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March 14, 2019 27 min

How can learning about each others’ stories foster healthier communities? In our inaugural episode, we explore the history of the Vital Village Network (VVN) in Boston and one of its central community-led initiatives, the Social Justice Mediation Program (SJMP). Entering its 6th year, SJMP has trained hundreds of community members in conflict resolution skills that can be used at home, in the workplace, in schools, and beyond. We spoke with VVN staff and SJMP co-leaders to learn about their approach to navigating power, identity, and stories in reducing conflicts and fostering healthier relationships across families, schools, and neighborhoods.


  • Latoya Gayle, Co-Director, Social Justice Mediation Program 
  • Myles Green, Co-Director, Social Justice Mediation Program 
  • Erica Pike, Communications and Policy Manager, Vital Village Network
  • Desiree Hartman, Community Partnerships Program Coordinator, Vital Village Network
  • Host: Ronda Alexander, Director of Operations, Vital Village Network
  • Learn more about SJMP:

  • Social Justice Mediation Program (SJMP)
  • The Social Justice Mediation Institute: Training Community Members in Conflict Resolution
  • Building a Network of Community Mediators
  • Produced by: Ronda Alexander and Diana Rivera
    Edited by: Diana Rivera
    Music By: Morgan Breland

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