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Community-Police Relations Confab Call Lessons with PCRC

In case you missed it, we had another fantastic Confab call with NCDD member org, the Peninsula Conflict Resolution Center (PCRC) in December. We were joined by roughly 60 participants to learn more about PCRC’s work over the last 20 years coordinating community-police relations and their best practices for how they have brought people together. Listen to the recording if you weren’t able to make it, because it was a great call!

On the call, we were joined by PCRC Executive Director Michelle Vilchez and Engaging Communities Initiative Director Malissa Netane who shared with participants some of the tenets of PCRC and strategies they’ve used to bridge divides between the community and police in San Mateo County, CA. A big part of the work that PCRC does is done collaboratively and before any engagement effort immense pre-work must be done, especially for more contentious issues. They are diligent to go to the community they are working with and personally get to know folks, ensure that people have a space to share their stories before gathering together in a larger group, and build relationships through dialogue. PCRC is mindful of the communities they are working with and are sensitive of the particular needs of each group, they emphasized the vital need to work with cultural humility when dealing with communities. – “When engaging any group that’s outside your own, you don’t have to be an expert in someone else’s culture. Have a commitment to learn and know there are culturally appropriate ways to communicate.”

“What a great call. I was struck particularly by how dialogue is one element in their larger strategy for community building: in many ways, they’re engaging in culture change as much as anything else. It makes me wonder how many dialogue efforts are tied into larger strategies in this way.” – John Backman, Confab participant

We want to thank Michelle, Malissa, and all the Confab participants for contributing to this important conversation! To learn more about NCDD’s Confab Calls and hear recordings of others, visit www.ncdd.org/events/confabs.

Confab bubble imageNo worries if you couldn’t participate in the Confab – we recorded the whole presentation, which you can find on the archives page by clicking here. Access to the archives is a benefit of being an NCDD member, so make sure your membership is up-to-date (or click here to join). We had several excellent contributions on the chat, which you can find the transcript of here.

Finally, we love holding these events and we want to continue to elevate the work of our field with Confab Calls and Tech Tuesdays. It is through your generous contributions to NCDD that we can keep doing this work! That’s why we want to encourage you to support NCDD by making a donation or becoming an NCDD member today (you can also renew your membership by clicking here).

Keiva Hummel
Keiva Hummel serves as NCDD’s Communications Coordinator. She graduated cum laude from San Francisco State University with a B.A. in Communication Studies, Minor in Global Peace, Human Rights and Justice Studies, and a Certificate in Conflict Resolution Studies.

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