Giving Circle – For individuals and community to thrive, communication is key
At the annual Giving Circle reception, members voted to fund a Community Conferencing program here in Centre County with an $11,000 grant to CentrePeace and the Center for Alternatives in Community Justice.
“The dresser in our bedroom is from CentrePeace; it is a daily physical reminder of their admirable mission to promote restorative justice. When it came time to vote during the Giving Circle annual reception, it was a tough choice but we thought their pitch for Community Conferencing was thoughtful and needed in our area. Being a part of the Giving Circle each year allows us to make an outsized gift to our wonderful nonprofit community and keeps us apprised of the issues and needs our community is facing,” said Giving Circle members Brad and Andrea Groznik.
Community Conferencing was first implemented by Lauren Abramson in Baltimore in 1995. Since then,
over 18,000 people have peacefully resolved their conflicts using the program. In February, when the new local program is scheduled to begin, the Centre County community will be able to utilize this resource that allows neighbors to resolve community concerns which helps to divert cases from the court system.
“We know that community conferencing permits an offender to understand their crime was not only against an individual but also against the community. We know that it can unclog the court of nuisance cases and we know that it permits individuals to not spend the rest of their lives with a mark on their record for just a momentary mistake or a lapse of judgment. It facilitates a cohesive community. It breaks down barriers and builds bridges so that we can create a culture of greater understanding and forgiveness,” said Evelyn Wald, Executive Director of the Center for Alternatives in Community Justice.