Storm Bridge II. Presenters: Professor Harry Russell, MSW Dr. Ira Neighbors, DSW Dr. Patricia Guillory, PhD Professor Claude Montegut, MSW Professor, Edgar Blanchard, MSW. Storm Bridge Infusion Model Workshop.
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Professor Harry Russell, MSW
Dr. Ira Neighbors, DSW
Dr. Patricia Guillory, PhD
Professor Claude Montegut, MSW
Professor, Edgar Blanchard, MSW
Developed by : Lance Hill, PhD, Ervin Staub , PhD, Jullianna Padgett, PhD, Harry Russell, MSW, GSW, Ted Quant, Michael Kane And Adin Thayer, MSW
Based on the Work of Ervin Staub, PhD
Principal Consultant and Trainer to the development team
The conception of understanding the roots of hostility and violence, healing and reconciliation are based on the work of Ervin Staub. See Staub, E. The roots of evil: The origins of genocide and other group violence, New York: Cambridge University Press; Staub, E. The psychology of good and evil: why children adults and groups help and harm others, Cambridge, and two forthcoming books, Staub, E. (2010). Overcoming evil: genocide, violent conflict and terrorism, and Staub, E. (2010). The panorama of mass violence: origins, prevention, healing and reconciliation and the creation of caring, both to be published by Oxford University Press. See also the website, www.ervinstaub.com for downloads of relevant articles.
For the “RICH" model of healing by Pearlman and associates see especially Saakvitne, K. W., Gamble, S.J., Pearlman, L.A., & Lev. B. (2000). Risking connection. Lutherville, MD: Sidron Press
Knowledge – Understanding origins of conflict, Psychological symptoms and effects of ethnic group conflict, and the methods of healing and reconciliation (Building Trust)
Respect – Validation through acknowledging injustices and actions that restores trust; Method: Testimony and empathy
Connections – Reconnecting with self, in-group and out group; Method: Testimony, dialogue, and prolonged positive engagement that builds trust
(1) The difference between natural disaster trauma and ethnic group trauma are that the causes, symptoms, and solutions are different.
(2) That psychological education on inter-group behavior in ethnic conflict and the psychological impact of trauma (a) removes the harmful behavior from the realm of the incomprehensible evil and irrational; (b) leads to healing because while we cannot control evil, we can control human behavior; (c) allows us to identify, remedy, and prevent in the future the causes of behavior (meeting basic human needs) ; (d) helps us recognize the propensity for this harmful behavior in all of us and which contributes to breaking the cycle of vengeance and retaliation.
(3) Avenues of healing and prevention: Group Testimony regarding trauma releases people from the trauma symptoms. Empathy is key: Humans don’t relate to abstracts; people must hear the pain and suffering to re-humanize the victim, but must help those who have suffered to tell their story in ways that does not re-traumatize the victim.
Storm Bridge is not a substitute for other approaches
Developed in the wake of a great disaster, intense suffering, pain and polarization
Participants need careful and extensive preparation for participation: 1. Each group in conflict must first go through a process of education to acquire knowledge, 2. The process of healing and reconciliation will start with small steps
Daniel Hoffmeier, right, with the Coast Guard, along with an unidentified police officer, helps load children into a helicopter while transporting victims of Hurricane Katrina from the civic center to the airport, Saturday Sept. 3, 2005 in New Orleans, La.. (AP Photo/Rob Carr)
Objective Truth – What actually happened
Psychological Truth – What people believe happened (Perception)
Is to understand that people engage in ethnic group behavior to fulfill unmet human needs.
When human needs are frustrated, people tend to fall back to ethnic group identity to fulfill those needs
Tends to believe that it is superior, more capable of governing and maintaining a just and equitable society
But we pay a price. We surrender our individual moral values and judgment.
images from the yahoo slideshow about the hurricane Katrina. Note the difference between the descriptions, the black guy "looted" food from a grocery store while the white people "found food" at a grocery store
To prove the system which their group controls and which they identify with is fair and just
May deny injustice or blame victim for other reasons
A protester gestures as about 2,500 black demonstrators marched towards a high school in Vryburg, South Africa Thursday, March 19, 1998 where racial violence has flared in recent weeks. Demonstrators were marching in support of black students who say they no longer feel safe at Vryburg High School, which has been the scene of repeated racial clashes over the past month. The marchers demanded that the school, which has resisted racial integration, be closed, that the principal resign and that the schools governing body disband.
- Diminished self, vulnerability
-See the world and people as dangerous
-Disconnect and distrust of people outside the group (possible disconnect within group also)
-Human devaluation and bad treatment lead to anger, desire for revenge ; may result in aggressive or hostile behavior
-Difficulty seeing other groups’ perspective
-Reacting strongly to perceived new threat
-Greater likelihood of aggressive response to conflict, in to defend oneself
-Aggression can begin as displaced aggression on proximal target victims
-Feelings of injured honor and shame/humiliation unlike in Natural disaster
-Victimhood can bestow moral exemption
-Feeling diminished, can lead to submission and giving up
Protesters unable to get into the packed City Council meeting in New Orleans clashed with police. The council voted unanimously to tear down four public housing developments. (Alex Brandon/AP Photo)
In the dominant group, they may accept the justifications of the group leaders and continue to blame and devalue the victims to reduce guilt and maintain their belief that their group is fair and just.
There is a price to pay for acting on individual moral conscience once one falls back on their ethnic group identity; ethnic groups tend to punish and ostracize dissenters. The outcome is that an individual’s behavior as part of an ethnic group appear illogical, unfair, and immoral to the victim group.
-Tendency to devalue victims
-Distance oneself from their suffering and blame them for their problem
-Reduced empathy and diminished capacity for empathy, especially for victims
-Denying responsibility and resisting acknowledgement of harm one has done
People Change by Doing
- Devaluation/dehumanizing makes it easier to harm others
- Reactions to devaluation justify more mistreatment
- Continuum of harm starts with small acts
- Long Term: reduction in empathy generalized to other groups
- Even after the conflict, the dominant group continues to justify their actions (Face Saving)
Under certain conditions of life, small acts of mistreatment lead to further acts of mistreatment that change the perpetrators, making it easier and easier to justify and perpetuate the devaluing and mistreatment of others
The lack of empathy generalizes to other groups (racial/ethnic, etc.) and even members of their own group (Blk on Blk crime)
After the Conflict, the dominant group continues to devalue and justify their past actions to maintain face and be accepted in the moral community
City of Gretna: “…The town stands by its decision to bar the New Orleans evacuees.”
“Genetically Defective” members of society including non-white races were out-reproducing the “normal” members of society and passing on their deleterious genes at the expense of the “normal.”
In the tangled story of the teenage knuckleheads of Jena, La., stupid gestures led to macho bluster, which in turn escalated to fistfights and beatings. A sad tale old as time. What made it a national incident was the prosecutor's decision to charge only the black students with major felonies. Thousands of protesters marched on the little town and by year's end, the youths were out of jail.
Murders committed by Klansmen four to five decades ago are only now being prosecuted due to the silence of bystanders (Witnesses to the injustice but did nothing to address it) who have decided to break the silence
Silence in the face of devaluation has a cumulative dimension
The Hebrew root of “silence” is “paralysis”
Protest against the Ku Klux Klan in Jena, LA in January 2008
affects the nation
“We can create a better community if only these people would not stand in the way.” –some people in various communities
Out-group is designated as standing in the way of “progress”
The devaluation usually draws on pre-existing conditions
Seattle Joins Thousands In Jena ProtestSeptember 20, 2007, 10:40 PM PDT
Three Key Points:
- Collective, empathic settings
- First within victim group to avoid re-traumatization and re-build human connection
In cross- group dialogues after careful preparation
One city, one community, one suffering ideology deprives victims of special suffering because of race or income from articulating their experience and finding healing and justice; thereby preventing the process of healing and reconciliation
-- Acknowledging means accepting legitimacy of victim groups emotions and perceptions
-- Defense shields, protects bystander from confrontation with emotional pain of victim that leads to guilt or shame.
Police used chemical spray and stun guns Thursday as dozens of protesters seeking to halt the demolition of 4,500 public housing units tried to force their way through an iron gate at City Hall.
Demystifies evil and serves to discourage venting
This cannot be predetermined; It is a process that occurs in both groups and ultimately is determined by victims
Different histories can be sources of continuing conflict (Bridge the differences)
Students gathered in Polk Place on Wednesday for a four-hour informational rally meant to raise awareness about criminal injustice in North Carolina. The rally was organized by the Campus Y's Criminal Justice Action and Awareness Committee and was co-sponsored by the Black Student Movement and Students for a Democratic Society.
The rally focused on six criminal cases with racial overtones. Amelia Black, co-chairwoman of the committee, called the controversies the "North Carolina Jena 6" for their similarities to the case in Louisiana where six black students were prosecuted on accusations of assaulting a white student.
- Create a new vision and recovery ideology of post disaster/ problem recovery that can compete with the old recovery ideology
Prolonged, meaningful, neighbor-to-neighbor model
Reconnecting with and gaining trust with conflicting group: (Share group identity but not being so imbedded that we cannot be critical of group beliefs and actions (behavior)
Storm Bridge used both “Top-down” and “Bottom-up” approaches
Infusion workshops for community interventionists in which participants integrate the concepts into their existing work.
Creating a new program within your work based on Storm Bridge principles and with the assistance of the Storm Bridge team.
Using techniques immediately in individual or non-structured interactions one can use elements of this theory and model to help people heal and reconcile. (exercise:brainstorm on this)
Storm Bridge will adapt this workshop to specific audiences: cultural workers (arts, music), healthcare, educations, neighborhood groups, youth, etc.
The same curriculum will be offered in the Diaspora communities through workshops and a train-the-trainer program.
School of Social Work
Lake Campus 33
6801 Press Dr.
New Orleans, La. 70126