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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Mediation and Peacebuilding: An Antidote for a Global Rise in Violence and Polarization

Last updated Wednesday, March 13, 2024 17:14 ET

As violence, polarization, and disinformation increase globally, community-based, people-centered peacebuilding and mediation emerge as viable solutions for building cohesion.

Washington DC, Maryland, 03/13/2024 / SubmitMyPR /

International organizations, researchers, and peacebuilders are increasingly reporting an elevation in violence, authoritarianism, threats of nuclear war, violent extremism, polarization, and societal fragmentation. It is hard to ignore no matter the source of the information. Whether speaking on the growing political divide in the United States, violent conflicts in the Middle East, or global migration, voices holding the middle ground are more difficult to find. Despite these discouraging trends, Mediators Beyond Borders International (MBBI) remains positive and continues to leverage meditative practices for building social cohesion through localized skill-building and collaboration that fosters compassion and empathy.

“Despite a global rise in violence, climate change-induced migration, and other conflicts that sow division in our society, there is still hope,” says President and CEO Prabha Sankaranarayan. “We have dedicated volunteers and peacebuilding specialists around the world working to transform these contexts by amplifying the voices of people at the heart of conflict because they are the ones who can make a difference in the long term with the right support. In the past, we’ve relied purely on the heads of state to negotiate peace agreements that they themselves may never be affected by. I want people to know this is shifting and together we can overcome these challenges.”

Technology has made it easier to be aware of conflicts globally, flooding the media we consume with images and minute-by-minute updates. Sadly, it is also compounded by massive mis and disinformation campaigns that can be overwhelming and deceptive. All of this makes it difficult for people to be conscious of what they are consuming and to think critically. MBBI offers a few tips, including asking yourself these questions that can counter the filter bubbles we are all subject to and promote some self-regulation:

  • Are my news sources credible?

  • Do they include multiple perspectives or are they all coming from one source?

  • Is their language honoring or dehumanizing people?

  • Is it intended to persuade me or inform me?

  • Is my media consumption affecting my well-being?


Founded in 2006, with the mission to equip local partners with mediation and peacebuilding skills that can create a more ‘peace-able world’, MBBI recognizes the power of connections, collaboration, and community. It continues to leverage its local partnerships to make a lasting impact. During the first year of the global COVID pandemic in 2020-2021, for example, MBBI organized multilingual convenings of peacebuilders and Rotarians across the globe that developed support networks and promoted local health education campaigns in four languages. Another recent example occurred in Ukraine in 2022-2023 while providing trauma-informed peacebuilding to mediators and dialogue facilitators working through an active invasion. By supporting its partners to help meet the mental wellness needs of their first responders, they took steps towards interrupting the cycles of trauma and violence.

While Ukraine and Russia, Israel and Hamas, and other violent conflicts around the world may feel overwhelming, you can make a difference by learning and utilizing mediation principles in your daily life. Instead of succumbing to binary thinking (“us versus them”) and overgeneralizations, you can learn to build curiosity and seek to understand the nuances of even the most intractable of conflicts. By strengthening this muscle, you can learn how to process and regulate your response to the barrage of negative news and support those around you to do the same.

Using hyper-local and customized approaches, MBBI seeks to make an exponential impact through partnering with other global networks such as Rotary International, Alliance for Peacebuilding, and national ones like the National Association for Community Mediation (NAFCM). In the USA, MBBI is the host organization for the TRUST Network (founded in 2020) which seeks to reduce political violence by building a national infrastructure for social cohesion.

As global trends in violence and division remain uncertain, Mediators Beyond Borders International hopes to advance peacebuilding work in communities across the globe by uniting the public.

“Join the millions globally who are mobilizing… and not yet in the public’s awareness,” says Prabha Sankaranarayan. “People are the life force behind organizations like MBBI and movements for peace. I encourage you to build social cohesion in your community by engaging with local organizations that need your support.”

Media Contact

Name: Ben Lutz

Email: [email protected]


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