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Social Work and Restorative JusticeSkills for Dialogue, Peacemaking, and Reconciliation$
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Elizabeth Beck, Nancy P. Kropf, and Pamela Blume Leonard

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195394641

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195394641.001.0001

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Using Conflict to Build Community: Community Conferencing

Using Conflict to Build Community: Community Conferencing

Chapter:
(p.149) Chapter Seven Using Conflict to Build Community: Community Conferencing
Source:
Social Work and Restorative Justice
Author(s):

Lauren Abramson

Elizabeth Beck

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195394641.003.0007

This chapter describes how a restorative process called community conferencing combined with a traditional community organizing effort transformed a neighborhood. The strengths and limitations of community conferencing are explored. The case study involves a seemingly intractable conflict involving football playing in a Baltimore neighborhood. The conflict which is described in the chapter led to a community conference that led to the creation of a football league and ultimately the transformation of a neighborhood. The chapter covers the history, principles, and practice skills associated with community conferencing. It suggests that community conferencing can be an important tool for addressing a conflict and is a very strong complement to traditional community practice interventions. The chapter further purports that community conferencing can be an effective strategy to support the development of collective efficacy, a condition that has been found to reduce crime, as neighbors know each other, share values, and are willing to intervene in neighborhood problems.

Keywords:   community practice, conflict transformation, community conferencing, neighborhood organizing, community organizing, collective efficacy, Baltimore

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