Search for Common Ground-USA
Search for Common Ground was founded in 1982 to help societies in conflict find non-adversarial, non-violent solutions to divisive community, national, and international problems. We currently have 13 divisions operating in 11 areas worldwide, including: Angola, Burundi, Greece and Turkey, Indonesia, Iran, Liberia, Macedonia, the Middle East, Sierra Leone, Ukraine and the United States. To date, we have received wide support for our Common Ground Productions media projects (popular TV and radio programming, mostly in Macedonia and Africa). In addition to our media projects, we have also successfully established institutions promoting conflict resolution--among them, multi-ethnic kindergartens in Macedonia, a Women's Peace Centre in Burundi, and the Centre for Common Ground in Angola.
Search for Common Ground-USA, the division which would host this internship, is committed to transforming how people deal with conflict in this country, so that national problems are dealt with on a win-win, you-and-me basis, rather than on a win-lose, you-or-me basis. Our vision is a United States where common ground methodologies are routinely used to address political conflicts, where common ground methodologies are routinely used to address political conflicts, where leaders are expected to find win-win outcomes, and where adversarial strategies are the last resort, rather than the first. To this end, we have facilitated a series of dialogues on abortion in communities where the "culture war" over abortion threatened to escalate into violence. And, more recently, we facilitated the Working Group on Human Needs and Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, whose recommendations helped shape a recent Senate bill. Currently, we are engaged in bringing to the national level the United States Consensus Council, a private, non-profit entity authorized by Congress whose role will be to convene diverse stakeholders on contentious or potentially divisive issues, build agreements, and make recommendations to the legislative and executive branches.
Search for Common Ground is the largest conflict resolution NGO in the world. Altogether, we have 275 staff worldwide, and a regular flow of interns into the organization, many of whom are undergraduate and graduate students.
In keeping with its mission, Search-USA seeks to arrange internships with "win-win" outcomes, where both the intern and the organization benefit from the experience as fully as possible.
While there will be opportunities to work with other projects, this internship will be based primarily in our efforts to establish the U.S. Consensus Council. The intern would join a team that includes three other staff members who work on this project, which is focused now on passing legislation to create the USCC and designing operating procedures the USCC would use to find common ground on major national policy issues.
The intern would be involed in all aspects of the project, included whenever possible in meetings and activities. Specific duties are likely to include research, writing, meeting planning, constituency development, and administrative tasks. The intern should have an opportunity to interact with our high-level US Consensus Council Task Force, Congressional members and staff, and eminent professionals in the field of conflict resolution.