Center for Peaceful Solutions

Hempstead Healing Circles

The Vision

This project is a replicable and scalable model of restorative practice designed to help people find empowerment through empathy using a specially designed tool called the Dialogue Road Map. We envision that the Hempstead Healing Circles using the Dialogue Road Map will be a model for communities throughout the U.S., and beyond.

The Dialogue Road Map has already gained popularity in Hempstead through the Nassau County COTA project and through our work at The INN. This means that there is already at least 100 people who can vouch for the Dialogue Road Map and for our authenticity as facilitators, trainers and mediators. The strategy is to build on our reputation for creating trust and safety so that local people can be empowered to have better quality conversations in order that positive decision making can take place.

The circles will begin small scale as we work with a small group that we train to facilitate circles. The circles will grow exponentially as people report to friends and family that they have a good experience. Of course, there will be a slow start and this will not be an instant cure for all ills. It should be expected that the circles will bring the real conflicts (not the acted out manifestations) to the surface and this will give us and the people we train the raw material to resolve and bring peace. In our experience there will come a ‘tipping point’ where movement will happen rapidly and at that point the community will find a way to embrace change.

The Need

People in disadvantaged communities face conflict every day either directly or indirectly yet there is little knowledge among them about conflict resolution skills, emotional intelligence or peaceful problem solving. These skills are not taught in schools and access to such learning is often cost prohibitive. This means that when the community is called upon to collaborate they find it hard to remain objective and are more likely to take adversarial positions in response to disagreement.

When disagreements turn into position taking, escalation and hardening divides people until it becomes impossible to ‘climb down’. Once threats, legal systems or power plays are invoked, it reduces options for peaceful resolution because of the loss of face in backing down.

Peaceful Solutions has been working in Hempstead since 2013. The nature of our work helps people to understand the level of conflict they live with internally and confronts how that manifests externally. Our experience is that the community is ready for change but does not have the skills, knowledge or systems in place to effect that change. The level of trauma and despair is very high. In our local tests we found that more than 50% of people have ACES scores of 4+. This level of trauma, left unresolved, will manifest as dysfunction.

This community has also had a high proportion of violent crime, addictions and illness and many people have had poor experiences of government agencies from which they have not healed. This project proposes that people will not be able to work successfully at the strategic external problem solving level until they have healed.

People Trained
Years in Hempstead
Hempstead Facilitators

meet the our team

Committed to healing in the Village of Hempstead