Youth becoming leaders in
resolving conflicts without violence.
The Mission is to help youth (grades 6-12) learn to resolve conflicts without the use of violence and so to reduce violence among youth in the South Allison Hill neighborhood of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
A video introduction to the program can be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1bP20hOJxw
In Agape-Satyagraha Conflict Resolution Training:
- Youth advance from one level of knowledge and skill to the next
- Like a video game in which you must complete specific tasks before you move up to the next level
- Youth advance through 5 levels: white, green, blue, brown, & black
- Each youth advances at their own speed
- An adult or youth at a higher level helps the youth learn the knowledge and skills
- Need one adult or youth mentor for every 2 or 3 youth participating
- Meetings are one hour long
- Pizza & soda are provided at the end of each meeting
- Youth who are making good progress go on award outings: roller/ice skating, corn maze, high ropes adventure, etc.
- Youth who complete a level receive a plaque and are listed on a plaque in the meeting room recognizing all who have completed that level
First Level – White
Understanding Conflict Escalation
“Conflict” is a dispute or disagreement between two or more people.
“Conflict resolution” is finding a mutually agreeable solution to the problems caused y conflict.
“Violence escalator” is a tool that helps us describe how a conflict gets worse step by step with each step representing an increase in violent behavior and an increase in anger and bad feelings.
Second Level – Green
Emotions in Conflict Situations
Calming down is the first step in deescalating conflict.
The three main ways: Distract yourself by counting, by thinking of a peaceful place, by remembering good times, etc. Relax your body by breathing slowly and deeply, by relaxing your muscles, etc. Talk to yourself by saying “I am in control of myself,” “I am not losing it,” “I’m coming down the anger thermometer,” or “I do not need to react with anger. I can react in other ways.”
Third Level – Blue
Agree to Work It Out
Point of View Given by Each
Solve the Problem
Paraphrase the Facts
Encourage the Other Person to Talk
Fourth Level – Brown
Basic Negotiation & Meditation
In negotiation, the people in conflict try to resolve the conflict themselves.
In mediation, a neutral person leads those in conflict through a process to help them resolve it themselves.
Six Steps in Mediation
1. Opening – ground rules and process
2. Gather Information – Facts & Feelings
3. Determine the ReallyNeeds
4.Generate Possible Solutions
5. Evaluate Possible Solutions and Choose One
6.Make a Plan
Fifth Level – Black
Social Systems & Power
A social system is the structure and norms in which people live their everyday lives in relationship with one another. Social systems include families, schools, faith communities, neighborhoods, cities, and nations.
Power is the ability of a person or system to influence the behavior of another.
“He [Jesus] came closer to the city, and when he saw it, He wept over it, saying, “If you only knew today what is needed for peace!”
(Luke 19:41-42a TEV)