The Center for Conflict Resolution (CCR) holds Interpersonal Conflict Resolution and Core Mediation training three times a year at our office on 63rd Street in Kansas City, Missouri. For the past two years we have folded police officers from the Kansas City No Violence Alliance (NoVA), a division of the Kansas City, Missouri Police Department, into our community training. In late July the training took on a new dimension. Along side the two officers attending the training, three former 29th Street Crips also attended. Although we did our best to communicate the make-up of the group ahead of time, two of the former Crips were surprised to find out they were going to spend the week with police officers.
Initial mistrust slowly gave way to acceptance, interest and friendship. By the second day, unusual bonds were forming as they listened to each other’s experiences and similar struggles with conflict. A component of the mediation training involves ‘mapping’ a personal conflict. The photo above shows a group working together to draw a visual representation of a two year old conflict between a mother and son. The exercise helped the group realize all of those who were effected by the ongoing rift, from youngest cousin to grandma.
As facilitators we could not have imagined the strong relationships that developed. There was so much wisdom and empathy in the discussions as disparate groups found common ground. Welcome to the Peace Party!
You can join! Contact CCR for training, 816-461-8255. Find the ‘Follow’ tab below. Support CCR through a monthly donation or one time gift. www.ccrkc.org