All of these scenes were powerful to watch. There was something about the scenes that as they were being performed made you want to cry because you were feeling the pain that was being transmitted, or be frustrated because the frustration was being felt.
9: I am so proud to have been a part of this wonderful experience. I have learned to grow as a person in ways that I never thought I could. As a human being, sometimes I am caught up in things that only matter to me and now I know that there is a bigger world out there. It may not always be beautiful, but by one being aware of their environment, one is creating self-awareness and empowerment. There is nothing more that I want but to wish all of our HALO participants the best of luck on all of their dreams for the future and may the grace of God be with them all.
10: I am a Communication Major / Ethnic Studies Minor and in the Certificate for Conflict Analysis and Resolution (CAR) program at The University of Wisconsin Parkside. | For many years after high school I took college classes that generally interested me, but for the most part, hadn’t a clue on what I was to do for a major. It wasn’t until two years ago when I actually took my first communication class called communication 285 – Conflict Resolution. I immediately fell in love with this class and the ideals that it taught me. I submerged myself in the idea of non-violent communication and how this concept should be utilized by everyone in the world. Violence is a very easy way to temporarily solve a problem, but in hindsight, it is the worst. | John Worrell
11: Negative actions always have negative repercussions. The sad thing about this is that the repercussions may take years to happen and it is put on the next generation. To live in a world of peace and justice is my dream, but, unfortunately, this will only be a dream. I can make my immediate, local society better, but there is always evil in the world that emerges. After being involved in this program for only a short time, my perspective of life, love, and justice has been transformed. I no longer look at dyer situations and think, “oh well”. I now think, “What can be done to make this better?” I have learned that one person CAN make a difference. This is apparent in the works of seekers of justice and peace like Ghandi, Malcolm X, and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. These are the people in history that have taught us that in the journey of life anything worth having is worth struggling for.
12: The Homeless Assistance Leadership Organization (HALO) is the place where this class, in the Spring of 2011, went to our internship for the CAR program. In the first five week session it was a brand new experience for everyone in the class. This has always been in a classroom, but now we were going out into a brand new thing where we are not in the familiar place of our University. Most of us did not know what to expect at all. For the very first day that we were there, the facilitation was led by Jordan Woiteshek and myself. We took all of the knowledge we had learned from our classes and from our experiences and introduced to the HALO participants what this group of people was here to do. Two people lead every session, but it was in our unity as a class that made this whole encounter a very bonding and learning experience. I remember the first warm-up game that we did to get people up and moving around. It was a game that involved walking around aimlessly without running into others until I said,” stop”. I then made it so stop means go and go means stop and played with that. All the rules still apply and I'd keep adding other things to do when I say it’s opposite. Soon we all started messing up the instructions (even myself); it was a great first activity to do to show that everyone can mess up even in the smallest of tasks.
13: Every week somebody brought a brand new aspect to their facilitation. Some facilitators had us draw pictures of our life stories and some had us do improv with random objects. Needless to say, there were many laughs had between us all. There were definitely inside jokes made that only this group of people will ever find funny. It was indeed a lot of fun, but at times it wasn’t all fun and games. One of the main reasons that we chose HALO was the people there and their struggles. It was here where we heard many stories that really made you think of life in different ways and what things are really important.To go to a place where everybody living there is homeless and/or jobless it puts life in perspective.
14: I am a junior at University of Wisconsin-Parkside. I am currently a double major in Humanities/Sociology, minor in Communications and now completed the Certificate in Conflict Analysis and Resolution. When I began this journey at UWP I was so unsure of what I wanted to do. I mean deciding what one wants to do for the rest of their life is such a daunting process! So I decided to start with what I am good at, English and Communication and I fell in love with both. | Deborah Jo Roberts | Communications as taught at UWP is not so instruction on how to interact with people, but rather the meanings in the different ways we do. That very premise is what lead me to Humanities as my major. Studying why and how we know what we know (epistemology) and then relating that to different elements of our life is the study of Humanities and it can incorporate so many different elements, so it provides total control for the student. Putting all of that together is what created a curiosity for understanding conflict and how to help resolve it. Our class provided two five week sessions at HALO in Racine. Homeless Assistance Leadership Organization (HALO) provides just as the name suggests, leadership help to homeless people. Both of our five week sessions provided residents at HALO the opportunity to work through various conflicts in their lives through Theater of Empowerment. Theater of Empowerment is acting out our a conflict in front of an audience and this allows the person conflicting the ability to see both sides of the situation and the advantage of how to better deal with issues in the future or even finding peace with the current one. This method requires a great deal of trust and courage for all participants and the residents at HALO were great! And after completing all ten weeks, I know that I learned more about myself and my conflict solving skills! And based on the reaction of the participants they learned just as much!
15: It has been great honor learning from Dr. Jonathon Shailor and the residents at HALO. Dr. Shailor is the director of the Conflict Resolution program at UWP and he is real life proof that these methods work and provide a great source of encouragement for the students of the program. The HALO residents are individuals and without much to go on each and everyone welcomed our class and created a very memorable experience. My advice for future students, this program will be one of the best rewards of your college experience. Even if the final class is at another location have faith in that Dr. Shailor will ensure that the experience will be a rich and powerful one. This program also offers immediate real live value, I know I am a better person for having had these courses and my ability to look at conflict and handle it has dramatically change and shaped my attitude towards conflict. I wish the best of luck to everyone at HALO that we worked with, you all are better people for having completed this experience! And I wish love and good fortune to all of my classmates, you all have made this program an experience I will hold near and dear to me heart! And finally Dr. Shailor, thank you for your guidance and dedication to our class and this program.
16: My name is Carrie Dennett and I am a 24 year old graduating senior at UW-Parkside with a degree in Communication, a certificate in Media Literacy, and a | certificate in Conflict Analysis and Resolution, which is what led me to my time at HALO. I am not sure what I want to do after graduation but I am finding people development to be very rewarding, so maybe something in Human Resources would be fulfilling for me. I have found my study of Communication to be extremely applicable to my everyday life and have awarded me the opportunity to meet a lot of very interesting people and forge bonds in a way I might not have otherwise been able to. Growing up my parents both worked and usually it was opposite shifts so we never got a chance to volunteer at a homeless shelter or a soup kitchen, the most charity we did was donate food and blankets to the Humane Society twice a year. When I found out that we would be spending 10 weeks at HALO I got very nervous but also anxious to get there and get started.
17: The First 5-Week Session We could not have asked for an easier first go-round at HALO, the group for the most part was present and ready to open up to us. I found that when the students opened up it encouraged the HALO participants to open up, I feel that when you allow yourself to be vulnerable it opens the door for others to be vulnerable. There were so many emotional moments, both good and bad, throughout the five weeks. Many nights we left with tears in our eyes from stories shared or breakthroughs made. | I distinctly remember the first night John and Jordan welcomed anyone to come up and share what they were feeling and one of the women from the “Mom Group” got up to speak. She spoke of what her life was like before coming to HALO and how once her boyfriend went to prison all her friends seemed to disappear, especially after she became homeless. What really moved me was when she started to speak about the people she met at HALO and how she finally found real friends there and then she began to cry. It blew my mind that despite the hardships this woman was going through she found the silver lining. We need more people like that.
18: The Second 5-Week Session The second session at HALO had been a complicated one, with participants coming and going it was hard to get a grip on what we were doing. The first session we did was an extremely hopeful sign of things to come because most of the participants were interested to find out how everything was going to work. Everyone seemed to have a lot of fun building scenes and watching conflicts play out but it seemed that we only really made impacts on a few people this time around. There isn’t any crying or real emotional impact but there are really great themes tied through out the performances. We had more women in this group so a lot of the conflicts are from relationship issues, which make for good scenes. And while it’s not a super emotional group we have still broken down walls and allowed them to open up to us. Something I have learned from this five-week session is that while this program works for a lot of people it doesn’t work for everyone. No matter how hard we tried we can’t reach everyone and that is a hard reality for all of us working through this program. We just have to keep in mind the people that we have helped and stay confident in our efforts at HALO and not let setbacks get to us. I will leave my time at HALO with great memories of an experience I will cherish forever. You cannot teach the lessons my classmates and I have learned through the 10 weeks at HALO and the stories shared by the people staying there.
19: Throughout the five-week session we all really got to know one another and became more comfortable sharing things about our lives. The two biggest things I learned from the first session at HALO is first, we all have something to learn from each other. I think it is very obvious what the Parkside students can learn from people living in a homeless shelter; to be thankful for everything you have and never take an opportunity for granted. But I think the HALO participants learned something from us too, that there are better ways to manage conflict and opening up to people can sometimes have healing affects. The second thing I learned was that there is beauty in the breakdown. We learn the best lessons during the hardest period of our lives and through exploring those conflicts we can grow and become better people for them.
20: Jordan Woiteshek | I am graduating in May 2011 with a Communication major and certificates in Conflict Analysis & Resolution, Media Literacy, and Film Studies. I originally took my first Conflict Analysis & Resolution class because it fit into my schedule that semester...little did I know that it would be the best decision I made in college. These classes have taught me so much about myself and how I handle conflict. I am constantly applying it to my everyday life. | I just want to say that our final semester of working with HALO has undoubtedly been the greatest experience that I have had at Parkside. I am overwhelmed with joy as I have watched our class become a family over our time in the Conflict Analysis & Resolution Certificate. It is incredible how close we have become in just a couple semesters. There is something so special about the work that we do, and the people that we do it for. It has been the most practical and applicable to our lives, and it has been an honor to share it with others. I think I speak for each one of us when I say we will never forget this experience or these people. | I love each and every person in my COMM 485 family.
21: 10 Life Lessons I Learned from HALO | 1. Keep your eyes open. Moments can go by unnoticed. There are going to be opportunities to have certain conversations and interactions and we need to be on the lookout and ready to respond. If we capitalize on each of these moments, it will drastically change the entire experiences for the better. 2. Live intentionally. Normally when we do things intentionally and with a purpose, we don’t always see an immediate reward, or the impact that we are creating. Go outside of your box to bring others outside of their box. There is so much more value when we step outside of what's comfortable. Be intentional about it, because everything has a purpose. 3. Recover from missed opportunities. Don't live in a world of regret off of a missed opportunity. It is easy to get caught up and let that consume our mind, but the missed chance is in the past, and we can’t change the past. We can only live in the present to | affect our future. We may miss an opportunity, but when we acknowledge that, it only makes us that much more aware of these moments in the future so that we can capitalize on them. 4. Tell your story. Use your past experiences to positively impact somebody else’s life. When we have a story that connects with someone, we need to have open dialogue about it. Be brave and start that conversation. 5. Go deeper. The comfort that is established in relationships transcends over time, allowing us to go deeper and examine what is at the core. It is an unbelievable joy to leave a fingerprint on someone else’s heart, and to have them leave one on ours, as well.
22: 6. Everyone has their own personality. There will always be people that we just don’t get along with or that we don’t have a connection to. That’s okay. Don’t get defeated. Someone else will be able to fulfill that role, and connect with them, and we will be able to be that support or connection for someone completely different. 7. Think on your feet. Be ready to think on your feet. Don’t get tripped up in the moment. Respond and be confident in how you respond. 8. There is more than meets the surface. This goes back to the whole idea of “don’t judge a book by its cover.” Just because someone acts a certain way in a certain situation, doesn’t mean that the whole truth is being revealed. We may think that we have a good perspective of someone, and then all of a sudden they throw us a curveball. We need to make sure we aren’t quick to make assumptions about people, but that we give them the chance to tell us their story in their time. They may surprise you with the depths of what is underneath. And that’s something that I want to stick around for. | 9. Words hold a lot of weight. Watch what you say, because words are a truly powerful thing. Once you’ve said them you can’t take them back. We have the power to build someone up or to destroy them. Use that power wisely. 10. Be willing. You never know exactly when a moment will come where you need to step up and be a leader. Be a light and an example. People are watching you. We are always influencing others in some way, whether it be positive or negative. Chances are, when we step up in leadership to make an impact on someone else’s life, they will make an even greater impact on ours. Don’t ever forget that. [[Each of these life lessons has been taken from my journals that I wrote after each week at HALO. Every session I learned something that I could take and apply to the way I live out my life. I am forever grateful for this experience.]]
23: breaking free . | open my eyes and reveal their disguise | unveil. | the smiles on their faces | but the pain behind their eyes | broken hearts breaking harder | sad songs lasting longer | souls on the inside dying | holding in the outward crying | searching for a way to cope | with all life's troubles | Lord, help me show them Hope.
24: My name is Katie Clemins. I am a Communication major at UW Parkside, and I graduate in May 2011. When I first started college at UW Parkside, I thought I was going to be going to class and coming home. It was then in Fall 2009 that I took the first class of the Conflict & Analysis Resolution Certificate. The first class was an introduction to not only my conflicts but also other conflicts around the world. The second class was a preparation and process to get the class ready to carry our knowledge onto others. | When I was introduced to Theatre of Empowerment, I was skeptical. Once I studied and practiced it more, I realized how this technique could open my eyes to other ways of dealing with conflicts in life. Once the spring semester started, the anxiety and nerves were building within the class as we discussed our plans that would be taking place in HALO. It wasn’t until the first night there that we all realized the wonderful experience that was about to be created.
25: My Story As I walked into HALO, I felt sorrow and desperation. I had no idea what to expect, and I think that was the scariest part. My knowledge was strong on what I wanted to teach the HALO participants, but the atmosphere was unknown. The next section is an explanation of my first night at HALO and the experience and inspiration that I took from it. I was assigned with three individuals from HALO who were all men and Carrie, a student from my class. Although I do not remember the names of the two men in the group, the man who I will be focusing on is named Leroy. The group was to come up with a word for their past, present, and future. Following that, they were to make a picture for each. We went around the circle and everyone described his or her words and pictures. | Leroy was third to go. Although I do not remember the specific words he chose, he put an enormous effort into his thought process for his pictures. Leroy expressed his skills on drawing and how they were not very good, but his effort was much more rewarding than what his pictures looked like. While Leroy was explaining what his pictures were, he added his emotions into his explanation.
26: His past picture represented himself, and the word was associated with disappointed. He drew a stick man who had a frown. It seemed like a simple picture, but when Leroy admitted to his mistakes, sorrows, and goals, the picture became more than just a stick person. His second picture that represented the present was another stick person, who also represented himself, and it had a big smiley face on it. As Leroy was describing this picture, he made it clear to announce that the first stick person had a sad face, but now his current face shows happiness. Finally, his future picture, which took up almost a whole page, was of his future restaurant. Leroy explained how his dream is to open a soul food restaurant. While the group was drawing, he was taking his time to add color and detail to this drawing. Even when other groups were presenting their pictures, Leroy was still focused on his future goal picture. When he explained the picture to our group, again, he had enormous passion for how he was explaining his dream. I chose this particular person to talk about, because he has inspired me. Due to the fact that this was our first time at HALO, I was surprisingly shocked when someone who is currently homeless affected me. Leroy has such a bigger dream for himself while I have no idea what to do with my life. I am also glad that he was able to open up to the group and eliminate the uncomfortable feelings I had at first. While Leroy was speaking, I could understand his sorrow and happiness. I was drawn into what he saying and his explanations.
27: Greg Teuton | This semester, my fellow classmates and I decided to volunteer our efforts through a community outreach program under the supervision of UW-Parkside’s Dr. Jonathan Shailor. With the help of Dr. Shailor’s teachings on conflict analysis and resolution, we chose to focus our attention on Halo, an assistance leadership organization for the homeless. Our goal was to reach out to the community and make a positive impact through Dr. Shailor’s teachings. Although our goal was to teach the residents of Halo conflict management skills, I never would have believed my fellow classmates and I would be doing just as much learning as the individuals we were helping. | I have to admit, our program started off with its fair share of bumps in the road. However, I feel once the Parkside students and Halo residents began realizing the impact our program was making, things went from hopeful to amazing. For me, some of my favorite moments from this past semester came when individuals from Halo would come back each week and appear more hopeful than in preceding weeks. Although we cannot say that we touched everyone with our teachings, we cannot deny the successes. When my classmates and I would help self proclaimed “shy” residents out of their shells and then have them become excited to participate in our programs, a sense of joy would fill the room. This sense of accomplishment could be seen during the public presentations at the end of both of our two sessions.
28: These final public presentations would start off with everyone setting up the room for which we would each be performing the scenes we had created the week before. Once the room was arranged and everyone began to settle down, John Worrell, a fellow Parkside student, would begin playing a song he had written, chosen specifically to commemorate the special occasion. With each of John’s songs perfectly setting the nights mood, our feelings and emotions were free to be expressed throughout our scenes. After each song, we would immediately dive into the nights performances. Although the nights performances were created in only a short amount of time, the quality and impact of each scene was memorable. With each new scene building more emotions and suspense, everyone was able to relate or participate in the nights events. Yet, the nights appeared to go from fun and educational to exciting and memorable when the Halo residents received their certificates during the graduation ceremony. The graduation ceremonies marked a sense of accomplishment for both Parkside students and Halo residents. Although they were happy to be receiving their certificates which symbolize the training and knowhow each of them now possesses, a sense of accomplishment and swelling pride would roll over the Parkside students as we each congratulated the residents of Halo. Although the night was ending on such a high note, it became unforgettable when each of the participants’ faces lit up upon hearing their names called to receive their certificates. As each Halo participant stood up to receive their certificate, a glow of confidence could be seen surrounding each and every one of them. It was at this point that my fellow classmates and I realized we had made a positive difference in each of these individuals’ lives.
29: As the hugs, hand shakes, high fives and even some high tens were given out, everyone in the room was forever solidified as one bright community representative of empowerment. So to try and sum up our whole semester in a few words, I would just like to thank my fellow classmates and the Halo participants for helping each and every one of us create these fond memories that will last forever. I started the conflict analysis and resolution program to learn how to better manage my own conflicts. | Although I accomplished that task, I gained a bunch of friends in the process that we all now call in some way, our family; and because of this connection that each of us have made, I could not have asked for more.
30: If I had to choose one word to sum up my entire experience with the Conflict Resolution and Analysis program, including our time at HALO that word would be, “Powerful.” | Preparing myself for our work at HALO, I made a few personal goals to keep in mind while working with the HALO residents, and those goals were: to help them to become more self-aware, and to help them learn new approaches in working through their conflicts. I feel that preparedness, confidence and awareness, makes up a good frame of mind when working through personal, relational, and social conflicts. The conflict resolution program has taught us as a class, how to explore the many different levels, meanings and perspectives of conflict; to identify points of bifurcation within dialogue, as well as to identify the roles of the individuals of the conflict. These are just a few of the techniques and skills that we've learned throughout the certificate program courses, which prepared us to work with the HALO residents. There were many unforgettable moments during our time at HALO, some of which I would like to share. One being an exercise that we did on our last night there with the residents. This exercise was conducted by classmates: John an Jordan; it was called the“ Indian storytelling stick,” and how it goes is very simple; There is a decorative stick that is passed to one individual at a time (voluntarily) to share his/her story. In this case, the stories were about the course of events that lead them to this point of being at a homeless shelter. This left a lasting impression on me, as it was our very last meeting with the residents at HALO and their participation was remarkable. It was the “Indian storytelling exercise that elicited the most response from the residents throughout that entire evening. I observed from the residents; sincerity and acceptance, as this exercise empowered, not just the ones who were bold enough to share their stories, but also the audience members who listened and shared tears of acknowledgment and empathy. | My name is Delicia Evans; I am a Communication Major at the University of Wisconsin Parkside, and I chose to enrich my degree with a certificate in Conflict Resolution. I really had no idea of the impact that this certificate program would make on me as a person, nor how it would impact the people that we had the pleasure of working with at HALO.
31: It seemed that the different stories served as a representative voice as well as the hearts, of those who were not so bold to share. For example a young lady about the age of twenty-one, shared that she was, in her words “seen as the black sheep of the family” for having a child out of wedlock. Her parents had put her out, she then went to live with her boyfriend, who she found out to be a “big time drug dealer,” she endured physical abuse with nowhere to really go, until her boyfriend was busted for drugs, and sent to prison. She then had no options but to go to a homeless shelter with her kids. She expressed, that for her, it isn' t so bad; she feels that for many people there at the homeless shelter, they are at the lowest point in their lives, however for her, this is a new beginning. She went on to say that she now has a new family ( referring to the other residents) She sees this humiliating experience as an opportunity to gain control of her life and hopes to reconnect with her family. Hearing the tear-jerking stories was indeed a “big” deal to us. Many of the residents who come to the shelter, are obligated to share their stories upon entry. It was at this point, when I realized how important is was to afford the residents the opportunity to share their stories in an unaltered and unrestrained fashion, as we provided a safe environment for them to do so. This to me was the initial steps toward self-empowerment. During the course of our semester, we Parkside students had grown very fond of the individual previously mentioned; She eventually moved out of HALO, and into her new apartment, which is the desired goal as a resident of a homeless shelter. We were all so excited for her but yet we missed her humor and her valued participation. In the weeks that followed, there were many more motivating and rewarding sessions. Leading up to our last session with the HALO residents, we prepared them for “forum theatre.” This is where characters (both UWP students and HALO residents) reenact the conflict of a particular story that was shared. This reenactment takes place in a public area--spectators are encourage to give input as they watch, they may also demonstrate in character, their views for a peaceful resolution. At the end of the forum theatre we ask the audience to identify a few things, such as: Who do you have the most empathy for and why? What were the needs or desires, of the individuals within the conflict? What is stopping them from getting their needs met?, and How can we get these needs met peacefully.
32: In a different session while preparing for our forum theater pieces, we did an activity where the residents were put into groups. These groups were selected to be either past, present, or future. The groups then had to agree on one word to describe their group label. My group was “present” and the participants overwhelmingly felt that the word “change” overall described their present. It was the “future” group that left the biggest impression on us that evening. This was a story of a HALO resident who dreamed of one day owning his own soul food restaurant. The characters in this group produced a scene where patrons visited this restaurant and the HALO resident was the owner and played the role as owner and chef, in this scene. Now, to me, the most intriguing thing about this exercise was to see the inspiration that it gave to the LeRoy (a HALO resident). In this instance role playing allowed LeRoy, for a moment to put himself in the future and live his dream. This had given him a renewed self confidence, that in his words, “he needed.” Leroy was so overwhelmed with this confidence that he voluntarily offered to share his story of alcohol addiction- leading to job loss and violence, which then led him to prison, and from there, HALO, and for LeRoy staying at HALO is a legal requirement until he is released from probation. He feels that going to HALO was a “blessing in disguise.” He also shared with us his most recent struggles and conflicts of being confronted by an angry son whom he has never known due to his addiction problems and related circumstances. He then allowed for us to produce a forum theater piece on this situation. He concluded this session by saying to the entire class, that this was the last time he had ever willingly shared his story, and that it “felt good” to do so; he went further to say that he attends AA meetings on a regular basis, but had never felt so compelled to share or participate as he did on this particular night with UWP Conflict Resolution students. This speak volumes about the work that we have done there at HALO. It was Leroy statements that really inspired and let me know that we are helping people find their way through life's challenges, and life happens to us all. Our time at HALO was quite enlightening and unforgettable. Conflict management is a needed and demanded skill; I myself consider it a “life tool.” The entire Conflict Resolution program has been a great experience, and has taught me a priceless skill. I would recommend this certificate program to all students of any Academic major. “Be Prepared to be Empowered!” “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity” Proverbs 17:17 (NIV)
33: My name is Julie Middendorf and I am a senior theatre major at UWP. I am graduating with a concentration in Stage Management and a certificate in communication. I originally decided to take Professor Shailor's Introduction to Conflict and Resolution class two years ago to better my communication skills while working with my casts and crews. It didn't take long before I fell in love with the class and was excited to sign up for the next one to better my life on a personal level. Communication is the biggest part of theatre, and the main job of the Stage Manager. It is important for the lines of communication to always stay open and to never make assumptions. This was probably one of the hardest things that I needed to learn. Many people may know what you are thinking, but they may or may not be wrong and you should not assume they know; you need to tell them. | Nothing will ever get resolved if the person is not ready to discuss the issue. Anything can be resolved without a screaming match. As long as we listen to each other and let the other finish their thoughts before cutting them off, we can be in harmony. It is important to LISTEN to each other and let them know you are listening and understanding what they are saying. While going into HALO, I was nervous about how the people would react toward us coming in. I was giving into all the stereotypes and was fearful that all of our efforts would fail. When entering both sessions my fear was continuing to be confirmed by the HALO participants comments of "Why do we have to be here? This is stupid, what can these kids teach us that we don't already know?"Now, I can admit, I wanted to go in there and effect everyone and better everyones lives just like all of ours were bettered, but that was a distant dream. Even touching just ones persons life was a great accomplishment though and I am sure we touched more lives then we realize. | While attending these three classes within the CAR program, I have come to learn that we need to give people the time to want to talk about something.
34: Learning is Developmental is something I feel that we always need to remember, no matter what we are doing in life, we can always learn. When going into my facilitation with Loreal, I was both excited and nervous. We went into our session thinking we had more then enough to do, that the participants would have fun and it would get them up on their feet; yet when we were getting down to the wire, we realized we didn't have enough activities to do. Professor Shailor saved the day by helping us create a sub activity directly relating to our theme of the night that made the night complete.This night I learned that anything can happen at anytime, you need to always be on your feet and aware of your surroundings to adapt and make it the best you can. I still am not the most keen on speaking up and participating in class, I am more of an observer, but this class forced me and motivated me to get up and speak up to the HALO participants. Although all of our efforts did not get the results we wanted, I feel that we adjusted well and adapted in order to try to get everyone to open up and release some of their inner turmoil. I feel that the last week of the first session was defiantly the best week that the group had! The final week was when we presented the sense that we had been working on the past five weeks. The goal was to get as much audience participation as possible to replace the protagonist and make the situation as constructively resolved as possible. Even though we did not seem to get a whole lot of participation from the audience, and the audience members wanted to replace people who were not the main character, it still worked out. Even if the audience did not learn anything I feel that the members that stuck through the five week session learned something about themselves. If nothing else they had fun! One of the quotes that I will always take with me is from Leroy. He stated that when participating in acting, “why do we always have to do my scene? Although, it is helping me I don’t even open up to my therapist like this.” I wish people would open up more, we could all help each other out if we knew there were things we could connect on.
35: Amanda Gibson | I am a senior communication major at the University of Wisconsin Parkside. I entered the conflict analysis and resolution program here at Parkside much like any other student; because an advisor recommended the program and explained that the conflict certificate would look great on a job resume. I was a 19 year-old girl who had come to the university on a basketball scholarship, and to be honest, academics was usually put on the back burner to my passion (basketball). | College never sparked my interest until I walked into Communication 385 with Professor Shailor and the students that would soon become inspirations to me. Once I got to this course of the Conflict analysis and resolution program Professor Shailor and my classmates showed me that all of the aspects of basketball that I loved such as leadership, teamwork, working through obstacles to accomplish a common goal, etc go hand in hand with the goals of our certificate program. Instead of just going through the motions like I would in most of my classes; I found it impossible not to be engaged by the journey Professor Shailor created for myself and my classmates. Through exploring conflict more deeply, each class I learned more about myself and others than I ever thought possible.
36: No, I do not claim to know all about conflicts after taking these courses and to me that is a beautiful thing. The conflict program has let me realize that handling conflict will be a life long journey, but with every conflict I meet in life I will remember Jordan’s compassion, Loreal’s calming nature, John’s empathy, Juilie’s quiet creativity, Ashley and Deb’s confidence, the power behind Curt and Marquis’ smile, Darryl’s positive energy, Greg’s resilience, Lakeeda’s knowledge and experience, Katie and Carrie’s ability to brighten up a room, and Erica and Delicia’s ability to really listen. | My classmates and Professor Shailor, though they may not know it, have truly changed my outlook on not only conflict, but life, and I am forever grateful for the qualities and lessons they have shared with me.
37: HALO I don’t know how to put into words how deeply our experience at HALO has affected me. Before starting our journey with Halo participants I can only describe myself as walking around with blinders on. Like many 20 somethings I was only concerned with myself and my problems. Members at Halo removed those blinders and showed me that everyone struggles and many others problems are much larger than what are my everyday concerns. “Courage”-- a word that still rings in my ears, and I believe forever will, was demonstrated to me by a Halo resident. Without even knowing he passed on a very important and timely lesson; find your courage! Find courage in failure, find courage to admit mistakes, find the courage to pick yourself up when you fall, have courage to dream, to hope, to succeed. Courage is a simple word, but not always a simple quality to posses.
38: In, what I believe to be, an act of fate my time at Halo started and ended with Leroy. Our first activity with the Halo residents was to draw a picture that describes our past, present, and future. Leroy was in my group and like many complained of not being a talented artist. With some words of encouragement from the group I saw Leroy stir up some of that courage and draw his pictures. Though only stick figures, the three pictures Leroy drew were the most beautiful I have ever seen because they were full of hope and the courage to dream. Another moment that showed true courage was when Leroy volunteered to share his past abuse with alcohol. The way Leroy confronted his darkest moments made me wonder why it is so hard for myself and the world to find courage to face and admit failures. If the world had half of Leroy's courage to rise from his past mistakes, we would be living in a much better place. When conflict arises in my life I am usually paralyzed with fear; the fear that I may fail, or say the wrong thing, or lose myself by not speaking up. Fear inhibates me from gaining positive outcomes when dealing with conflict; however, with each day Leroy gained and demonstrated courage so did I.
39: “Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow.” -Mark Victor Hansen | Leroy and many of the other Halo residents showed me that I don’t have to let fear be present and in control of my life and for that I will be forever grateful. I am truly blessed to have shared, learned, and grown with Halo residents over the past ten weeks.
40: My Name is Darryl Duane Griffin, and I was born and raised on both the north and east sides of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I would generally be very aggressive when it comes to conflict because it was what I was raised up around. After taking this course , I have realized a great deal about how my life, family, and friends played a great deal on how I responded to conflict. Being a Gemini, I already have the “split personality” syndrome. One side is very passive like a turtle, and will shy away from conflict. | On the other side is my aggressive and alligator like traits to which I am a sharp hitter. Now that the course is done, I have come to appreciate what this Conflict class has done for me, and my life. Not only am I now able to control my anger, and be more assertive, but the classmates that I have learned to work with and understand, have bonded and created a strong family unit. It was the first session at HALO, and we began to do scene work with the residents, and building a conflict to show in the class. From all the conflicts that was shown, Victor's story really struck me. Leroy found his son after 10 years over Facebook. Although when he first spoke with him, he hung up I believe he said, then the second time his son asked him a few questions, and was open to getting to communicate with his father. On the third talk it was a decision upon the son to only call Leroy at his own pace, which Victor agreed to. After the performance he shared that the reason that he became an alcoholic was because he lost his son. That “messed him up, and all he could do was drink all day.”
41: This affected me because I wanted a relationship with my father even when he pushed me away from him. After I had done a high school play, he randomly decided to come to which we haven't had any contact in years, he said I wasn’t his child. From then on I carried such anger, and resentment in my life, and recently when he re-entered my life it happened unwanted on my end. I never really got closure from the previous conflict, that I just had to fake it through. So to get a message from my “supposedly father” via Facebook; I am not really sure how I could react to that. Honestly, my heart dropped because I felt for his son, because its like that sense of hope of a dad, but knowing that he wasn’t there, and never gave an excuse to the previous absences from his life plays a role on your outlook on fathers. In my case I never took the time to understand my fathers side of the story. I have actually never asked my father anything about him, and his decisions and what he meat by his words. However I still cared to establish that relationship, but was then greeted with even more resentment when I was denied. He spent a majority of the years of my life in jail, and even when he wasn't in jail his lies would overpower our relationship as farther and son. Did I love my father? Yes I did!! Do I love my father now? No I do not, and it saddens me. Growing up I always would get jealous of people who had an involved father. My mom did the best she could to play both father and mother roles. But, nothing compares to being taught how to be a man by your own father. I never had that opportunity to learn from him, and feel loved.
42: This was very inspiring for me in a way. I started thinking about actually reconnecting with my father after all this time has passed, just to really let go of any resentment and hard feelings. From Leroy I learned to be patient, and be more considerate. Life is short, and you only get one father and mother. I started taking small steps of trying to move past my resentments on my father, and trying to connect with him as we both get older. Although it is not easy, the pain subsides, and a majority of my problems have been let go.This experience working with the residents at HALO, has taught me to really appreciate and respect life. I was once a 12 year old kid who tried to hang himself, and took 6 No-Doz pills to escape the harsh reality of life, and all of its negativity. I knew I was right, and had no place here in the world. Fast forward 10 years later where I am 22 years old, a student at UW-Parkside in the Communication department, I would have never thought I could help someone manage and resolve conflicts. Working with the residents for 10 weeks has given me a sense of purpose, and a new outlook on life. Leroy once said in session 1, “everybody wants to see you fail, but the person who should never see you fail is yourself.” Another Halo resident, Taneesha said that “You can not live your life on how others view you or want you to be. So if they don’t like you because you are smart, if that’s how you feel, so be it.” These two statements reminded me of that young boy that I used to be, and needed to hear words of encouragement to overcome situations. We are all humans connected through emotions, feelings, and life's experience. We may not all be homeless, or fortunate, but in the end we all go through life together! Bust It & Thank You The Delightfully Insane, Darryl Griffin.
43: Leroy taught me a valuable lesson during our time at HALO. Within my own conflict with my father I was so wrapped up in how I felt towards my absent father that I had forgot that I had a brother whom I hadn't talked to since his birth in 1997. I layed in my bed thinking of my brother for a whole day after victor had found his son via facebook. I decided to check facebook, and there he was my baby brother. I would like to thank Leroy for the lesson he taught me, and pushing me to move past my own selfishness to reconnect with my brother. | In life many things will happen both good & bad... but remind yourself that your tree will live through and will not be moved.
44: “Every journey of a thousand miles begins with one single step. | I attend the University of Wisconsin-Parkside and I will obtain my B.A. in Communications which will be accompanied by a Certificate in Conflict Analysis and Resolution, early May of 2011. As a Communication major I have developed many skills, both verbal and non-verbal, that enable me to communicate across a wide range of situations. I’ve learned the power of words, the effects it could have, and the many uses through experiences in and out of the classroom. My most prominent experience has been working with HALO through a 5 week session. Before having the opportunity to attend, there were a many thoughts going through my mind regarding the type of people we would be working with, the situations they have come from and most importantly, how they would react to the class and the material we would be presenting. | As cliché as it may sound, attending Homeless Assistance Leadership Organization (H.A.L.O.) has helped myself and several others on the journey of helping individuals resolves their conflicts. My name is Loreal Patterson,
45: So often as individuals we allow our minds to develop thoughts of what we think particular situations or people would be like. I had allowed my mind to stereotype what a homeless individual would be like. I never imagined that they could have been previous students or professors, writers, chefs, creative dancers and poets, all waiting to show the world their many talents. Having the opportunity to visit Halo was an eye opening and humbling experience. There were so many emotions in the room and so much to take in, that I was afraid I would miss out on something meaningful if I lost focus for even a minute. Although like others, I was apprehensive when we first arrived, mainly because I didn’t know what to expect. One of things that caught my attention throughout the five weeks, were how close “The Mothers” were. They always entered the room together and were always full of laughs and eager to participate.
46: The most empowering visit to Halo for me was during the fourth week. Having the opportunity to watch these individuals open up and share intimate details of their lives, really made me appreciate and look at things in a new light. Furthermore, I feel that performing through Forum Theater brought these conflicts into reality and made it feel as though you’re the individual going through it. At the end of the day, I always kept in mind, “That could have been me.” During that visit we focused more on the scenes that we would be using for the final performance. We split into groups of 4-6 people, allowed everyone to share a personal conflict they were having and decided among those conflicts, which we would use to perform. While everyone had great conflicts and performances, one particular one stood out for me. The fourth performance including Darryl, Marquis, Delicia, Carrie and one of the mothers from Halo by the name of Jasmine. The scene was based on Jasmine’s experience of her kids being taken away from her and what the visits are like when she is able to see them. During their performance when I looked around the room, everyone was fully engaged. I believe this scene really affected the women in the room, including those with and without children. I feel like this because of the nurturing side of us and how close we are to smaller children. Furthermore, Darryl, Marquis and Delicia really played the role very well. They embraced each other though physical contact and weren’t afraid to fully let themselves go during the scenes. In addition, Darryl play the younger brother, while Marquis played the older brother. When it was time for the visit to be over, Darryl played the role of a child who was defensive and didn’t want to leave his mother. While the scene played out, I looked over at Jasmine and she couldn’t stop from crying. I’m not sure if that triggered it, but before I knew it, over half the room was crying, including me. It was during that moment, I believe everyone grew closer and found a deeper purpose for being there.
47: The Forum Theater performance that took place made feel a number of emotions. I think more than anything, it made me feel hopeful for Jasmine and her children. Just the fact that she allowed herself to open up, gives her more strength and will allow her overcome this conflict. Furthermore, I also feel that it brought the two groups closer together. Because we weren’t afraid to show emotions and show support to her, made her comfortable and reassured her that we are not here to judge anyway. Also, I made sure to give her a hug, let her know I was there for her and told her that she was amazing for sharing her story. I plan to take this experience as a reminder of just how powerful this class is. It is really allowing me to learn that, no matter what you have gone through, with the right help, from the right people, you can get though anything. This session really made me look forward to the actually performance and the affect it is going to have on the other residence at Halo. In addition, I was just so proud to see the ambition and optimistic attitude that these individuals possessed. I found it absolutely amazing that they didn’t allow what took place in their past to dictate their future. To be a part of that makes me forever grateful. | I believe we can change the world if we start listening to each other again. Simple, truthful conversation where we each have a chance to speak, we each feel heard, and we each listen well. Margaret Wheatley
48: After making the transition and taking my core classes in the Communication department, Intro to Conflict Analysis seemed like a good insightful class to pick up. However, by the end of the class the possibilities of learning in the program seemed much greater than I had originally thought. In other words, I could honestly say I underestimated the learning potential of the Conflict Analysis & Resolution program. Intro to Conflict Analysis had really grown on me because I was able to learn a lot about conflict and how to communicate better and to see where others are coming from. I decided that I would stick with the program and take the next two classes to receive the certificate. | My name is Curtis L. Hines Jr. I'm a 5th year Senior at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside. I am majoring in Communication with a concentration in Human Interaction. My passion has always been to work with others and do the best of my ability to help them. I originally declared a major in Liberal Arts with an intention to become a teacher. After taking some general classes in the Communication discipline I decided that it was the major for me. With a major in Communication, I would still be able to work with others and strive to make a difference in the world.
49: Throughout the next few courses, little did I know that I would foster relationships with others in the program that would allow me to connect with them on a personal level. To better explain the relationships that we had created with one another, we now consider everyone participating in the program part of our family. We consider ourselves a family because we have connected with each other on the level where we feel comfortable enough to share just about anything that’s going in our lives to get different perspectives on the issue. In Spring 2011, our COMM 485 class: Practicum in Conflict Intervention had an opportunity to come to the Homeless Assistance Leadership Organization (HALO). At HALO, we were able to share what we've learned and apply our training of the best methods and strategies in conflict analysis & resolution. The thing I found to be most helpful and motivating about going to HALO is that the things we’ve learned and been able to share with the people at HALO are fundamental and practical to our everyday life. Initially, the participants along with the student facilitators from Parkside wondered what exactly would be the goal of the five week sessions after covering so much material throughout the classes. There were three main goals that we were aiming to achieve each session, but in reality we knew that each person would take away something different from each session. The three common goals that were emphasized were to “empower,” “recognize,” and also to create “social awareness.” Our goal to empower was to create an environment in which were able to acknowledge, confront, and deal with the conflicts and situations head on based on prior experiences and come to a practical resolution. Our goal to recognize means to be able to recognize what we may bring to interactions and how we may influence and have an effect on the situation. Our goal to achieve social awareness was to be able to be aware of the difficulties and problems that we each may face on a day to day basis in interactions. In our sessions, after short warm-up activities we were able to break the barrier of being uncomfortable and shy with each other and create a less tense environment where we were able to really open up. By establishing this level of trust, we were able to bring our real life conflicts out to the class and see how others may handle the situation differently. By introducing the Theatre of Empowerment, which was one of the central themes of the program, we were able to introduce different strategies for change from multiple perspectives.
50: Starting with the students, we opened up and shared our personal stories and conflicts from our lives to create an empowering community and encourage others to share their stories no matter how personal they may have been. What I found to be very intriguing about the session was that the HALO participants really opened up and took the night seriously when they were creating the scenes. I was very impressed at the deep emotional level we were able to reach with each other, and how understanding we became of each other. I can remember a few nights at HALO when we shed tears because how touching some of the stories were that we shared together. A specific example of an emotionally touching scene had to deal with a participant that was struggling with a personal issue with her family, and she wasn’t able to communicate effectively with her kids. The conflict analysis & resolution has helped me a lot and helped me develop constructive ways to deal with everyday problems I may face. I found it to be even more rewarding that I was able to go out into the community and share what I’ve learned with others.
51: Ashley Downey | I am a twenty three year old, African American female and the first in my family to attend college. I grew up on the north side of Milwaukee where I have witnessed many different conflicts. My first year attending The University of Wisconsin-Parkside I had no idea what I wanted to do, but I knew that I wanted a life better than the many lives I have seen. It was the day that I stepped into the very first course for the Conflict Analysis and Resolution Certificate that I realized I wanted to be an ear and a voice for people in the community. After multiple exercises, training sessions and knowledge passed on from Dr. Shailor over the last couple of years I was finally able to put my passion and skills to work. My first time going into Halo, I went in under ample stress and an intense amount of nervousness. I was afraid of how the Halo residence would receive our class. I did not feel comfortable about interacting with people that I knew absolutely nothing about. | I was also afraid that the residence of Halo would assume our class thought we were better than them, and we were there to talk down to them. One of the main things the Conflict Analysis and Resolution Certificate courses teach us is that every person has needs. It is important that as a class we recognized those needs. I knew that an important need of the Halo participants was to feel like we were all on the same level. The first activity we did as a group was break out into small groups. We were then instructed to pick three words to describe our past, present and future. My group consisted of myself, two other classmates and one Halo resident named Taneesha. I was extremely encouraged by the way Taneesha spoke to me and my other classmates. Immediately as we broke into our small group she took the opportunity to give us advice. She advised us on how to not end up in the many difficult situations she had put herself into in the past. I was so encouraged by her words of advice because it showed me that our presence was welcomed. I could also see how genuine she was by the amount of passion she put into her words. From this very first session I knew our work at Halo would be both a successful and gratifying experience.
52: One of the main focuses of our group was to teach the Halo participants how to empower themselves, how to acknowledge their actions as well as the actions of others and to recognize their needs and wants as well as the need and wants of the people around them. In the end after sharing all of our conflicts and listening to those of others we constructed scenes that showed our conflicts and struggles. The most inspiring and touching performance of them all was the performance about a Halo resident by the name of Jasmine. Jasmine was a very quiet and personal participant the entire time we worked with the Halo participants. I always referred to her as the “quiet one”. On this particular day she seemed to have a lot of things on her mind that she wanted to let out, but she had to make sure she could completely trust us. Once she decided that she could trust her group she opened up. One of the options we give our Halo participants is the choice to either be a main character in their performance or narrate their performance. Jasmine had come to the point where she was willing to share her conflict but it was obviously to painful for her to perform. Delicia played the role of Jasmine, Darryl played the role of her youngest son, Marquis played the role of her oldest son and Jasmine narrated the scene. Jasmine's conflict is that her children are in foster care and they are clearly unhappy. She is struggling with the fact that every time she sees them they constantly tell her they are unhappy and they ask her many questions that she cannot answer. It clearly breaks her heart just knowing that she cannot give her kids the answers they need and deserve and it also hurts that she cannot protect them from whatever is bothering them in foster care and school. The majority of the class was brought to tears throughout Jasmine’s conflict. I was one of the people who cried. I cried because just hearing about a mother longing for her children breaks my heart, but I also cried from the joy of knowing that Jasmine had gotten something off of her chest that was obviously weighing her down. Working at Halo and hearing all of the many troubling stories of such wonderful people have been extremely sobering and humbling for me. Being able to share my own stories with these same people is most definitely a blessing. Throughout this process I believe that while helping others to gain the tools they needed to empower themselves I learned different ways so empower myself. Contrary to my beliefs, the residence of Halo did not have negative thoughts and feelings towards our class. They were actually excited for us to learn a thing or two from them just as well as they were learning from us. I try to, at all times, keep in mind that people who are going through conflict in their lives are not always looking to take their frustrations out on other people. In all actuality many of them are just hoping that at least one other person can learn from their mistakes in order to have a more fulfilled life.
53: When we got there, there weren't as many people attending, HALO members and students. I felt somewhat better because it was a smaller crowd and I felt my nervousness leaving. As we started the “Ice-Breaker,” everything was going well so far. I knew what to say every segment because of my notes I held in my hand. If I didn’t have my notes, my mind would have went blank so that helped as well. Darryl seems to be nervous as well but I couldn’t tell because he worked through it without even showing a sign of struggle. Our activities I felt that were effective to the HALO members were the forum theater. The Forum Theater was a good activity because the HALO members were intrigued by the activity. They were so involved with each others stories they wanted to act out. As I walked around, I glanced into the groups conversation and heard a lot of input by the HALO members. Most of the groups stories were about the HALO members personally experience. | My name is Marquis Hazelwood and I am a senior at the University of Wisconsin Parkside. Before my facilitation, I was a little nervous about how it would go. Darryl and I went over our outline for hours before class time making sure we would do a good job for the night. I thought it was going to go wrong because Darryl and my schedules outside of class are very different and we couldn’t meet up personally, only through email. The only time we spent on the “Run through” of the facilitation was about four hours before it. The pressure was on because other facilitators before us did so well and I didn’t want to end the streak.
54: One particular story or incident was when HALO member Dawn and her group acted out her story. The group went over of what they were going to do but Dawn changed her mind as her real emotions played at part of the story. She didn’t follow the guidelines of the activity, but I didn’t mind because she had something to say that was on her heart and she probably needed to say it. The other group scenes were also good as well because it allowed people like “Sean” to open up more. She stills wants attention but never wanted to talk about her personal stories to why she is there now. Every week I feel like she never changes but last week was where the class noticed that she was changing before our eyes. By the end of our facilitation, we ran out of activities, so we made up one on the spot which worked out well.
55: I pay attention to finer details like what they don’t say verse what they do say. I remember that I am person that can also play a major role in the day to day lives.When my conflict class had the opportunity to go to HALO, it was a eye opener. The people that lived in the shelter could have been anyone of my classmates or me. Conflict, barriers or life experience placed us on the same playing field. No one was exempt from having life struggles or dealing with unresolved conflicts that we sometimes let linger in our lives. As much as I would like to believe we changed their lives by letting their stories be heard. They changed my life. I have the tools to deal with conflict because of school but I have the gift of hope because of participants at HALO. Their attitudes to survive and not be victims have help me want to become a better person and give my clients hope. | My name is La’Keeda Murphy and I am a graduating Senior at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside. When I first started attending Parkside I was majoring in Sociology with a concentration in pre-medicine. After life happened, I changed my career path. Now my major is Sociology/Criminal Justice with a minor in Communication and a certificate in Conflict Resolution and Analysis. My certificate has taught me the most. I have new perspective on life and can do my job effective because of my Conflict classes. I am Social Worker for the state and every day I experience some type of conflict. As a result I deal with my clients different. | Whatever! You can say "Whatever" But you don't know my story. You don't know the burdens I carry or the choices I've had to make. You can say "Whatever" But life doesn't always go as planned. I didn't plan on having this life. Tragedies enter my life. I've chosen alcohol to block my demons. At an early age I had my innocence taken. In my teens I've trusted the wrong people with my heart. As an adult I chose to do destructive things. Get them before they get me. You can say "Whatever" Not everyone had someone to believe in, Not everyone had someone to teach them right and wrong. Not everyone had known what their choices were. I've learned how to deal with conflict and I chose to have a better life.