ACB Series: Three Steps in Conflict Resolution
All the 480 students of Rappahannock County High School (RCHS) were invited to work on these three 8' x 8' portables murals in 1996 with the introduction of the peer mediation program. The content of the murals are three simple steps in Conflict Resolution developed by Dr. Martha Harty of Carnegie Mellon University: Air the Viewpoints, Clarify the Needs, Brainstorm Solutions. The students drew upon their experience with conflict to generate images for each mural, gaining skills in research, drawing, design, painting, rendering three-dimensional images in paint and teamwork. They had the opportunity to transform difficult experiences (which most conflicts are) into powerful visual statements and gain compassion for their classmates.
The murals served as inspiration for the creation of an original play by RCHS English students called "Rumble in the Mountain - A Geological Fable of Conflict and Resolution" (put link). The image for "Brainstorming Solutions" was a ying-yang symbol which grew out of a senior's statement "Out of earthquakes, mountains are born", which inspired the geological analogy The murals and plays were featured in "Teaching Tolerance Magazine", which resulted in 8 students traveling to Los Angels to see Mira Loma High Schools version of Rumble in the Mountain. They also assisted in conflict resolution training. The murals were exhibited at the United Nations and the U.S. Senate.
A long term goal is to create murals with teens throughout the United States and in other parts of the world, each with the same basic structural format and unique content. The murals would be exhibited together.