Will prove valuable and timely to mediators, restorative justice practitioners, community organizers, as well as leaders of peacebuilding and change efforts.
When conflicts become ingrained in communities, people lose hope. Dialogue is necessary but never sufficient, and often actions prove inadequate to produce substantial change. Even worse, chosen actions create more conflict because people have different lived experiences, priorities, and approaches to transformation. So what’s the story?
In The Little Book of Transformative Community Conferencing, David Anderson Hooker offers a hopeful, accessible approach to dialogue that:
- Integrates several practice approaches including restorative justice, peacebuilding, and arts
- Creates welcoming, non-divisive spaces for dialogue
- Names and maps complex conflicts, such as racial tensions, religious divisions, environmental issues, and community development as it narrates simple stories
- Builds relationships and foundations for trust needed to support long-term community transformation projects
- And results in the crafting of hopeful, future-oriented visions of community that can transform relationships, resource allocation, and structures in service of communities’ preferred narratives.
Hooker presents an important, stand-alone process, an excellent addition to the study and practice of strategic peacebuilding, restorative justice, conflict transformation, trauma healing, and community organizing.
This book recognizes the complexity of conflict, choosing long-term solutions over inadequate quick fixes. The Transformative Community Conferencing model emerges from the author’s thirty years of practice in contexts as diverse as South Sudan; Mississippi; Greensboro, North Carolina; Oakland, California; and Nassau, Bahamas.