Saturday 3:15-4:30

OUR DIVIDED WORLD, OUR DIVIDED SELVES: BUILDING BRIDGES FROM OUR MICROCOSM:

LEARNINGS FROM A DECADE OF GROUP RELATIONS CONFERENCES

AT TEACHERS COLLEGE, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY

 

By Dr. Sarah Brazaitis, Associate Professor of Practice, Teachers College, Columbia University and Dr. Eliat Aram, CEO, The Tavistock Institute

 

This paper will discuss the past 10+ years of learning from group relations conferences at Teachers College, Columbia University (TC). Three conferences a year are designed and implemented at TC and more recently co-sponsored by Teachers College and The Tavistock Institute. The conference membership consists of diverse students and professionals including a contingent of military officers from the United States Military Academy at West Point, executives in corporate and not-for-profit organizations from around the world, numerous students from China, India, and South America (among other countries) and students from the across the U.S. from diverse backgrounds. Although our world has always been divided by politics, economics, race, ethnicity, religion and more, these divides seem keenly acute and dangerous in 2019. Each author will present learning from our shared group relations work at Teachers College and will speak from her perspective as faculty, program and/or conference director. We will discuss how those who attend our group relations conferences bring their learning into the world in a wide variety of contexts. Further, we will actively engage our audience with discussion questions regarding how our learning might guide paths forward to building bridges locally, nationally and globally.