On Saturday, November 12th, AFSCs Youth Program Officer, Nia Eubanks-Dixon, joined Peace by Piece Atlanta to provide our newly restructured program with an insightful training on restorative practices to use while working with youth and other constituents. In the process of the day-long intensive session, eight members of PxP Atlanta embraced engaging activities in group pairs and social circles that pushed us to move past our comfort zones and ultimately look within ourselves to recognize and overcome conflicts that may appear to originate with others.
For example, we practiced the use of affirmative statements as a means to express honesty and clarity whenever a constituent feels offended. These expressions allow you to state clearly what your issue is, yet it also requests that you identify your issue with the offenders’ actions, rather than the offender himself. We also learned how to acknowledge shame and, rather than get caught in negative cycles that struggle with the shame, take definitive steps to bring light to the real issues that exist behind the shame. Lastly, we took steps to understand social fundamentals and the benefits of creating clear boundaries with our youth cohorts and providing the support they need to thrive in an effort that can be truly restorative.
As we move to begin our new program in the beginning of 2017, Peace by Piece Atlanta is working hard to grasp deeply meaningful practices such as this one that will help us interact at a higher level with our youth cohorts as we encourage them to recognize the great capabilities that are inherent within them. We are truly grateful to Nia Eubanks-Dixon, Ann Lennon, Anyango Reggy, and AFSC as a whole for providing a seemingly unlimited amount of support to create an awesome program in our amazing city.
- Joel Dickerson
Peace by Piece Atlanta Program Director