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Community Conferencing to Partner with State College Borough on Community Conversations Series

AUTHOR: Elizabeth Siegelman

EMAIL: ersiegelman@cacj.us

PHONE: 814-810-7196

AGENCY: Community Conferencing of Centre County



ARTICLE:

Community Conferencing of Centre County is a program under the Center for Alternatives in Community Justice (CACJ) and in collaboration with CentrePeace. Conferencing is a confidential, voluntary, and structured dialogue with any number of individuals affected by a conflict, dispute or a crime, where harm has occurred. This dialogue is moderated by trained facilitators, who guide the group through the following process:

  1. What happened?

  2. How have people been affected?

  3. How can the harm be repaired and prevented from happening in the future?


When people participate in a conference they create their own set of written resolutions for resolving the conflict and preventing it from happening in the future. This dialogue and set of resolutions empower participants and restores those who have transgressed to community or relationship. Restorative practices, such as Community Conferencing, believe that none of us are the worst things we’ve ever done, and that when people are willing to admit fault and work towards rebuilding trust, they are worthy of restoration to the community.


As part of their overall effort to integrate restorative practices into the city government, The State College Borough has collaborated with Community Conferencing to put on a series of conversations meant to bring people together to listen and learn from one another on topics pertinent to the State College community. The first topic in the series will be: “The Intersection of Policing and Race.” This event will be held on Tuesday, January 10th from 7-9 pm in the State Theatre with an option to join virtually. This conversation, moderated by Jason Browne and Sue Marshall, will include local panelists answering previously selected questions proposed by the community. Please visit the Borough Engagement website for event details, panelist bios, registration, and survey: https://statecollegepa.civilspace.io/en/projects/community-conversations. We are eager to hear what the community has to say on this topic and to gather future topics of interest.


Following the Panel Event, a Breakout Session will be held on Thursday, January 12th from 5-7 pm in the Borough Building Community Room (2nd floor), for all those interested in further discussing and debriefing the event and/or proposing future topics. This breakout session is also a chance for community members to experience the restorative practice of conferencing, as the session will be modeled like a restorative circle.


For Questions about the Community Conversations Series or for more on Community Conferencing please contact us at (814) 810-7196 or ersiegelman@cacj.us or visit our website: https://communityconferencingcc.org

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