Wednesday, March 9, 2011

At HALO (Racine): March 8, 2011

Women and men residing at the Homeless Assistance Leadership Organization (HALO) in Racine, WI, recently used "the theatre of empowerment" to perform their personal stories of struggle and triumph. This joyful and moving event was a culmination of a five-week training for HALO residents in Conflict Resolution--led by students from the University of Wisconsin-Parkside. The students, who are enrolled in UW-Parkside's Certificate Program in Conflict Analysis and Resolution, used dialogue, storytelling and performance as tools for development in three areas: (1) personal empowerment, (2) relational responsibility, and (3) community awareness. Residents described the experience as "fun," and as an opportunity to overcome shyness and to "express myself." One wrote that he gained "greater perspective of myself in social interactive situations," as well as "new insights" and "greater hope."

The students will run a second five-week training at HALO beginning March 29.

Stephanie Kober, HALO's Director of Family Programs, says of the program:

The impact the Conflict Resolution Program has on the homeless participants is amazing. Even case managers cannot get the people to open up as well as this group. The outcomes are amazing... I can take credit for many things in the lives of my clients, but when it comes to the conflict resolution skills, I owe the program.


Comm 485: Practicum in Conflict Resolution
Instructor: Professor Jonathan Shailor

Students: Katie Clemins, Carrie Dennett, Ashley Downey, Delicia Evans,
Erica Flores, Amanda Gibson, Darryl Griffin, Marquis Hazelwood,
Curtis Hines, Julie Middendorf, Lakeeda Murphy, Loreal Patterson, Deborah Roberts, Greg Teuton, Jordan Woiteshek, and John Worrell.

13 comments:

  1. I just want to say that this class is undoubtedly the greatest experience I have had at Parkside. I am overwhelmed with joy as I have watched this class become a family over our time in the Conflict Analysis & Resolution Certificate. It is incredible how close we have become in just a couple semesters. There is something so special about the the work that we do and the people that we do it for. It has been the most practical and applicable to our lives, and it has been an honor to share it with others. I think I speak for each one of us when I say we will never forget this experience or these people.

    I love each and every person in my COMM 485 family.

    -Jordan Woiteshek

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  2. These last five weeks have been indescribably wonderful and powerful. I feel that I have learned so much about myself and my eyes have been opened to a broader view of our community. The Conflict Analysis & Resolution Certificate by far is one of the best investments that I have made in my education. Not only am I obtaining an education, but we as a group made memories that are going to be with us for the rest of our lives and in our hearts.

    -Erica Flores

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  3. For the past 5 weeks, spending time with the residents has been very appreciative. I can say that i learned a great deal from them, although they might not be aware. Seeing how engaged & committed to opening up about their personal life stories amazed me. This certificate class is more than a "certificate", i feel as though i could see myself doing more work in the future using theatre of empowerment.

    "If thas how you feel, so be it!!"
    Darryl G.

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  4. "The comfort that is established in the first week transcends into each of the following weeks, allowing us to go deeper and examine what is at the core."

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  5. For me the night’s highest momenet was during the graduation ceremony. Essentially, the graduation ceremony marked a monumental accomplishment for both Halo and Parkside participants. Although the night was ending on such a high note to begin with, it immediately became unforgettable when each of the participants’ faces lit up upon hearing their names called to receive their certificates. As each Halo participant received their certificates, a glow of confidence could be seen surrounding each and every one of them. It was at this point that the Parkside students realized they had made a positive difference in each of these individuals’ lives. As the hugs, hand shakes, high fives and even some high tens were given out, everyone in the room was forever solidified as one bright community representative of empowerment.

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  6. The entire Conflict Resolution program has made such a great impression on me; I would recommend this certificate program to all students of any Academic major. Our time at HALO was quite eye-opening, as it has helped me to realize the difference that we can make in another’s life, by sharing a “life tool” such as conflict management. I’m so proud to be a part of this Fabulous COMM. 485 family!

    “Be Prepared to be Empowered!” -Delicia

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  7. Initially I was hesitant and unsure how the experience at HALO would be. But having faith in Dr. Shailor I knew it would be okay, just was not sure how. My faith was well placed and my HALO experience has been one of the most moving experiences I have had at UW-Parkside. I am proud to say I am a student of the Conflict Analysis & Resolution Certificate program at UW-Parkside. Putting one self into a position of authority is always challenging and to add that we are experienced in resolving conflict makes it 100 times more of a challenge. It also forces one to go outside of their existence and step into the life of someone and make it better. We all leave foot prints in the lives of people we interact with and this program gives students the ability to ensure that the foot print you leave is going to be a positive one. I look forward to the next five weeks with new HALO participants and my class mates that each and every week all leave a foot print on me.

    "We all have a story, just take a deep breath and tell me yours. When you are finished I will still be here and ready to help you get through your conflict. Believe me it will be worth it in the end." - Deborah Roberts

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  8. While first going into Halo I too was unsure about how much I was going to learn and take away from this experience. Being a theatre major at Parkside and holding a role of authority it is important to know how to be a leader. Communication is the main aspect of the Stage Managers job, and resolving conflict and preventing it before it occurs is an important aspect of communication. After participating and contributing to the facilitation process I have learned much about myself that I otherwise may not have become aware of. I feel that the experience also had an impact on the entire class and Halo participants as much as it did me, even if they do not realize it. I have grown since a child to be more outgoing, trusting of others and learn how to help others even when they do not ask for it. In the short five week session, I have grown more quickly then ever to become more open myself and let people know that they are not the only ones going through a hard time and we need to stick together and help each other through the rough times in order to survive.

    Todays society puts a lot of pressure on people to form into the people that are "acceptable"
    yet times are changing.
    It is important to come out of most of the constraints that our parents and society puts on us and become our own person.
    Be who YOU want to be and not who others tell you to be.
    Don't let others get you down and speak your mind.
    I will always remember the experience at Halo and hope that the participants can continue practicing what they have learned and pass along the information to their friends, family, and children to better themselves.

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  9. As I said before, the entire room was emotional and some people started crying as well. I, then finally realized how much this program can help people just off one performance. I was aware of the course objectives and its goals but when I actually experienced the impact on people, I felt it. I know this program is supposed to help the homeless but I think it also helped the Parkside students.

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