Conflict. As we seek both to reduce nieghborhood conflicts (especially those that lead to gun violence) while also working with our the members of our Justice Community program to help them achieve their educational, job readiness, and pro-social potential, we realized early that helping people acquire new skills and approaches for dealing with interpersonal and group conflict was very important.
We're proud to say that on August 29, 2012, twenty members of our Justice Community program took part in a day long Conflict Resolution workshop led by the expert staff from the New York Peace Institute. In the training, our members discussed the types of conflicts they typically encounter, the types of responses they use, how those responses do or don't work for them, then learned and tried out a wider array of responses, in the process becoming cognizent that no one approach is necessarily better, but that we have a choice from among an array of different styles that we can use and each may lead to different results.
Following the training, two members who expressed interest in learning more were able to go on to participate in a five day mediation training, together with professionals from around the City, also lead by the New York Peace Institute, and one of those members will also continue, starting this week, in their apprenticeship program which may lead to formal approval as a trained mediator.
In the future, other members of the program will take the mediation training and may be eligible for the apprenticeship program as well. The goal is to develop the abilities of young people in the neighborhood to respond to conflict creatively. We hope that these young people will inform, inspire, and teach others!