Cultural Mediation Paradigm

Co-created by Anastasia Rosen-Jones and Susan deVeer

Cultural Mediation Paradigm Principles:
Foundations of New Horizons' Small "Zones of Peace" Community Development Approach


*Principles are based on an earlier study by Anastasia Rosen-Jones (formerly Marcia E. Rosen), original paper Women's Studies, University of Maryland, College Park, 1985. And, in 1999 the interweaving into New Horizons programs of the philosophies of the ancient community principles of Abkhazia as recorded by Murat Yagan.

**See additional background notes below

The Cultural Mediation Paradigm focuses on the building and sustaining of small ”zones of peace” as a basic organizing principle for a greater peace.

Principles For The Collective

Principle #1

All apparent practical solutions need to be reviewed and approved by the highest of ethical principles (i.e. honesty, kindness, compassion, altruism etc.) in order to carry the full weight of resolution into practice;

Principle #2

When it is noted that apparent solutions do not carry with them said stamps of approval, be these absences of a moral, religious, spiritual or secular nature, sabotages are likely to occur to "seemingly" valid solutions as care of the whole person and the whole system is most likely being compromised in some way.

(See discussion on "exceptional communities"  excerpted from The Middle East Crisis In My Backyard,  a work in progress at Anastasia The Storyteller)

Principle #3

Almost every culture that has endured has had some over-arching ethical system, even if flawed.

Principle #4

To the extent that flaws exist in a culture or society, there are discernable lessons to be learned from said entities that can further our perspectives and provide strategies for a more conscious human evolution.

Principle #5

Our troubles are not political, per se. Rather they result from a resistance to accepting that our ultimate survival depends on altruism and building that premise into the solving of our problems, be they of great or small concerns.

Principle #6

Particularly in this era of worldwide diversity and the critical need for planetary unity, groups, as well as individuals, must be especially astute in their assessments as to what is truly urgent and who truly is an enemy of peace and unity.

Principle #7

Successful collective efforts demand that we:

  • Leave our ego attachments at the door;
  • Release our assumptions, prejudices, judgments and expectations;
  • Monitor those behaviors, attitude and feelings that draw us into excessive survival functioning (that which exceeds our basic needs);
  • Develop community structures wherein our limitations to seeing the fullest, most expansive realities available to the collective perception are transcended. Alone we are unable to adequately comprehend that which is whole.
Principle #8
The honoring of respected Elders is an essential ingredient of societal well-being.

Native American word to the wise, “A nation that does not respect its Elders cannot hope to survive.”

Also see The Abkhazian Book of Longevity And Well-Being by Murat Yagan.

Principles For The Individual

Principle #1

Each individual must take full responsibility to do their ultimate best to create small “zones of peace” everywhere they go, every day in every way.

(See discussions on “Ten Pledges for Peace”.

Principle #2

Each individual needs to, personally, maintain an irrefutable position of “intention to learn” rather than an “intention to defend.”

Principle #3

Each individual needs to, personally, strive for excellence in all their affairs, from the least to the greatest, body-mind and spirit.

Principle #4

Make supporting and empowering the excellence of others your commitment and your intention in all of your actions and activities; always striving to assist others in attaining  their own unique highest good.

** Background: Soon after Anastasia returned to work in 2006, a Jewish/Muslim controversy broke out in Frederick County, Maryland. At the time, Anastasia was the newly elected president of the local chapter of a national Jewish women's organization. In a quandary as to how to guide the organization through this turbulent time, Anastasia turned to New Horizons for support. Sue deVeer, a lifetime Quaker, joined with Anastasia, on behalf of New Horizons.  Their successful, behind-the-scenes reconciliation efforts bridged the conflict and heralded in a series of annual celebrations for local Jews, Muslims and, later the Christian community also.

Two “new” New Horizons initiatives that evolved out of this collaboration are: 1. Cultural Mediation Coaching and Consulting and 2. Coffee House Conversations, programs, generally based on community dialogue designed to overcome polarization entrenchment. See our Cultural Mediation brochures for further details and to request an initial consultation. (Contact Anastasia at: cell: 240.409.5347 or

Through this collaborative effort the "old" New Horizons evolved into the "new" New Horizons.  And, Anastasia began her most recent book in progress. See excerpted discussion on "exceptional communities on Anastasia The Storyteller.)