Rolling Out

Spelman alumna Damali Peterman answering the call of conflict resolution

As a Black woman, do you feel that you have a different perspective than others in your field?
Perhaps my perspective may be influenced by being a Black woman, is sort of recognizing that conflict comes in many shapes and sizes and that the dispute resolution industry has traditionally looked like the legal industry, which has not always looked like you and me. So my focus is on making sure that people see more diverse people [in the industry] because representation does matter.

What are three tips that you could give to navigate social media fights so parties leave with a positive outcome?
We’re so used to everything being so fast and instant, that people don’t always think through how the words can be interpreted. And there’s this disconnect between intent. Slow down, if something rubs you the wrong way, don’t respond immediately when you’re angry or triggered. Second, ask yourself, do you have all the information? Third, ask yourself: “Is it the right time?” “Is it the right place?” “Should it be me?” I feel like if people did these things, at least half of the responses and fights that we see on social media, I think would be decreased because what we’re seeing is his immediate reactions.

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