The Association for Conflict Resolution
of Greater New York
The CUNY Dispute Resolution Center at John Jay College
NYC-DR Roundtable Breakfast
PEACEMAKING IN THE COMMUNITY:
Reflections on a quarter of a century in Crown Heights
PROFESSOR RICHARD GREEN
What can be done after a community experiences major racial tensions? What do peacemaking and peacebuilding in such a community look like? In 1991, Crown Heights, Brooklyn, erupted into three days of race riots after a seven year old black child, Gavin Cato, was accidentally struck and killed by a car in the motorcade of a Jewish spiritual leader. Soon after, a 29 year old Hasidic scholar from Australia, Yankel Rosenbaum, was surrounded on the street by a group of black youths and stabbed to death.
Richard Green assumed a leadership role in building and sustaining peace in that shattered community. For him, "Making peace is deliberate, while keeping peace is legacy." He encourages races "to interact instead of react," and he has said that in Crown Heights there "are Blacks, Blues and Jews. Each sharing with the other to strive for the best, so we all can emerge and spend a peaceful, quiet time with our friends and loved ones."
At this Breakfast, Richard will discuss what contributed to the unrest in 1991 and at other times, and the tireless work that has gone into peacemaking and peacekeeping.
RICHARD GREEN is Founder and Executive Director of the Crown Heights Youth Collective, established in 1977 in response to the need for comprehensive services for disadvantaged youth from 3-25. The Collective serves the diverse African American, Caribbean American and Hasidic communities of Crown Heights. It has forged a relationship with the NYPD and Richard often addresses new police officers as part of an informal orientation to the community. He teaches at Medgar Evers College and is a widely sought-after speaker at conferences, meetings and in local communities experiencing broadspread conflict.