The Wisdom, Mediation, and Dialogue Foundation (WMD) is a 501 (C3) non-profit organization devoted to breaking cycles of violence so often prevalent in the modern world by opening peaceful avenues of dialogue via community-based and social media channels. The WMD Foundation’s primary goal is to educate and empower people thoughtful and through compassionate communication to provide means for healing and reconciliation instead of resorting to more violent means.

WMD seeks to create an open dialogue among peoples of all kinds that is centered on the acknowledgement of our shared humanity, and of our collective responsibility for the consequences of our actions. The goal is to create a common ground based on the understanding and recognition that we all share in the same human condition, regardless of culture, language, geographical borders, socioeconomic status, gender, sexual orientation, groups, religion, creed, or origin.

WMD was founded in 2009 by San Diego native Steven E. Garber. Garber is a writer, poet, and a practitioner of Zen and of the Japanese martial art aikido, which focuses on self-defense by means of redirecting of an opponent’s aggressive actions. He studied poetry and biology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He has taught poetry workshops to K-12 with California Poets In The Schools, and Border Voices. He has published poetry in a variety of magazines. Additionally, he has spent the last thirty years running B. Garber Plumbing, a family business based in San Diego.

The seeds of what would become WMD were planted in 2000, when Garber read In Search of a Non Violent Future,by Michael Nagler. Many books later, in 2007, he came upon No Future Without Forgiveness by Desmond Tutu. Tutu’s book describes South Africa’s post-apartheid Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and elucidates that country’s progress and difficulties in moving toward a peaceful resolution to the issues arising after apartheid’s fall. The book discusses at length the power of reconciliation and forgiveness as a means of resolving conflict.

The power of reconciliation is central to WMD’s method and mission. In 2008 Garber heard an interview with Tutu in which the Archbishop stressed the power of apology as a path to healing and reconciliation. Moved by that interview, Garber started the “I’m Sorry” Project, which ultimately developed into the Wisdom, Mediation, and Dialogue foundation.

One of WMD’s main ongoing initiatives is the “I’m Sorry” Project. The goal of the project is to promote the power of apology. Specifically, the “I’m Sorry” project is intended to be a means to promote healing and reconciliation for those who have been impacted by the conflict in Iraq, including American and coalition soldiers, as well as their families and the Iraqi citizenry. The project consists primarily of a series of videos in which individuals offer a simple “I’m Sorry.” Those who submit videos to the project are offering an apology for the pain and suffering endured by those who have been impacted by the war.

The central purpose of the Wisdom, Mediation, and Dialogue Foundation is to promote peace and healing by means of reconciliation and peaceful dialogue. The “I’m Sorry” project, along with the foundation’s other efforts, promote peaceful discourse, reconciliation, and healing for all peoples.