Conflict Transformation Fund (CTF) is a short-term philanthropic initiative with a long-term vision. We were launched as an individual donor project in 2016 and began making grants in 2017. We recognize that building conflict literacy in progressive movements is a decades-long project, and as such, we see CTF’s initial funds as seed capital. We are using these resources to identify the conflict transformation strategies that can make major impacts, while also seeding basic capacity for this work that can be built upon by others in the future.
We invite peer funders who share a commitment to building healthier, more effective movements to join us in carrying this work forward. To explore possible collaboration, please be in touch!
Winter 2018 – 2019 Grants
Mediators Beyond Borders International has over 200 professional mediation, conflict transformation, trauma recovery and academic specialists who have worked successfully with partners in 33 countries on five continents and within the US. CTF provided a grant to launch MBBI’s new initiative: Democracy, Politics, and Conflict Engagement (DPACE). DPACE is engaging a team of ten conflict professionals from diverse backgrounds and experiences to work with movements to design a framework and recommend a suite of services to support progressive organizations within the US.
Movement Strategy Center (MSC) is a national leader in transformational social-justice movement building with 300+ partner grassroots organizations, alliances, and networks that operate at local, regional, and national levels. In 2014, MSC launched the Transitions Initiative to catalyze powerful, effective strategy and action to transition from a world of domination, extraction, and violence to a world of regeneration, interdependence, and love. MSC sees generative conflict principles and practices as having gifts to offer the work for a just transition. CTF provided a grant to support MSC’s exploration of generative conflict and the development of a practice guide. Some of the inquiries being explored are:
- There are no disposable people, so how do we find ways to address conflict that doesn’t cut us off from each other?
- How do we approach conflict when someone does not follow through on commitments?
- How do we have accountability conversations in a way that’s generative, and honors the humanity of everyone involved?
- When and if we recognize that we have caused harm, how should we approach it?
- When navigating concerns of a community member who unconsciously causes harm, what is the process of accountability?
- How do we distinguish between conflict as a disagreement between two people versus conflict that’s more about subtle abuse and manipulation?
Social Transformation Project (STP) works with 300 of the most capable and promising leaders and activists in the social and economic justice, civil and human rights, peace, and environmental movements. STP focuses on facilitating movement collaboration, network development & management, and capacity-building. CTF provided a grant for STP to engage skilled conflict mediators and transformative justice practitioners to design and implement a process of addressing interpersonal harm within a movement. While the process is initially being tested in one specific situation, STP plans to share the insights they gain that will be applicable to others facing “cancellation” in our current movement culture.
Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) is a national network of 125 chapters in 48 states working to undermine white supremacy and to advance racial justice. It is one part of a multi-racial, cross-class movement centering people of color leadership.
CTF provided a grant to SURJ to innovate a model for a national organization to support volunteer-driven local chapters in navigating the conflicts that often occur in this type of work. SURJ will train coaches who support the local chapters so the members are better able to increase their conflict skills and resiliency.
Training for Change (TfC) is a training and capacity building organization for activists and organizers. Pedagogically, they believe experiential training and empowerment-based facilitation is vital to progressive and social justice movement building. Conflict literacy – the awareness and skillset to leverage conflict for healing, learning, and growth – is an essential component of their approach.
CTF provided a grant to support the evolution of a conflict skills toolbox and directly support TfC’s most advanced workshop, the Transformational Training, a 5-day experiential workshop focused on navigating deep individual and group transformation around conflict, self-limiting beliefs, and embodied awareness.
The Wildfire Project works to transform the dominant culture of activism in our society. Its purpose is to strengthen movements across sectors by spreading a culture of powerful groups – groups that are resilient in the face of changing terrain, who know how to strategize, are grounded in history and their vision, have a connection to a “north star” bigger than themselves, have healthy internal practices, know how to build across identity, and are prepared to grow and win. CTF initially supported Wildfire’s Winter Camp, which convened 100 progressive movement leaders in the weeks following the 2016 US elections. CTF has continued support through 2019 for Wildfire’s comprehensive work strengthening groups’ abilities to surface and attend to generative conflict.
Conflict Transformation Fund (CTF) engages fellows to conduct research, explore and experiment with processes for generative conflict. CTF’s current fellows are:
adrienne maree brown is a social justice facilitator and mediator with Emergent Strategy Ideation Institute in Detroit. She works with groups centering Black liberation, including the Movement for Black Lives, BYP100, Black Organizing for Leadership and Dignity, the Majority and Black Lives Matter Global Network. She’s the author/editor of four books, including Emergent Strategy and Pleasure Activism. As a CTF fellow, adrienne will be documenting practices for successful ‘kitchen table mediation’ — informal, third-party facilitation of conflicts — and sharing models with others to increase access to conflict transformation as a core movement skill and practice.
Yotam Marom is an organizer, facilitator, and writer based in New York City, and is the founder of The Wildfire Project. Over the past years, as both a facilitator and organizer, he has seen that good strategy is often blocked by difficult group dynamics – the normal stresses of working together, political disagreements rarely discussed, and the inevitable tensions around power and rank, often played out through the lenses of race, class, and gender. As a CTF fellow, Yotam will be exploring the cross-section of conflict facilitation and strategic planning with an aim to codify some skills and best practices that can be used by others for fusing facilitation into generative conflict and good strategy.
We do not accept unsolicited funding proposals.