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International Day 2010

Peacemakers and mediators honored for outstanding work in Uganda and India

Date: 5/10/10
Contact: Brad Heckman, phone: 212-577-1740, x126

Chicago, IL – Sister Pauline Acayo of Catholic Relief Services in Uganda, and dispute resolution organization Meta-Culture of India have been chosen as recipients of the 2010 Outstanding Leadership Award from the Association for Conflict Resolution (ACR) International Development Committee. The awardees were selected in recognition of their extraordinary contributions to advancing conflict resolution internationally. The awards will be presented on September 1st, 2010 at ACR’s Annual Conference in Chicago.

Sister Pauline Acayo is head of Catholic Relief Services (CRS) in Uganda’s Northern Region, Among her many accomplishments, Sister Pauline helped to reintegrate to the community over 5,000 child soldiers and 2,500 formerly abducted people, through traditional reconciliation methods. She coordinates a radio program for a Community Resilience and Dialogue peace building project. In 2005, she was selected as a woman peacemaker of the year by the Institute for Justice and Peace at the University of San Diego. Sister Pauline joined CRS in 1998, after witnessing and living the daily suffering of her people in northern Uganda. In her own life, Sister Pauline has narrowly escaped death at the hands of the Lords Resistance Army (LRA), and lost family and friends to killings and abductions. Her work has mainly centered on helping children and young adults who have escaped abduction to overcome the profound psychological trauma of their experience. She has recently also focused on mitigating land conflicts.
Meta-Culture has been a pioneer in helping Indian communities, groups and organizations improve their understanding of conflict and manage disputes and relationships. Over the last five years, Ashok Panikkar – founder and CEO of Meta-Culture – along with his international staff, have made significant inroads in promoting conflict resolution through partnerships with communities, NGOs, governments, academic and faith-based institutions throughout India. Meta-Culture strives to change the culture of discourse by rigorously applying the tools of Conflict Resolution; including Mediation, Dialogue Facilitation, Consensus Building, and Integrated Dispute Management. Its vision is “a world where individuals and societies seize upon instances of difference as opportunities for engagement with ‘the other’”. Says Panikkar, “While we are not married to any one modality, the larger vision of changing the culture of discourse (toward non-adversarial and collaborative approaches) is clear. We have never wavered from this.” Ashok will receive the Outstanding Leadership Award on behalf of Meta-Culture at ACR’s International Day.

ACR International Day 2010
Sister Pauline and Ashok Panikkar will speak about their successes and experiences in at ACR’s International Day, the premier networking event for conflict resolution professionals with a global focus. This year's themes include managing conflict around international development, best practice in peace programs and cross-cultural communication. International Day, on September 1, 2010 in Chicago, is part of the Association for Conflict Resolution’s 10th Annual ConferenceI, “Many Paths: One Destination.” The conference will be held at the Hyatt Regency in Chicago. For more information, visit
September 1 – 4, 2010, Chicago, IL.

IDC Outstanding Leadership Award
The International Development Committee of the ACR’s International Section each year honors exceptional work promoting conflict resolution in development projects around the world. The award aims to celebrate leadership in the field and draw attention to the importance of conflict resolution in creating stronger democracies and economies.

About the Association for Conflict Resolution
The Association for Conflict Resolution (ACR) is the professional organization dedicated to enhancing the practice and public understanding of conflict resolution. ACR represents and serves a diverse national and international audience that includes nearly 5,000 mediators, arbitrators, facilitators, educators, and others involved in the field of conflict resolution. ACR also publishes Conflict Resolution Quarterly Journal and ACResolution. For more information about ACR, visit