Months ago I started a series of posts about Moritz’s newly-launched Divided Community Project (part 1part 2) (some versions of Internet Explorer have trouble with this website–the project is working out the kinks). The Project aims to strengthen community efforts to transform division into action and focuses on how communities can respond constructively to civil unrest as well as on how they can identify and meaningfully address the reasons underlying community division.

Today I am pleased to announce the launch of the Divided Community Project’s new website, and introduce Grande Lum as the Project’s Director.

Grande is currently the Gould Research Fellow and Lecturer at Stanford Law and previously served as the Director of the Department of Justice’s Community Relations Service. In guiding the project, Grande will draw on his extensive experience dealing with civil unrest with the Community Relations Service, where he directed a staff of about 40 conciliators intervening in major domestic conflicts over the last few years, as well as his past experience working, writing and teaching in the dispute resolution field. Grande will advance the Project’s initiatives to establish pilot programs which plan in advance of civil unrest, offer suggestions for improving practice, develop conflict assessment tools, and advocate for the use of collaborative methods for turning community division into positive action.

On joining the Divided Community Project, Grande wrote: “I am thrilled to be joining the Divided Community Project at a time when the country is grappling with polarization at seemingly every turn. I look forward to working with the Project’s extraordinary team to move divided communities toward peace and justice.”

The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law Program on Dispute Resolution serves as the host institution. The JAMS Foundation provided significant funding for the creation of the Project and the Kettering Foundation partnered in its early work. The OSU Democracy Studies Program and Emeritus Academy have both awarded financial assistance that has supported valuable student research assistance for the project.

Sarah Cole is a professor as well as the director of the Program on Dispute Resolution at Ohio State University Moritz College of Law. She has focused her research on the legal issues and policy that have arisen as a result of the increased use of alternative dispute resolution (ADR). She frequently publishes articles on dispute resolution topics and is a contributor to ADR Prof Blog.