Other than the winter that has finally arrived in the Middle East, last week was a normal week for PPI – ME. Practices were held from Jaffa to Jerusalem, the All-Stars teams played and the LDP had its peacebuilding training sessions. It was a perfect week for PPI’s old friend Chad Ford to see how much the program has advanced since he was last here.
Chad is a professor of conflict resolution at Brigham Young University – Hawaii and a senior trainer at the Arbinger Institute, though he may be best known for his work as an NBA Draft “Insider” at ESPN.com. He helped integrate the Arbinger Institute’s “Anatomy of Peace” program into PPI’s work on the basketball court by creating interactive basketball drills that help teach “the Arbinger way” to children from communities in conflict.
Watch the video below to learn more about The Arbinger Institute and PPI in the Middle East.
This time, Chad was visiting to lead conflict resolution workshops for PPI staff and Leadership Development Program participants. His visit was made possible thanks to a generous grant from the United States Consulate in Jerusalem, who is supporting the “America House Life Skills Event Series.”
Chad also brought with him two of his students in conflict resolution from Hawaii. This was their first visit to a region in conflict. As one of them put it, for the first time they were able to see firsthand what a conflict looks like, how people in the midst of it act and how the conflict resolution techniques they learned in the classroom can help.
Chad visited all parts of the country, catching up on old acquaintances and seeing how the PPI – ME program has developed. He also had a one-day session with PPI – ME’s staff. This session was a deeper look into the Anatomy of Peace curriculum, with which the staff was already familiar. Chad also led two Anatomy of Peace workshops for the Leadership Development Program participants at the America House in East Jerusalem.
On Wednesday evening, Chad and his students came to the Hand in Hand Bilingual School in Jerusalem to watch the younger integrated All-Stars team play against its main rival for the division championship, Modi’in. Chad already knew the girls on the team from previous visits, but he had yet to see them play at this elite level. The game delivered on its promise as a match between the best teams in the division, and was one of the closest and most nerve-wracking games of the year. The stands were filled with loud supporters of the home team All Stars, along with several parents of the visiting players. After a thrilling fourth quarter, the All Stars beat Modi’in 51-49.
After the game, Chad Ford walked on the floor with a big smile on his face, giving high-fives all around. Clearly, he was excited. For him – even though he’s seen nearly everything one could see after a long career analyzing and studying basketball professionally – this win offered something more than your average basketball win. This was a win that was achieved not only by skill but also by heart, by teamwork and by peace. This win was the best lesson Chad’s students could have on the positive force of peacemaking.
Interested in learning more about PPI’s collaboration with the Arbinger Institute? Check out our Ning group here and join the conversation!