Community Support & Conflict Transformation Task Force

The Social Justice Center is launching a new initiative to address needs we are seeing in the community. We recognize that traditional approaches to crisis, conflict and care, such as social service programs, criminal justice systems, and public safety policies, are not working for everyone, and often perpetuate the cycle of criminalization and poverty.  To truly be a social justice center, we need to invest in our collective capacity to be part of the solution. Our objective is to model the way a community provides real public safety, support and accountability through healthy dialogue and mutual aid.  


Phase 1

During the first phase of the project, we will develop and implement processes relating to crisis response and conflict at the SJC.  We will build our capacity with trainings and tools, form teams to provide humane responses in times of crisis, and create restorative options for conflict resolution and interpersonal support on a continual basis. The second phase of the project will open the services and opportunities established in phase 1 to the wider community, expand our programming and form partnerships with outside organizations and initiatives. 

Representatives from SJC organizations and volunteers have already formed a working group, the Community Support and Conflict Transformation (CSCT) Task Force, where we will develop our safe space policies, building-wide crisis response plans for both business day and after hours situations, and conflict resolution processes to address conflict using restorative practices.  We recognize that conflict occurs naturally within any community, and we want to turn conflict into an opportunity for growth and transformation rather than dividing us and perpetuating harm. 

In developing the Community Support and Conflict Transformation program, we hope more people will be able to access networks of support and share space, share resources, and work together to enact change in a safe and transformative way.

Colorful Hexagon Mind Map.png


A major part of capacity building will come from a series of trainings, including

  • communication – de-escalation, non-violent communication, bystander intervention

  • harm-reduction – mental health first aid, first aid, Narcan, self-care, self-defense 

  • conflict resolution – restorative justice, peer mediation, facilitation

  • social issues – Know Your Rights, cultural competency, unconscious bias, race and privilege


venn diagram groups.png

The policies and processes developed by the task force will be implemented through the formation of three teams:  

  • The Rapid Response Network will be responsible for addressing crises.  

  • The Conflict Committee will be responsible for the conflict resolution processes with a pool of mediators and facilitators.  

  • The Support Squad will be comprised of peer counselors and connectors to outside resources.


Screenshots of the Buoy platform from Better Angels Collective

Screenshots of the Buoy platform from Better Angels Collective

We will also strengthen capacity by developing tools.  We plan to use open source platforms to create communication applications to be used for crisis response and for connecting people in need with a network of support. 

One example of such a tool is called Buoy, it’s a “community-based crisis response system” from Better Angels software development collective. For a really fantastic overview of what Buoy is and how it can be used, check out this interview with MayMay of Better Angels Collective.


Phase 2

The second phase of CSCT will broaden the scope beyond the SJC and shift the focus to the larger community. What exactly that will look like, depends greatly on what the task force learns in phase 1 and what partners in the community want to see. But, some ideas so far look like this:


  • Expand Conflict Resolution Committee to take community referrals for restorative justice

  • Host ongoing training series to provide more opportunities to build these skills throughout the community

  • Build community care teams


  • “Support squad” on-site most of the time: peer counselors, trained community members present to offer support

  • What needs can this space meet? Ideas include: community meals, satellite site for outreach programs; or activities, workshops, skill shares, art room and wellness services


  • Broaden our app/platform and overall structure to join with other community-wide police alternatives and civilian crisis response networks

  • Build relationships with organizations to form safety nets i.e. connect more people to the right support for them

  • Work with coalition to identify additional unused space and aim for multi-site replication


Want to get involved or learn more? Let us know! Contact SJC staff at annie@socialjusticecenter.org to give feedback, participate, volunteer or talk about possible collaboration – we’d love to have your ideas as we get CSCT going.


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