This month’s spotlight shines on Darsey Meredith of CoRe Conflict Resolution Society.
How did you first get involved with CLEBC?
In 2015, I attended my first CLEBC Dispute Resolution conference as a videographer. I spent much of my time filming a series of “Best Tips” from conflict resolution professionals in the green room of the theatre and occasionally snuck out to listen to the invited speakers.
What are you currently working on (or have most recently worked on) with CLEBC?
Currently, I am co-chairing The Inaugural Northwest Collaborative Futures Conference, which takes place on October 21 and 22. The theme of the conference is “Deconstructing Artificial Borders” and I am very excited by the wonderful topics we are going to explore!
You are a mediator, a videographer, a writer, and the President of CoRe Conflict Resolution Society. What inspired you to combine all these disciplines in your career?
I started volunteering at CoRe when I was in high school because I was very interested in developing my videography skills, and CoRe was looking for ways to livestream their Speaker Series sessions. I continued in that role through film school at SFU, and in doing so was exposed to some of the most thoughtful, interesting, and brilliant people and their work. Eventually, I decided I wanted to join the conflict resolution community more formally, and have since developed programs at CoRe, taken training with CLEBC and Mediate BC, and I continue to use my videography skills to further that work.
What are some of the most rewarding aspects of the work you do?
Much of my work crosses over between public education on conflict resolution and the arts, which has led to some amazing opportunities to help arts organizations and non-profits find resources that meet their needs around preventing and resolving conflicts. This has been even more pronounced during the COVID-19 pandemic where these groups have been hit especially hard and conflict resolution organizations and practitioners have been particularly nimble in shifting into online work.
Diversity, equity and inclusion are also very important to you. Can you tell us more about that?
I have always been passionate about justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion. The first time I felt like I was taking meaningful action on that passion was in high school when I joined a small group of students from our GSA in a presentation to the School Board to convince them to implement a more expansive anti-bullying policy that protected members of the LGBTQIA+ community. That experience empowered me to find ways to confront injustice more directly in my communities.
This is also one of the reasons I appreciate CLEBC so much. Following a severe concussion from my time in competitive cheerleading, I presented at a CLEBC course about capacity issues I faced because of the injury. The team was extremely accommodating to my needs – they turned off all of the lights, except the ones needed to record the lecture, closed the blinds, and worked in the dark as I was extremely light-sensitive at the time. I have found such willingness to listen and to support individual needs is very much a part of the CLEBC culture.
What is the most valuable piece of advice you have received?
From a very young age, my parents gave me very, very few specific rules, and instead encouraged me to “extrapolate.” When faced with a problem, I was always told to look at the facts, consider my own values, and extrapolate from there, which has been a great skill both in work and in the rest of life.
Other than the work you do, what are you passionate about?
I am very passionate about tabletop gaming and RPGs, especially Dungeons & Dragons (D&D). Not only has it been an enjoyable hobby and creative outlet, but it has been an invaluable tool for concussion recovery. D&D helped me re-train my memory, language skills, and creative problem-solving skills, while also giving me a vehicle to stretch my role play muscles – which paid off during mediation training at CLEBC!
Anything you’d like to shamelessly promote? (favourite charity, social cause, etc.)
CoRe Conflict Resolution Society is a charitable organization, and I love it enough to be currently serving as President. We have an amazing Speaker Series which runs eight sessions a year, including 2-hour Ethics training. The Series is pre-approved for Law Society CPD credit, and the $89 annual subscriptions keep the society running!
My twin sister, Rowan, has also just joined the board of Qmunity, which is another non-profit doing some exciting work to improve the lives of LGBTQIA+ people in Vancouver that deserves a shout-out!
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