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Letter from Scott Martin to the NAFCM Family

Wednesday, June 5, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Lori Dieckman
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Letter from Scott Martin

 

Dear NAFCM Family,

As you may know, NAFCM is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2019!

To commemorate this milestone, we have released a 25th Anniversary Celebration Handbook where we highlight monthly themes that reflect the breadth of community mediation. Thank you for sharing with us the exciting work you are doing to date, please keep those pictures and stories coming by sending them to Lori at ldieckman@nafcm.org.

Now in June, we will be focusing on Building a More Equitable World

As Chair of the Impact and Values Committee I want to take this moment to share a story about how every day we have the gift to take a step in building a more equitable world:

 

I had the opportunity to facilitate a community dialogue in a local shelter between law enforcement officers and the shelter residents. My table had a lone police officer who shared the conundrum of wanting to be trusting and lenient but struggling to determine whether she was enabling or supporting individuals by giving them second chances or not ticketing for minor violations. Participants shared stories of harassment and the challenge of only being seen as their rap sheet. A turning point, however, occurred when both the police officer and the residents committed to telling only personal stories and differentiating whether their feelings were based on first-hand experiences or what they heard from others. The result was both a deeply empathetic connection for their personal stories and an awareness of how much our attitudes are shaped by “what we heard” versus what we actually experienced. For some, this was the first time they had felt seen by a cop as an individual and not just another homeless person and a criminal. The dialogue circle did not make up for the wrong done to them, but being heard and honored for their perseverance was probably the closest thing to justice they would experience.

 

As always, we thank you for continuing to be part of the NAFCM family and your work to create a fairer and more equitable world through engagement!

Warm regards,

Scott Martin, Impact and Values Chair

Committee members: Sabrina R. Bohun, Lori Dieckman, Brennan Frazier, Diane Frea, Cherise Hairston, Cassie Lively, Tim Lydgate, D.G. Mawn, Letitia Rosenthal, Gene Shire, and Marc Stanley


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