IACP Forum 2021 Was Simply Amazing!

After our enforced two-year COVID-19 separation, we could finally gather safely and learn once again at the 22nd Annual IACP FORUM 2021, Lighting the Way Together

Whether joining us virtually or face-to-face in San Diego the world’s largest gathering of Collaborative and family dispute resolution professionals, forum participants played an influential part in shaping the legacy of Collaborative Practice.

This year’s Forum was headlined by keynote speaker, Rev. Nontombi Naomi Tutu, daughter of Archbishop Desmond Tutu. She graciously joined us live via Zoom from South Africa. Her presentation was fascinating, uplifting, and encouraging for all attendees.

In her plenary talk on Saturday,  Rev. Naomi Tutu humbly spoke about how peaceful communication can bring people in dire conflict to a place of mutual understanding.  She spoke to the participants with palpable gratitude, joy, and compassion.


Rev. Tutu spoke about South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The Commission, created following the end of apartheid, was designed to help the country heal and bring about a reconciliation of its people by uncovering the truth about human rights violations during South Africa’s forced separation of the races. Rev. Tutu shared that she had the compassion to relate to not just the victims but also the perpetrators of the atrocities that took place in South Africa and the ability to understand what they were going through.

To obtain forgiveness from the Commission and not be subject to further punishment, the perpetrators had to come before public tribunals and tell the truth about the crimes they committed.  They had to admit their actions to themselves, their families, communities and churches – some people just couldn’t do it.   Rev. Tutu had come to a place in her heart where she could hear and see where the other person was and have the compassion to find where the other person was coming from.  As she aptly observed, walking a mile in someone else’s shoes can be eye-opening.

Over the years, much progress has been made in South Africa; health clinics, schools, and resources, which the South African citizens wanted for reparations.  And while progress has come to South Africa, they still have a long road towards lighting the way for all. Currently, 70% – 80% of the economy continues to be controlled by white men.

Rev. Tutu reminded us that when helping families, sometimes at very high levels of conflict, the same message of understanding needs to be shown to both sides. This mutual openness to understanding is the foundation of collaborative law—working together to keep the family unit intact, without litigation and the court system.

During the 3-day event, two distinguished authors also joined us:

  • Ann Gold Buscho, The Parent’s Guide to Birdnesting
  • Carol R. Hughes and Bruce Fredenburg, Home Will Never Be the Same Again, A Guide for Adult A Guide for Adult Children of Gray Divorce

The Collaborative Practice of San Diego group had a robust collaborative presence at the event between attendees and presenters. We are looking forward to meeting in Florida in October 2022 for the 23rd annual IACP Forum Event.  #ShineOnCP

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