Message from Nick Tomb
It’s hard to believe that 10 years have passed since the day we opened our doors. When Global Majority’s founding president Bill Monning (now a California state senator) first convened a small gathering of students and recent graduates of the Monterey Institute of International Studies to share his vision: to create an international network of conflict resolution practitioners to teach conflict resolution skills and advocate for the non-violent resolution of global disputes. At the time his vision seemed remarkably ambitious. Yet the need for such a network was critical, and a small team of dedicated individuals began organizing.
Ten years later, we can take great pride in what the remarkably diverse and passionate Global Majority team, which has involved so many committed volunteers, students, donors and staff members over the years, has accomplished.
Over the last decade, Global Majority has developed an impressive International Advisory Board with over 30 members from close to 25 countries; we have conducted over a dozen international seminars on four continents, and have created networks among thousands of people committed to the peaceful resolution of conflict from all over the world. We have also done significant work locally, tailoring our educational materials in conflict resolution for high school students and engaging with local “at-risk” youth though court-appointed educational programs across Monterey County.
Just as we celebrate our success, we also recognize that the efforts of Global Majority – and indeed all organizations committed to helping others to develop robust conflict resolution skills – need to be expanded and vigilantly sustained. As we teach in our courses, conflict is natural. It is part of the human condition, and in and of itself, it is not necessarily a bad thing. It is how we deal with conflict, how we resolve it—or not—that matters. The Chinese word for conflict is made up of two characters signifying “crisis” and “opportunity,” signifying that, if dealt with appropriately, conflict is an opportunity for change—which may well be positive. If dealt with poorly, it can easily turn into a crisis.
As I write this Founder’s Note the world seems to be entering a period of severe crisis. Reports of armed conflict, religious violence, terrorist attacks, combat operations, ethnic conflict, gang warfare and, sadly, the suffering of innocent civilians appear in media reports every day.
In the face of such persistent conflicts, what can we do? Most importantly, we can show up. We can mediate. We can teach and help key stakeholders build capacity to effectively negotiate. We can share lessons learned from past conflicts. And we can let others know that they’re not alone. We must continue to provide practical skills in communication, leadership, negotiation and mediation to peacefully resolve the conflicts that threaten our humanity. We must provide a voice of reason, calling for an alternative to the use of force and sharing hard lessons learned to help resolve current and future conflicts.
Whether you have been with us since the beginning or have just recently begun to support Global Majority, I thank you and invite you to join us as we continue to promote non-violent conflict resolution locally and globally. With your support, we will continue to advance our educational programs, providing our fellow global citizens with the tools needed to reach principled, negotiated settlements. We will continue to grow our international network, giving voice to the voiceless and promoting peace through dialogue.
As a co-founder of Global Majority, and on behalf of our International Advisory Board and Board of Directors, I thank you for your partnership and support, and invite you to join us as we enter a new decade committed to the promotion of peace, justice and non-violent conflict resolution.