Toronto based author Matthew Legge is coming to Kamloops! His book explores the timely question: what’s going wrong when conflicts become bitter and entrenched, and how can we help to transform them?
The book is making waves and Matthew has been busy doing interviews both in print and on radio shows, answering questions in online forums, and doing workshops and presentations. He also blogs for Psychology Today about rising hatred and polarization, issues he explores in the book.
A Peace Program Coordinator at Canadian Friends Service Committee (CFSC) since 2012, Matthew has a lot of experience with issues like peacebuilding and successful conflict transformation; his book is the end result of years of research:
“At CFSC we’re prompted by the belief that a more just and peaceful world is possible. I got curious about what scientific evidence was out there to support this belief. This was particularly on my mind in the time when many democracies seem increasingly fragile and the state of public discourse seems to be getting more extreme and polarizing. I wanted to know: what’s the best evidence out there about what everyday people can actually do?”
Hate crimes were up in Canada in 2017 and 2018 and there are many signs that Canadians are increasingly divided on major issues like immigration and multiculturalism. Are We Done Fighting? Building Understanding in a World of Hate and Division collects research, stories and practical exercises to identify what’s going wrong in so many societal conflicts, factors in the rise of hatred and what everyday people can do to turn the tide:
“It’s written to be easily accessible for anyone. It offers lots of inspirational stories from the interpersonal, to people successfully leaving hate groups, to a near-civil war being averted.
I learned a ton from writing this, but the main take away for me was that a lot of my common sense was factually inaccurate. I was wrong. We each have a lot more power to influence other people in peaceful directions than we might imagine. And we’re each a lot more vulnerable than we might like to think to biases and irrational and sometimes very dangerous beliefs and behaviours.
So the book is full of practical tips to help us understand ourselves better and to take realistic positive actions. We can do this with ourselves, in our families and in our broader communities, wherever we want to.”
The talk and book signing will take place at The Smorgasbord on Wednesday, November 20, 2019 at 7pm. Legge will share his knowledge and experience with people concerned about rising social divisions.
The event is free and everyone is welcome to attend!
Matthew has worked in the nonprofit sector for the last 13 years, with a focus on building health, dignity and human rights. He has supported locally-led peace initiatives in North America, Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East and Asia. He has served as a volunteer, consultant, board member and full-time staff member.
Are We Done Fighting? Building Understanding in a World of Hate and Division was published by New Society Publishers and is available worldwide from all online retailers and select bookstores. For more information about the book: https://AreWeDoneFighting.com
“Exceptionally valuable and timely… [offering] practical solutions that make a difference in our own lives and in the broader communities that surround us.”—Alex Neve, OC, Secretary General of Amnesty International Canada
“This is the book many peace, justice, and reconciliation advocates have waited for.”—Paul Dekar, co-founder of the Peace Studies program at McMaster University.
You can check out Matthew’s blog in Psychology Today here: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/are-we-done-fighting