SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) - Community Boards has been providing conflict resolution and mediation to San Francisco residents, nonprofits, and businesses for the past 37 years. It’s the first and longest-running public mediation program in the United States.
Every year this nonprofit organization identifies local peacemakers who have made a significant difference in their community.
“We felt it’s important to acknowledge and honor significant contributions of people in San Francisco and organizations who are really making San Francisco a city of healthier, safer neighborhoods and communities,” Darlene Weide, Executive Director of Community Boards, said.
KCBS’ Connie C. Kim interviews Darlene Weide, Executive Director of Community Boards:
On June 7th, Community Boards will honor 3 individuals and one community organization at the San Francisco Peacemakers Award Luncheon at the City Club.
The recipients are John Cathey, David Sands, Dominic Sanchez, and the Mosaic Project.
Cathey and Sands are two police officers in the Mission district who see a lot of gang activity and arrest young gang members every day.
“Essentially while walking their 24th street beat they saw teens stuck in a cycle of gang violence and jail time and they realized that there needed to be an alternative and out of their own doing they decided to come up with an employment support program,” Weide described the officers’ work.
These teens are offered full-time employment with various city jobs which keeps them busy and away from gangs. She says this program has had 100% success rate so far.
“I really commend San Francisco for allowing these police officers the room to address a very thorny issue in an innovative way and that’s what Community Boards likes to see. We love to see how we can look at conflict and look at it in a new way in order to get people to resolve to be a part of the solution.”
Sanchez is a high school student who is bringing conflict resolution skills to hundreds of young people throughout his school community.
“He is just a teenager from the Bayview and he has been witness to a lot of conflict in his neighborhood and he is doing something about it,” Weide commended the high school senior, “and his messages and his example is very inspiring for not just youth but for grownups too.”
Finally, the Mosaic Project is a nonprofit organization that works with building peacemaking skills in children. They gather students of various socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds for a retreat where they empower these young people to learn the essential skills needed for peacemaking.
“Recognizing unsung heroes is something that our Peacemakers Awards is doing,” Weide added. “We are raising the visibility of people who are doing the hard work that ultimately benefits all San Franciscans.”
To learn more about Community Boards and the San Francisco Peacemakers Awards go to www.communityboards.org.
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