Diversity Training and Conflict Resolution 
Understanding & Sharing While Celebrating our Differences

TRIBES, Palisades Elementary's Diversity Training and Conflict Resolution program promotes community building and cooperative learning, student inclusion, and conflict resolution while building a safe and caring community. The program was named TRIBES for the social support, the respect for individual differences, and the sense of belonging that indigenous tribes are seen to have.

TRIBES has been selected by the President Obama's Initiative on Race as a Promising Practice, "an effort to advance the President's vision of a stronger, more just and united American community, offering opportunity and fairness for all Americans." Not a curriculum or another tack-on program, Tribes TLC© is a process, a step-by-step sequence of strategies to achieve specific learning goals.

TRIBES Peacemakers, students on campus who act as ambassadors, spread the TRIBES message and philosophy including mutual respect for others, no matter what their gender, race, age, color or learning ability; newcomers from other schools or countries; teachers, parents and other caring adults; personal property and individual privacy and individual skills, talents, and contributions.

Five Community AgreementsThe TRIBES program assures the healthy development of every child so that each has the knowledge, skills and resiliency to be successful in our rapidly changing world.

TRIBES is a democratic group process, not just a curriculum or set of cooperative activities. The "process" is a sequence of events that leads to the achievement of and outcome. The outcome of the TRIBES process is to develop a positive environment that promotes learning and human growth. This requires learning how to build community environment using five agreements:

  • Attentive listening - Acknowledge the person who is speaking with full attention and eye contact. Withholding one's own comments, opinions, and need to talk at the same time. Pain attention not only to the words but also to the feelings behind the words.
  • Appreciation - No put downs; foster a positive climate
  • The right to pass - Each person has the right to choose the extent to which they will share in a group activity. The right to remain quiet and to be an observer for a short period of time
  • Mutual respect - Everyone is assured of that their individual cultural values, beliefs, and needs will be considered and properly honored
  • Use "I" messages when responding to others - Does not convey judgment, nor is it a put down

Throughout the process students learn to use specific collaborative skills and to reflect both on the interaction and the learning that is taking place. The TRIBES process facilitates cooperative learning and provides structure for positive interaction and continuity for working in groups in the classroom. This spirit of cooperation then affects overall student behavior.

With students having more tools with which to communicate properly, there are fewer conflicts in the classroom, during recess, and lunchtime. Rules for student behavior are posted in the classroom as a way to reinforce safety and TRIBES community agreements.For more information, check out the official Tribes website.