Professor Michelle LeBaron is an internationally recognized interdisciplinary scholar on conflict transformation, arts, and resilience. Her current research is on two main areas: conflict across religious and worldview differences, and the role of arts in collective memory and commemoration processes and reconciliation. As a recipient of a Wallenberg Fellowship at the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Studies (2015-2018), Michelle collaborated with internationally-renowned visual artist Dr. Kim Berman of the University of Johannesburg and other artists and scholars to explore the role of arts and artists in South African transitional justice. Professor LeBaron's books include Changing Our Worlds: Art as Transformative Practice
Choreography of Resolution: Conflict, Movement and Neuroscience
(2013), Conflict Across Cultures
(2006); and Bridging Cultural Conflict
(2003). Michelle's work spans disciplines and communities. Her Dancing at the Crossroads
research/practice initiative was a partnership with internationally-renowned dancer Margie Gillis to explore dance and movement as resources for addressing conflict across social divides. Enacting Resilience
, a project of Public Safety Canada, engaged members of the Vancouver and Surrey Punjabi communities to examine arts as ways to foster community wellbeing and inoculate against extremism. Professor LeBaron gives keynotes and consultations around the world on intercultural conflict resolution, the role of arts in fostering resilient leadership, and creative ways of engaging religious and political conflicts.
Professor LeBaron was called to the Bar of British Columbia in 1982 and practiced for ten years as a family law, commercial and organizational mediator. She did seminal work on intercultural conflict engagement as an Associate Professor at the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution and the Women's Studies program at George Mason University from 1993-2003. Previously, she directed the Multiculturalism and Dispute Resolution Project at the University of Victoria. Michelle directed the UBC Program on Dispute Resolution from 2003-2012 and was a 2016-17 fellow at the Trinity College Long Room Hub for Arts and Humanities Research in Dublin, Ireland.