San Diego PeaceMakers

At the Institute for Peace and Justice, we believe every sector has a role to play in transforming conflict and strengthening the social fabric of our communities. In San Diego, our vibrant and diverse society, economy, and location present complex challenges and unique and exciting opportunities for transformation.

Building TrustWorldLink: Social Fabric Initiative

Building TrustBuilding Trust

A Partnership of Clergy, Communities, and Police

A healthy relationship between police and the populations they serve is essential to creating strong, resilient, peaceful communities. Yet across the United States, communities are suffering from a breakdown in trust between police and the public. San Diego, while better off in this respect than many U.S. communities, has not been immune, and there is a need to rebuild and strengthen the trust that is the foundation of a healthy police-community relationship.

As respected leaders and moral authorities, clergy are often uniquely positioned to build this trust. Throughout San Diego County, religious leaders from all faith backgrounds are already playing an important role in helping police and communities come together to solve real problems. Learning from and expanding on these efforts, the Building Trust Partnership provides knowledge, resources, and support to clergy of all faiths to more effectively build trust between police and communities. This includes information on the most successful approaches and models that clergy have used in San Diego and around the country, guidance on concrete steps that clergy can take to get started, and detailed, community-specific information clergy can access to inform their efforts.

The Building Trust Partnership is creating a powerful community of San Diego religious leaders equipped with the knowledge, resources, and support necessary to build trust between police and communities.

To learn more and get involved, visit the Building Trust Partnership site. 

For more information, please contact:

Daniel Orth

Group of high school students holding up there fists  WorldLink: Social Fabric Initiative

Connections Matter

The Social Fabric Initiative (SFI) is a new WorldLink project designed to build dense social networks among youth within San Diego County. The goal: to build more connected, peaceful communities by engaging diverse teams in solving problems they identify in their communities. We are committed to providing a platform for youth voice and leadership, fostering relationships and bridging divides, and engaging youth as agents for change.

One of the most crucial problems facing San Diego, the United States, and the world is the unraveling of the social fabric, an increasing sense of marginalization and polarization, and the loss of dense social networks that create a common identity and a common sense of purpose. Youth today are yearning for more opportunities to engage with each other in positive ways through learning, doing, and leading. They can be a powerful force to mend our social fabric.
At the Social Fabric Initiative Launch Event, students from all walks of life will discuss problems in their communities and brainstorm solutions that youth can implement. The goal of the Launch Event is for 75-100 attendees to identify their particular area of focus, develop their small team or “Thread,” and determine a course of action and timeline.
Each Thread is comprised of 3-4 high school youth and one undergraduate student from the University of San Diego. The high school students are representatives of San Diego’s diverse demographics; the undergraduate will act as the project lead. Threads can decide to focus on community needs like climate change, gang violence, hunger and food insecurity, homelessness, mental health, discrimination, trafficking, beach and ocean conservancy, refugee isolation, or whichever issue they choose to tackle.
Threads will complete projects over the course of 3-4 months and meet back together for the Social Fabric Initiative Summit Event. There, they will share their project results and related experiences, discuss successes and failures, forecast future outcomes and/or needs, and celebrate their accomplishments.
The Social Fabric Initiative website is an online resource for high school volunteers, university level interns and field-based mentors who would like to get involved in the initiative. With a blog section, the website is also a place to watch the progress of youth-led projects that are happening in the community. The website is managed entirely by our team of high school interns, making it a for youth, by youth resource and publication.

For more information, please contact:

Tina Medina