Bridging Divides

Building the

Beloved Community


The Selma CNTR works in nine sectors, partnering in institutional contexts to address the root causes of physical, mental, emotional, economic, political and racial violence—including racial profiling—with the two-pronged goal of implementing long-range solutions to systemic violence and building the Beloved Community. The implementation of the programs in each sector will occur according to our strategic plan timeline.


These nine sectors are:


Family - To create a culture of harmony through nonviolent conflict resolution in families—helping families to develop new traditions and practices and to deescalate conflict rather than escalate conflict within and between families.  Families are a major pillar of the Beloved Community and therefore families must also develop just and loving relationships, foundational to just systems for generations to come.

Education - To partner with schools and colleges to develop curriculum as well as model classrooms where there are peer-to-peer conflict resolution processes, and Beloved Community World History, as well as to support the development of parent/student advocacy Selma CNTRs and adult learning forums that promote the values of the Beloved Community.

Law/Justice Systems - To use a restorative justice model in the development of community courts and mediation centers by partnering with families, the judicial system, schools, and other agencies to address the unresolved complaints of citizens, especially youth, which can lead to violence or unfair outcomes. To focus on reconciliation amongst community members from different factions and groups. To help develop models, such as the Due Process Committee and the Criminal Retainer Program, that allow everyday citizens to influence and enhance the justice system where it lacks support in order to help eliminate mass  incarceration and the school to prison pipeline.


Governance - To work with a Council of Elders in each community to help solve community problems and build community social infrastructure.  This council will help develop community patrols to reduce police intervention and racial profiling, allowing police to focus on more severe threats to the community.  This will also allow community members to participate in governance in a way that will inspire them to be more participatory as citizens as they have personal experiences with the fruitfulness of self-governance. To advocate for policies that encourage the community to participate in government and to vote, including voter restoration for people convicted of felonies, automatic voter registration and prohibiting purging of inactive voters.


Community, Social, and Cultural Institutions - To encourage the use of the arts and artistic venues, such as community choirs and theater, as well as, social contexts such as neighborhood homes, community centers, and the NeighborCircles program to promote racial healing and understanding through dialogue and cultural education.  To use our planned community restaurant, stage, and local vegetable garden to build meaningful relationships between people from different backgrounds, in part by providing a physical space, basic facilitation, and food to help people engage in the age-old practice of breaking bread together.


Health Care and Well Being - To holistically address internal violence birthed from health-related issues, such as lack of nutrition, exercise, and stability. Additionally, numerous studies have shown that racism, isolation and loneliness all negatively impact health. Therefore, to deal with traumatic effects of our collective history, the Selma CNTR also facilitates therapeutic opportunities like counseling and Sister Circle in order to encourage healing.


Economic - To support the development of local economies by supporting unemployed and underemployed people in developing their own businesses and reaching their dreams, with a particular focus on promoting worker-owned and community-owned cooperatives.  To convene community members and business leaders to promote a spirit of cooperation and develop a plan to bolster local economies. To use nonviolence and conflict resolution training to help prevent and resolve customer service and employee Human Resource issues in existing businesses. 


Faith Communities - To help faith communities focus on those principles of their belief systems that deal with conflict resolution. To bring people of different faiths together in order to build relationships and collectively solve problems in their communities.


Media - To promote communication, culture and related images and sharing of information that enhance the building of the Beloved Community.


The Selma CNTR will help create new relationships across race, class, religion, and other common divides using practices of popular education, institutional and community trainings, and community organizing.  We will also work in solidarity with civic and social organizations, businesses, police departments and other government agencies, so that the Beloved Community becomes our new reality.

Nonviolence - The Selma CNTR has a primary goal of helping people in community to resolve conflict (personal, interpersonal, and systemic) through nonviolent means by  the development and implementation of creative ventures, workshops, training models and activities that teach and enhance skills and motivation to identify and address conflicts in ways that promote healing, harmony, compassion and just outcomes.  Ultimately, the Selma CNTR wants to help make a cultural shift from violent conflict to nonviolent conflict resolution in our region, country, and world.


Truth - The Selma CNTR has a goal of facilitating the creation of spaces and places where “unarmed truth”, as Dr. King called it, can be sought among people with varying opinions to help resolve conflict.  This truth-telling includes sharing the history and her story of people throughout the African diaspora and celebrating the rich culture and history of all communities. Much conflict arises from the denial of truth. The Selma CNTR recognizes that until we are able to hear each other’s truths and acknowledge each other’s pain, conflict and violence will continue to erupt and hinder reconciliation.


Reconciliation - The Selma CNTR has a goal of promoting understanding and healing through the development of dialogues, sensitivity trainings, and new social relationships across race, class and other divides that enhance respect, understanding and appreciation for racial, cultural, religious and other differences. Additionally, the Selma CNTR recognizes that economic healing is necessary due to broken relationships. The Selma CNTR seeks to reconcile relationships and reimagine a more democratic, cooperative economy in order to spur equitable economic health in Selma and beyond.