January 20, 2016

2016 D’Alemberte Raven Award

2016 D’Alemberte Raven Award to Honor Laura Chasin

The ABA Section of Dispute Resolution will bestow the 2016 D’Alemberte Raven Award to the late Laura Chasin, the founder of the Public Conversations Project, a non-profit organization promoting constructive dialogue on issues involving clashing values, world views, and identities, such as abortion, sexual orientation, immigration, gun safety, and religious tolerance. Public Conversations Project began as a question that Ms Chasin, a family therapist, asked herself (and her colleagues at the Family Institute of Cambridge) after watching a televised debate progress from disrespectful to angry to chaotic. Essentially: could the same methods that help families have safe, constructive conversations in counseling sessions also help people talk with each other in situations where there are deep differences in identity, beliefs, and values?

Laura became a co-facilitator of a multi-year, clandestine dialogue between Boston area pro-choice and pro-life leaders (following the murder of two women outside local abortion clinics), a story of sustained relationships across deep differences famously covered in The Boston Globe in 2001. From there, Laura and Public Conversations facilitated dialogue on a wide range of divisive issues, including Public Conversations’ work with the Anglican Communion. She also did extensive post-graduate training in marital and family therapy in conjunction with a private psychotherapy practice.

In the field of dialogue and deliberation, she is widely known and deeply respected for a foundational guide she produced with Founding Associate Maggie Herzig, Fostering Dialogue Across Divides: A Nuts and Bolts Guide from The Public Conversations Project. Laura previously served on the boards of the Rockefeller Family Fund, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and Spelman College. She has also served on the boards of the Children’s Defense Fund, the Conflict Management Group, and the Institute for Faith and Politics, and on the steering committee of the Common Ground Network for Life and Choice. Deeply passionate about the transpartisan movement, Laura also worked closely with No Labels and other organizations that encourage collaboration across the aisle.

Laura Chasin and her work will be honored during the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution Awards Reception and Dinner on Friday, April 8th at the Yale Club of New York.

Purchase tickets for the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution Awards Dinner and Reception on Friday, April 9th here.

Learn more about the Section of Dispute Resolution Spring Conference and the Awards Reception and Dinner.