I am so proud of my friend and fellow Rotarian, Teresa Miller, for contributing an article to my blog this week. She is one of the most persistent people I know. Her focus on introspection and personal development is inspiring. She also has a huge capacity for and commitment to volunteer leadership and public service. I got to know Teresa through my involvement in my local Rotary club. We were both drawn to an ambitious service project that our club is undertaking – hosting a 400-person, day-long conference for the public called the Peace and Conflict Resolution Conference. (Save the date: May 3, 2019 in Greenville, SC). We became joined at the hip as we worked to create the brand platform and marketing materials for the conference.
“Don’t abbreviate your potential. Your title is not your brand.”
– Kathy McAfee, coauthor of Defining You
Throughout our work Teresa kept telling me that she didn’t know much about marketing, having never held that position or had a job with that title. This surprised me, because as I observed her skill set, mindset, and results, I clearly saw a very competent marketing professional. More than once I had to remind her that her current job title (or circumstance) does not define her. She bought a copy of my new book, Defining You, to help her better understand her personal brand and learn how to more clearly and confidently position herself through a strategic introduction.
Teresa shared with me that she wanted to build her thought-leadership through writing, but didn’t know quite how to get started. I immediately invited her to be a guest contributor to my blog. And as a sign of a truly motivated person, she submitted her article to me within 3 days. I helped her edit the piece, including writing her short bio at the end of her article. I hope as you read Teresa’s guest article you will feel her passion for diversity and inclusion and peace come through. If this inspires you, please consider sharing Teresa’s article on your social media site. And if you want to meet her, then make your travel arrangements so you too can attend the 2019 Peace and Conflict Resolution Conference in Greenville, South Carolina on Friday, May 3rd.
Building Peace into Diversity
By Teresa Miller
We hear the word diversity a lot these days. We live in a world that is full of many cultures and colors, backgrounds and beliefs. This gives depth and vibrancy to our lands, but it also challenges us to accept, tolerate, and at the very least, co-exist with a world that at times believes or looks different than we do.
We all have the common desire to live free from fear of violence and hate; we must find a way to do better.
In these polarizing times people are divided by racial and ethnic diversity but at the core of our differences we find that it is diversity of thoughts and beliefs that ultimately cause conflict. In spite of all the efforts by many people working to allow diversity to flourish, we still struggle with weaving these thoughts and beliefs peacefully together. We all have the common desire to live free from fear of violence and hate; we must find a way to do better.
Why Can’t We Just Get Along?
How can we get along? How do we stop the arguing from escalating into devastating consequences like abuse, bullying, isolation, and hatred against others simply because they are different? These negative effects can cause surges in violence and even lead us into war. We see these negative outcomes in varying degrees, globally, nationally, and more personally in our local communities, schools, neighborhoods, and even in our own homes.
Conflict arises when ideas clash, but this need not bring devastation.
No one is free from the threat of conflict. Each of us in our unique ways at some point are affected from conflict that arises from looking different or having different views or beliefs. Conflict arises when ideas clash, but this need not bring devastation. The good news is that we can learn how to resolve conflict peacefully and manage our differences with the right tools.
Conflict Resolution is a Skill that Can Be Learned
I am inviting everyone to join me on Friday, May 3, 2019 for the Peace and Conflict Resolution Conference at the Greenville Convention Center. Hosted by the Rotary Club of Greenville, this conference will provide you with practical tools and skills to enable you to more peacefully and productively resolve conflict in your own life.
The day-long conference begins exploring the question, “Is Peace Possible?” and then moves into an important presentation about “Forgiveness as the Foundation of Peace”.
We will enjoy inspiring stories from “A String of Pearls: Inspiring Stories of How Rotary Peace Fellows Are Serving Humanity and Changing the World” and then experience working through conflict during “Living Room Conversations: An Experimental Session on Civil Discourse”. We will hear sound advice from the captain of the fourth largest police force in the United States on “Keeping the Peace”. There will be an interactive panel of religious leaders from varying faiths, moderated by the Founding Secretary General of the World Council of Religious Leaders. The panel will demonstrate how differing ideologies can work together through a discussion of relevant current topics. We will finish the conference by learning about “Transforming Violence.”
Please visit our website www. Peaceandconflictresolution.com to read complete biographies of our amazing speakers and more information about their presentations. Download the flyer and share with your friends on social media and at work.
About the Writer:
Teresa Miller is a spirited marketing and administrative professional who is on a mission to create a more peaceful and inclusive community for all. A member of the Rotary Club of Greenville in South Carolina, Teresa currently serves as co-chair of the marketing and sponsorship committee for the 2019 Peace and Conflict Resolution Conference. In her day job she works with clients who seek greater peace of mind by more effectively managing and investing their financial assets. In her spare time, Teresa serves as a volunteer leader and is involved with several non-profit organizations that align with her personal mission to promote peace and well-being for the individual and the community. You can connect with Teresa at TeresaMiller1000@Yahoo.com.