Community Group Conferencing (CGC)
Project NIA uses CGC for low-risk juvenile perpetrators as an alternative to the traditional court system. The conference involves the juvenile perpetrator, the victim, family members of both, community members and a trained facilitator gathering to discuss the incident and the effects of the criminal behavior in a structured setting. All participants have their moment to share and conclude with discussion and decision of consequences for the juvenile.
Volunteers with Community Group Conferencing can participate in two different volunteer activities. One option is to serve as a community member where you will have the opportunity to express to the juvenile how their behavior has impacted you as a community member. The second option s to become a trained facilitator and co-facilitate conferences.
There is no set time commitment to volunteer with the conference. You will be able to volunteer as much or as little as you wish. The only time commitment for volunteers is to be at a conference when expected and to notify the conference facilitator when not able to attend.
The requirements for volunteering with CGC are minimal. All volunteers must be at least 18 years of age, fill out a general application, pass a criminal background check (only if they are interested in actually facilitating), and be able to volunteer at the time and with the cases they made a commitment to.
The Circle is a process that brings together individuals who wish to engage in conflict resolution, healing, support, decision making or other activities in which honest communications, relationship development, and community building are core desired outcomes. Derived from aboriginal and native traditions, circles bring people together in a way that is inclusive and creates trust, respect, and a sense of belonging.
There are two options to become a volunteer with a Circle. The first is a community member. As a community member, you will meet with the Circle at the scheduled time and place and participate in supporting the victim and the responsible party. The second is becoming a trained facilitator (or circle keeper) where you will be trained to be the keeper of a circle for a particular youth.
To be a volunteer with the peacemaking circle program one must make a strong commitment to meet during the scheduled times. The meeting times vary. All circle keepers are required to be 18 years of age or older, be willing to work with at-risk youth, and be committed. If you are working at Gale Academy as a circle keeper, you must pass a criminal background check. There are different types of circles to volunteer with.
As a new organization, we need various types of administrative support. If you are skilled at graphic design, we are looking for people who can create flyers and outreach brochures for Project NIA. If you are a writer, we are looking for people who can develop a newsletter for our organization. If you are skilled at data entry and other office related skills, we could use office support. There are a number of ways to contribute to Project NIA.
As we set up two peace rooms, one at Gale Academy and one in the Rogers Park community, we need people who are creative and artistic to help us decorate and could donate pieces of art. This is a time-limited commitment.
The Gale Peace Room welcomes artists who would like to volunteer to work on creating a Peace Wall at the school. We also need artists (of all types) who would like to offer courses for Gale students after school Mondays and Wednesdays.
We also invite musicians and storytellers to develop a weekly Peacemaking Story Hour that would be offered to local Rogers Park Youth on Saturdays. The purpose of this story hour would be to share books about Peace (through music and storytelling).
- Graphic Design
- Audio & Visual Technology
- Interpreters and Translators
- Database Design & Administration
- Research and Evaluation
- Grantwriting and Fundraising
Project NIA always has special time-limited projects available for volunteers. Contact us to find out more. Let us know what your ideas are too for how you can contribute to our work.