Michelle LeBaron

Wall Associate




Peter A. Allard School of Law



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Michelle LeBaron

Professor Michelle LeBaron is an internationally renowned conflict transformation scholar/practitioner at the Allard School of Law, UBC who has done seminal work in many types of conflict including intercultural, international, family, organizational and commercial.

Over the past ten years, Michelle has brought artists and scholars from multiple disciplines into collaboration with community members to explore how intractable conflict can be addressed using the arts. Her project Dancing at the Crossroads, conducted with internationally-renowned dancer Margie Gillis, explored dance and movement as resources for addressing conflict across social divides. Professor LeBaron’s current project is titled Enacting Resilience, conducted in partnership with members of the Vancouver and Surrey Punjabi communities, involves arts as ways to foster community wellbeing.


Primary Recipient Awards

Michelle LeBaron – COVID-19 Rapid Publication Working Groups – 2020

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State-mandated social distancing to prevent the spread of the COVID 19 virus has caused unprecedented disruptions to economies and societies around the world. Social isolation has cost jobs and livelihoods, and interrupted familial, cultural and religious practices. Most communities have acquiesced, some reluctantly, to the need to abide by social distancing requirements. Fringe political factions have chosen narratives of defiance including acts of political protest informed by conspiracy theories and pandemic denial. More concerning, some more mainstream religious communities have chosen to defy mandated distancing to fulfill what they frame as a higher and more important requirement to gather for worship. They have endangered public health, either out of a conviction that their worship will protect them, or that their demise would be an acceptable cost for mandated worshipping. Yet, the cost is not theirs alone. We all bear the cost of continued virus transmission.

This working group will begin with web-based reviews of instances of dissent and civil disobedience, continuing with social media scraping of comments and posts related to those instances. They will then research conflict engagement initiatives in multiple civil society contexts in Canada and abroad, searching for innovative, creative or particularly effective initiatives. Following this work, they will map their findings and identify promising ways of ameliorating these conflicts, both from policy and practice perspectives.

Michelle LeBaron – Wall Colloquia Abroad – 2018

Being Human Today: The Theory and Practice of Social Transformation through the Arts
Principal Investigator, Professor Michelle LeBaron, Peter Wall Distinguished Scholar in Residence, Allard School of Law.
The colloquia will be held at the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Studies (STIAS) in Stellenbosch, South Africa, from November 30 – December 5, 2015, and April 29 – May 3, 2018.
This colloquia is part of a multi-faceted ongoing inquiry into theory and practice at the nexus of the arts and social transformation. It will give us an African-centered opportunity to weave new strands into the rich thinking arising from a series of gatherings including an Peter Wall Institute international roundtable (2012) on resilience, social transformation and the arts, and follow-up meeting (2013). A second colloquium is planned April 29 – May 3, 2018, providing an opportunity to reflect on learnings and research-generated questions, culminating in a book by the four STIAS fellows documenting the research and synthesizing insights.

Michelle LeBaron – International Research Roundtables – 2017

After the Ink is Dry: strategies and best practices to support durable implementation of complex multi-party agreements
Principal Investigator(s): Professor Michelle LeBaron, Allard School of Law, UBC
This project will bring key scholars, thought leaders, policy-makers, advocates  and decision-makers  together to develop much needed tools, strategies and best practices to support durable implementation of complex, multi-party agreements.
Increasingly, complex public decisions are being made or informed by negotiation involving multi-party collaboration. While extensive theory and case study materials are available on engaging stakeholders and completing multi-party negotiated agreements, little research or writing addresses the implementation, monitoring and evaluation phases that follow. Yet these phases require wholesale attitudinal and relational changes as former adversaries must collaborate to give effect to negotiated outcomes. When relationships shift—often uneasily—from negotiation to implementation, multiple challenges arise that potentially frustrate the durability of agreements. A recent review of the periodical literature in public policy dispute resolution uncovered few frameworks or resources for use ‘after the ink is dry’.  This project will address this deficit by formulating and mobilizing innovative, research­ informed resources to  improve the effectiveness of post-agreement  collaboration.

Michelle LeBaron – Distinguished Scholars in Residence – 2013

Professor LeBaron’s residency at the Peter Wall Institute deepened her focus on arts, conflict transformation and resilience in collaboration with Wall Associate and neuroethicist Dr. Peter Reiner and a global network of scholars and artists. During her tenure, she held an international workshop exploring conflict transformation and resilience via multi-modal arts. Professor LeBaron was also awarded a Wall Colloquium Abroad at the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Studies for 2015 on the same subject.

Michelle LeBaron – International Research Roundtables – 2012

Breathing Life into the Ashes: Resilience, Arts and Social Transformation
Principal Investigator(s): Dr. Michelle LeBaron, Faculty of Law, UBC; Dr. Cynthia Cohen, Brandeis University International Centre for Ethics, Justice and Public Life, United States.
Breathing Life into the Ashes: Resilience, Arts and Social Transformation is a roundtable to be convened by the Peter Wall Institute at UBC, Vancouver from October 21 to 27, 2012. It is an exciting opportunity to bring into generative and lively collaboration an intercultural, international group of practitioners and scholars positioned to advance the work of Social Transformation and Arts with the following three purposes: to explore and deepen experience and understandings of individual and collective resilience; to develop an infrastructure to strengthen the resilience and the legitimacy of the field of Social Transformation and the Arts; and to advance understanding of assessment and evaluation in Social Transformation/Arts fields.
Together, participants will examine how social transformation through the arts fosters positive social change in settings around the world. The roundtable will include performances highlighting arts-based work as a response to systemic and other violence that powerfully illustrates the potency of Social Transformation through the Arts. It will provide a forum for planning ways to advance this work and strengthen existing networks.

Co-Principal Investigator Awards

María Wills – International Visiting Research Scholars – 2018
Geoffrey Corry – International Visiting Research Scholars – 2015