Resolving conflicts

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Amy Hanson | University Relations | 3 February 2010

Chad Ford, director of the David O. McKay Center for Intercultural Understanding, gave a recent entrepreneurship lecture sharing his extensive experience prior to teaching at BYU–Hawaii. He began by teaching the importance of fulfilling David O. McKay's vision—that from this school will go men and women whose influence will be felt for good toward the establishment of peace internationally.

Ford received his bachelor's degree from BYU–Hawaii (History and Political Science) and went on to do graduate work at both George Mason and Georgetown Universities in Conflict Analysis and Resolution and International Law. During this time, Ford and a friend started the popular website Eventually sportsTALK was bought out by ESPN, and, shortly after, Ford began making appearances on ESPN Radio and ESPNEWS.

After working with children in war-torn Yugoslavia with the organization Basketball Without Borders, Ford began using his mediation training. After much fasting and praying, he chose to come back to BYU–Hawaii as Director of the David O. McKay Center for Intercultural Understanding.

Although he still writes occasionally for ESPN, Ford spends much of his time outside of teaching, working with Peace Players International in the Middle East. PPI is an organization that bolsters the belief of, "Children who play together can learn to live together." Israeli and Palestinian kids are gathering together on basketball teams to help bridge the ongoing conflict over the Holy Land in the Middle East.

Fittingly, he closed with a statement—a letter written by Joseph Smith to Elders Orson Hyde and John E. Page, on their way to a mission in the Holy Land—"Do not be discouraged on account of the greatness of the work; only be humble and faithful, and then you can say, 'What art thou, O great mountain! Before Zerubbabel shalt thou be brought down.'"

--Photo by Ryan Bagley