Using Conflict to Build Community: Community Conferencing

Lauren Abramson, Elizabeth Beck

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

7 Scopus citations


This chapter describes how a restorative process called community conferencing combined with a traditional community organizing effort transformed a neighborhood. The strengths and limitations of community conferencing are explored. The case study involves a seemingly intractable conflict involving football playing in a Baltimore neighborhood. The conflict which is described in the chapter led to a community conference that led to the creation of a football league and ultimately the transformation of a neighborhood. The chapter covers the history, principles, and practice skills associated with community conferencing. It suggests that community conferencing can be an important tool for addressing a conflict and is a very strong complement to traditional community practice interventions. The chapter further purports that community conferencing can be an effective strategy to support the development of collective efficacy, a condition that has been found to reduce crime, as neighbors know each other, share values, and are willing to intervene in neighborhood problems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSocial Work and Restorative Justice
Subtitle of host publicationSkills for Dialogue, Peacemaking, and Reconciliation
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780199863365
ISBN (Print)9780195394641
StatePublished - Jan 1 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Baltimore
  • Collective efficacy
  • Community conferencing
  • Community organizing
  • Community practice
  • Conflict transformation
  • Neighborhood organizing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


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