Distinct Group – Deep Change

 

Mediation training participants'Map' a conflict

Mediation training participants’Map’ a conflict

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

Hard Conversations

Trauma Workshop participants, July, 2016

Trauma Workshop participants, July, 2016

At CCR we are having the hard conversations. Last Friday neighborhood association leaders; staff members from Journey House, KC Crime Commission, MARC Mid America Head Start, and Park University; mediators and a KCPD Sergeant spent seven hours together. Drawing from the STAR program at Eastern Mennonite University, CCR’s first ‘Building Trauma Awareness and Resilience’ workshop was intense, fulfilling and energizing. Discussions about dignity, cycles of violence and the relationship between truth, justice, mercy and peace were especially poignant because of ongoing violent events in our country. At CCR difficult conversation is encouraged. In a diverse society, conflict is inevitable, violence is not. Watch for the next trauma workshop and plan to join the conversation!

Kansas City, Missouri School District Safety Officers Join the Peace Party

School District Safety Officers create an image of separation

School District Safety Officers create an image of separation

July and August, 2015 brought 60 Safety Officers, Supervisors and On-Site Police Officers from the Kansas City, Missouri School District to the Center for Conflict Resolution (CCR) for Conflict Skills and Restorative Justice training. The four trainings, each lasting two days, is funded by the district and has redefined the word ‘lively’. Gregory Winship, Brian Goines and myself shared the facilitation and covered topics such as the ‘School to Prison Pipeline’, trauma awareness and resilience, the ‘Protective Use of Force’ (Marshall Rosenberg), observation versus judgment and active listening.

Each group of 15-20 officers had it’s own personality but most if not all of the participants gained a different perspective of conflict and their role in helping to solve it. The picture above shows a group of officers in the midst of an activity called ‘Human Sculpture’. They worked together to depict a punitive discipline model then a restorative or inclusive model and presented their two sculptures to class.

Greg tells a powerful story

Greg tells a powerful story

One of the most popular elements of the training was the conflict style profile that each officer completed at the beginning of the first day. One participant, who scored very high as a directive person, came back the second day and reported that he had a conversation with his wife about his style. He said to her, “I’m ‘directing’ at work but not at home…right?” Her reply, “Oh no, you are totally ‘directing’ at home too”.

Brian and Annette lead a trauma awareness activity

Brian and Annette lead a trauma awareness activity

The best part of the trainings for me has been the privilege of listening in on the discussions about the work the officers do and hearing the care, compassion and energy they have for children and youth.

Welcome to the Peace Party!

You can join!
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Go to our website www.ccrkc.org to find opportunities for training or supporting CCR’s mission and activities.
Thank you!
Annette

 

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