Friday, January 26, 2007

Mediation and Gangs -- Perfect Together!

Two Rival District Gangs Declare Truce To Long Standing Beef Through Third Party - Metro:
"Two feuding neighborhood crews responsible for numerous violent confrontations in the Southeast Washington D.C. area have finally called a truce with the help of Peaceoholics, a grassroots nonprofit organization. "

Now this is effective mediation! The incidents stirring the conflict between these two rival crews resulted in beatings beyond recognition, a hijacked city bus, the death of a sixteen year old...

Few people would take up this challenge, but the Peaceoholics did. They're a grassroots organization in DC devoted to helping promote academic and social growth among at risk youth and their families.

How did they manage it? First they took the girls on a mediation retreat, then the boys -- away from the city, to a safer environment free of weapons.

Then they made talk work. Great job, Peaceoholics!

“I think the truce will last as long as nobody fakes and as long as everyone knows their boundaries,” said 16-year-old Damisha Carter of Woodland Terrace.


Stephanie Paisley said...

I think that is great! I worked at a public defenders office for 4 years and am very committed to working with at risk youth. Can you please provide a little more information on the techniques that you used at the retreats and how the kids responded. What did you think was the most effective and did the kids give you any feedback at the end of the retreat?

Ruth Wahtera said...

The Peaceoholics ore in Washington, DC. If you follow the link, I think you can contact them.

I agree - this is really a great approach. More power to them.