The Leir Institute routinely offers timely and relevant trainings to the Fetcher School community. The list below details past Leir-sponsored trainings. 

Current Trainings

Durable Solutions Seminar: Durable solutions to forced displacement is an emergent concept in displacement policy, advocacy, and programming. As a concept, durable solutions recognizes that displaced persons have three pathways to resolve their displacement: voluntary return home, resettlement to a safe third country, or legal, economic, and social integration in their place of displacement. Achieving these solutions requires collective action from displacement stakeholders including local and national displacement duty-bearers (typically states), multilateral institutions, and non-governmental organizations and civil society. This seminar provides a working knowledge of durable solutions concepts, frameworks, policies, and practices, as well as key topics in today’s durable solutions discourse. Students who complete the seminar are able to incorporate a durable solutions perspective in their own work; identify key durable solutions actors, laws, frameworks, and processes; and will be able to articulately discuss durable solutions with colleagues and potential employers. The seminar is organized by the Fletcher Migration Policy Group, a student organization, and the Leir Institute for Migration and Human Security. Ph.D. student Danielle Demers leads the seminar.

Cristosal Global School of Human Rights: The Leir Institute is pleased to sponsor Fletcher students’ participation in Cristosal Global School Honduras: Root Causes of Migration. The five-day seminar, held June 8-13, 2024 in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, examines current realities on the ground that confront displaced populations and those who seek asylum in other countries. The course emphasizes understanding asylum in the U.S. through the framework of international humanitarian protection. It will examine the Honduran context, root causes, and triggers that contribute to forced displacement and asylum-seeking in other countries through a human rights-based perspective. Participants will engage in intercultural discussions with professionals from Honduras and the U.S. and conduct visits to relevant communities and institutions. The Leir Institute first sponsored students’ participation in Cristosal’s 2023 Global School of Human Rights held in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.

Past Trainings

Mediation Practicum: in cooperation with the International Negotiation and Conflict Resolution program at Fletcher, the Leir Institute offered a non-credit mediation practicum at MWI. Students received 32 hours of mediation training and then apprentice with experienced mediators in local small claims courts. 

Managing Practicalities in the Field: in cooperation with IMAGe (the Initiative on Mass Atrocities and Genocide, a collaborative effort between Fletcher and the broader Tufts community), IHS co-sponsored a one-day workshop that explored topics related to security, ethics, well-being and broader engagement with local populations in crisis-affected and development contexts.  The workshop was designed around a series of examples of ethical challenges that arise in fieldwork, as drawn from the experiences of the faculty leaders (Professors Dyan Mazurana, Karen Jacobsen and Kim Wilson, each of whom has decades of experience in the field). Students explored several exercises designed to prompt critical reflect on their personal vulnerabilities and strengths, and to critically examine their identity and status as can be perceived by the communities they seek to work with.  The goal of the workshop was to improve students’ personal capacities to carry out research and establish careers in post-conflict and development contexts by sharpening their ethical and critical self-reflection preparedness. 

Workshop on System Thinking: This intensive two-day workshop introduced three phases of systems thinking: listening to and understanding the system, mapping the system, identifying opportunities for leverage, action, and continuous learning and adapting. Participants learned how to recognize recurring patterns in systems, identify causes and effects within a system, diagram the elements in a system and the connection between those elements, develop a plan for learning and adapting programming, and apply systems thinking principles from the workshop to real problems. 

Defending Democracy: This very practical workshop brought together theory and practice of strategic nonviolence to evaluate the nature of nonviolent social change. Participants analyzed historical and contemporary cases of civilian-led struggles, including movements for civil and political rights, struggles against dictatorships and authoritarian regimes, and movements for self-determination against foreign occupations. The training was led by the co-founders of the Serbian resistance movement OTPOR! Slobodan Djinovic and Srdja Popovic. 

The Human Rights Project: The Fletcher School’s Human Rights Project (HRP) was a student-led organization whose mission was to elevate the importance of human rights issues in the international arena and to prepare students to fight for, analyze, and interact with human rights in many different sectors. The HRP does this through curating a series of public events, organizing a practicum, and facilitating the HRP Program, a student-initiated multi-part training and discussion series. The HRP practicum connects academia with practitioners in the fields of human rights, international law, conflict resolution, and related disciplines to conduct research and produce analyses on relevant topics. The practicum has partnered with the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the UN Special Rapporteur for Minority Rights, and the International Code of Conduct Association, among others. 

Facilitation Training: The Leir Institute provided support to students interested in participating in the Soliya Connect Program, an online cross-cultural education program that has been implemented in over 100 universities in 28 countries across the Middle East, North Africa, South Asia, Europe and North America since 2003.  Participants received 20 hours of facilitation, conflict resolution and technology training. Soliya facilitators are trained to engage participants in a productive, respectful dialogue that progresses from discussing culture and everyday life to delving into controversial topics.