“What you get from the Centre for Peaceful Solutions is exactly that – Peaceful Solutions”
Gang member aged 20
When we work in a community we empower people to learn the skills to resolve conflict within their own networks. This means that we actively seek out individuals who are considered the ‘go to’ people within a neighbourhood and offer to share the skills that we have researched and practiced over the last twenty years. The people we look for rarely work in any official capacity. They are not part of the local authority or any agency. They are someone’s brother or aunt and they command respect and have influence in the area.
And we don’t just train them and send them on their way, we then support them to use the skills in whatever ways they feel will benefit their peers.
For example, we made a solid partnership with a club owner in Brent. He learned the skills of mediation and we learned about his world and his network of young people from all over London. Through this partnership we have been able to de-escalate and diffuse conflict in the local area, particularly with the police and, using the skills, he prevented a retaliation shooting after a local, well-liked young man was killed in a fatal shooting.
In another example we made a lifelong friendship with a lady from Iraq who came to the UK as a refugee having been tortured. With her limited English and our almost non-existent Arabic she developed a programme of Family Mediation specifically for her community where she was responsible for mediating over fifty cases involving domestic abuse. She now teaches the skills to families having adapted the training to meet the needs of her Muslim Community.
Peaceful Solutions in Nassau County, New York
Since 2013 we have been involved in a project called APPS (Applying Positive Peaceful Solutions). We have trained local people to become ‘Conflict Conductors’. Some are ex-offenders, others have been victims of crime and some are people who have fallen on very hard times. They are part of a community hub called The Council of Thought and Action(COTA) set up as part of the DA’s office restorative campaign to rid the area of an open air drugs market.
It is a privilege to be working alongside this community. We feel this is our extended family and every trip is wonderful exchange of sharing and co-operation.
Each time we visit we deliver Dialogue Road Map training to the local community, supervise the Conflict Conductors and help to expand the programme out to as many people as possible. Most recently we have begun to embed the training within an organisation called The INN.
Acting District Attorney Madeline Singas visits the COTA-APPS project
The latest cohort of Conflict Conductors
The Dialogue Road Map celebration cake
Trainings in 2014
We would love to answer your questions, hear your experiences, talk more about our work and explore opportunities
Please email us or call Maria and David on 020 8453 0086