First Unitarian Society in Newton

Conflict Project

Conflict Transformation Project Starts


This past fall, our Operations Council approved a proposal that students from the Harvard Negotiation & Mediation Clinical Program consult with us to develop a dispute resolution system and a conflict transformation training curriculum. These HNMCP students are supervised by members of Harvard Law School’s dispute resolution faculty and supported by an ad hoc committee from FUSN consisting of Barbara Bates (chair), Alan Cody, Clare Kastner, Jon Reusser, and Holly Zeeb—with historical supportas needed from archivist Gayle Smalley and former UUA religious educator Jacqui James.

The two students who have been assigned to FUSN’s project:

Rose Yan

Rose is a second year law student, who is actively involved in the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School. Most recently, Rose served as a member of the Teaching Team for the Harvard Negotiation Workshop, working closely with Sheila Heen, the co-author of Difficult Conversations, to facilitate group discussions and to lead interpersonal skill building exercises. Rose is also a member of the Harvard Mediation Program, which provides mediation services for local small claims courts. Rose is excited to learn more about the FUSN community and work closely with its members.

Kate Van Akin

Kate is a third year law student at Harvard Law School and has recently completed intensive negotiation and interpersonal skills training with the Harvard Negotiation Workshop. She has previously worked as a consultant at McKinsey & Company and has worked with non-profit organizations on key processes and strategy, and will be returning to work for them after she graduates. Kate is looking forward to spending her final semester working with FUSN in order to learn more about the community and contribute to its continuous development.

Kate and Rose will be gathering background information on FUSN, analyzing our needs and values, and identifying themes & patterns in our conflicts in the next months. They plan to complete their project with us by the end of April 2011. If you have questions about the project, please call Barbara Bates, 617-964-6119 or email her at B [dot] L [dot] Bates [at] rcn [dot] com.

Ad Hoc Committee on FUSN Conflict Resolution

Barbara Bates, chair