Optimism and Self-sufficiency Surface through Summit

'I believe we can tell the story that leads to sustained funding of this work'

Ben Wolfe

A sense of heightened optimism as well as commitment to take action surfaced through a summit on a new-to-Peterborough Community Mediation project on April 4. Hear the participants themselves express that hope and self-sufficiency through this brief harvest video and phrase poem. The poem was created during the summit, as people spoke. For the video, people shared reflections as the day wrapped up.

Videographer: Amber Pula

A phrase poem: All the lines in this poem were spoken by someone in the room

today is a bridge
to the possibilities that lie ahead

we can have this beginning
because of the walking
we’ve done together

it is a starting point
for so many people who are hurting

i see us as Master Community Developers —
the Mediation Project has been a conduit

a vehicle for discovery
and recognition
of working together

seeds of change
are blooming in this room

we are not always able to express our values
and passions
in our work
in the way that we want to

this project
has allowed people to do that

i’m hearing encouragement,
a keen desire to keep going
and stretch ourselves
into something we believe in

we are creating a space
for people to exercise their resilience
a place to glimpse
their inherent sense of power

seeing hope in the eyes of other people
has brought hope for ourselves —

i believe we can inspire more listening,
and through that empowerment

i believe we can become
a community of belonging
one life-giving conversation,
one dialogue at a time

people say they’re being heard
for the first time
around something that matters
and the pain they’re in —

the power of being heard is inspiring
i have seen how just being heard
can change a person —

i believe we can tell the story
that leads to sustained funding of this work

i believe
we can do anything
with the dedicated and hopeful people
in this room

such simple things are emerging —
a games night,

Peterborough: The City That Listens —
it is better as an aspiration than a claim

we are digging deep
into the core values behind our work
how do you want to play together?

let us be in right relationship
as we see the path forward
the next, best step —


this is the beginning

Poet: Ben Wolfe

The Community Mediation project has received funding from the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services. The John Howard Society, Peterborough Housing Corporation and Peterborough Police Service are involved as partners.

The Community Mediation summit on April 4 was hosted by Peter Pula of Axiom News and the Peterborough Dialogues.

Related Stories:

Community Mediation Project Spreads Ripples of Possibility

A Peterborough Father Discovers the Generosity of His Neighbours