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Community Peacebuilder Immersion Training

Nurturing Peacebuilders to Grow Safe and Resilient Communities

Dates: Friday, 10/18/19 at 6PM - 10/27/19 at 2PM

Location:  A beautiful rustic retreat center near Gainesville, Florida 

Cost: $1,870 - WITHOUT LODGING: Includes full program, snacks and catered lunch

$2,100 WITH LODGING: Includes full program, snacks and catered lunch. Lodging provides fully equipped kitchen available for breakfasts and dinners if you desire to eat in.

*Payment plans and financial assistance are available.

Enrollment: Please fill out an application here!

For more information please contact:



  • What is Community Peacebuilding

  • Introduction to RPCP’s Model for Community Peacebuilding 

  • Trauma Awareness and Resilience Building

  • Reflection and Intrapersonal Awareness Building

  • Social Emotional Learning     

  • Restorative Justice Basic Practitioner Training 

  • Organizational Peacebuilding  

  • Introducing Community Justice Model                                              

  • Building facilitation skills

  • Racial & Ethnic Disparities and Disproportionate Minority Contact in Institutions

  • Police Youth Dialogues - Educator Student Dialogues

  • Panel Discussion with Community Partners


  • To provide the knowledge, skills, and support for developing participants’ confidence and competence in creating successful peacebuilding practices in their personal lives and communities. 

  • To empower and catalyze tangible, impactful, local peacebuilding efforts in communities, schools, the justice system and neighborhoods.

  • To inspire and encourage the development of centers for peacebuilding.

  • To develop a community of practice for peacebuilders, sharing successes, troubleshooting, and inspiring others to join the field of peacebuilding.

    This residential experience will provide the knowledge, skills, and support for inspiring and operationalizing peacebuilding practices in your life and work, potentially creating a center for peacebuilding, within your community. 


Core Principles of Peacebuilding

Peacebuilding is an emerging field that empowers individuals and communities to interrupt cycles of violence by establishing relationships, systems and infrastructures for living in harmonious relationship with self, others, and all life. Peacebuilding addresses the impact and root causes of violence and conflict by acknowledging and changing the beliefs, attitudes and behaviors underlying conflict. As root causes are addressed, pathways for resolution, reconciliation and transformation become evident, thus enhancing safety and stability, while simultaneously decreasing the possibility of violence in the future.

Social-Emotional Competence in Peacebuilding


Social-emotional competence is an essential set of life skills fundamental to peacebuilding. These competencies include: identifying and managing one’s emotions, embracing conflict as opportunity for establishing more positive, constructive relationships, shared empathy, effective communication, and responsible decision making. Teaching these skills requires a level of proficiency on the part of the trainer. The immersion experience enhances understanding of social-emotional learning for participants and provides a 10-week curriculum for teaching these skills to others in an engaging, experiential way.

Facilitation Skills


During the immersion, participants will learn core aspects of facilitation, while enhancing their leadership skills. The definition of facilitate is to “make easy” or to “ease a process.” The facilitator’s role is therefore to plan, guide or manage a process, dialogue or meeting, so that the group’s objectives are met effectively and with the full participation of all members. The facilitator helps empower the group to arrive at new ideas, understandings, and decisions. Effective facilitation requires the ability to translate, reframe and de-escalate conflict, while drawing out the knowledge and wisdom of the group.

Immersion participants will have opportunities to practice a variety of facilitation techniques and receive coaching and feedback to better hone their skills. While the concepts of Peacebuilding are simple to understand, they are not always easy to implement. Through the immersion, participants learn how to recognize and release biases, prejudices and judgments that can get in the way of effective facilitation. Participants will be coached on how to deal with challenging situations and conflicts, guiding individuals to find common values, principles, and/or strategies. You will come away with a framework to help others shift their perceptions and be open to wider range of perspectives, options and solutions.

Restorative Justice Training


Restorative Justice (RJ) is an evidence based process that has been used by aboriginal tribes for thousands of years. It moves us from a punishment model to a restorative model which allows for accountability, respect, community engagement and healing among participants. RJ seeks to restore and repair harm by bringing together those directly or indirectly impacted by a specific conflict, offense, crime, incident, etc. RJ is not just for crime, but any situation in which there has been harm or a break in a relationship. It can be used to address issues in schools, the workplace, neighborhoods, prisons and within families and other relationships.

The RJ process involves bringing interested parties together in a facilitated circle conversation. The circle includes those directly or indirectly involved, as well as supporters and others interested in making things better. Everyone’s voice is heard during the circle. All participants get to share about the impact of the incident, how to address the harm and actions for making amends. These action items are put into a written agreement, which is signed by all.

Police-Youth Dialogue Program

There seems to be a great divide between law enforcement and minority youth. Minority youth in Gainesville are referred to the Department of Juvenile Justice at four times the rate of white youth. This Disproportionate Minority Contact (DMC) is happening in cities and towns across the country. To address this situation, RPCP has partnered with Gainesville Police Department and other agencies to develop and implement a five-hour Police Youth Dialogue. During this process, 8-12 youth of color sit in circle with the same number of officers to begin breaking down stereotypes, by sharing stories that allow all parties to see beyond their biases. 


The training includes understanding of adolescent brain development and the behaviors that result from trauma. Most of the dialogue is experiential with role play and one-on-one conversations. Throughout the training, both officers and kids get to share why they may have difficulty with the "other" and brainstorm specific ways of building bridges of ongoing understanding and communication.

Establishing a Trauma Responsive Community Initiative

Various experts call it the nation’s #1 public health problem. The largest national public health study you’ve probably never heard of—shows this malady is all too common—with effects that are far reaching and long term. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), “Some of the worst health and social problems in our nation can arise as a consequence of adverse childhood experiences” also known as childhood trauma. The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study investigates associations between childhood maltreatment and later-life health and well-being. ACEs include abuse, neglect and other family challenges including divorce, substance abuse, incarceration and mental illness. ACE Study findings suggest that these childhood experiences are major risk factors for the leading causes of illness and death, as well as poor quality of life in the United States.

A Trauma Responsive Community is one that recognizes the presence and impact of ACEs and is committed to providing services that respond to ensuing needs and help develop resilience. Within Trauma Responsive Communities, the paradigm is shifting from asking affected individuals "What’s wrong with you?" to "What happened to you?"  The conversation becomes about helping individuals overcome adversity, rather than blaming them for the impact of their experiences.

Continued Development


Your immersion experience is only the beginning of your journey to developing peacebuilding practices in your community. RPCP will continue to work with you to celebrate your successes and help you navigate your challenges. In addition to ongoing tele-meetings, you will be inducted into our learning community as a Community Peacebuilder Alumni and continue to receive support and collaboration with others who have experienced RPCPs immersion.