The Village Keepers Project is an initiative of Blocks Together that works to provide community members with tools to support others in their community in times of need and conflict. The tools shared can be used to help family members, community members, and other community aspects work through difficult times or reinforce positive personal growth and development.
The Village Keepers Project combines leadership development and conflict resolution to reduce violence by addressing the root causes of violence. Through training and leadership development, young people, and adults from the community gain an understanding of trauma and its impact, ways to address trauma, and mental health support through training, organizing events and initiatives with those trained leaders at local schools, and other community spaces.
The goal of the Village Keepers Project is to reduce violence by addressing the root causes of violence through programming that uses restorative and transformative strategies.
The Village Keepers Project is based on a transformative methodology rooted in trauma-informed, and restorative practices which goes beyond the restorative justice methods that have become popularized, and pushes non-violent, and mentoring programming to be more inclusive of trauma-informed strategies, and holistic support for the current conditions of many young people of color.
The Village Keepers Project takes elements of restorative justice programming, where we have had a number of successes, and scales this approach across the community through key leaders running their own programming in various community spaces. A Village Keeper is someone who:
- Reaches out to others having problems
- Helps others find resources
- Can talk with others when they are in need
- Wants to work towards change in their community
Village Keepers Project trainings and events have included:
- “Know Your Rights” Trainings
- Mental Health First Aid Introduction Workshops
- Unlearning Racism Through An Exploration of HBO’s series, “Lovecraft Country”
- Ghetto Angels: FBG Duck and The Wounds of Complex Trauma