building | healing

Conflict Transformation | Healing Justice | Restorative Justice
Program Development I Community building 

    About Us


    We need to re:vision our approaches to education, justice, and community with a focus on healthy connection,  healing, accountability, and learning.                                                         

    Many people observe that Lauren's background in neuroscience and animal behavior is the "special sauce" that makes her work unique and important for these times.  

    Seeing restorative approaches as the biological-moral imperative of our time, Lauren brings biology and  interpersonal neuroscience to her lectures and  trainings--making them powerfully intuitive, understandable and accessible for all ages.  

    Our work is rooted in core values and foundational principles (not rote techniques) which allows for a high level  of both flexibility and integrity.  



    Lauren Abramson, Ph.D. has 40 years of experience in community-based work.  

    Lauren brought community conferencing and restorative justice to Baltimore & Maryland in 1995, and for over 25 years was at the helm of building one of the most innovative and long-standing community-based RJ programs in the US.  
    With her broad and deep experience in RJ facilitation, program development, training and theory development, Lauren remains committed to bringing innovation, inclusiveness, and impact to transformative  justice and community building.


    We work across sectors, including:        
    Juvenile Justice 

    Human Services Agencies
    Faith Communities
    Residential Communities
    Youth development
    Planning (urban, environmental, etc)


    Request a facilitation

    Conflict management

    Community justice




    Serious Crimes Conference
      (murder and other serious incidents of harm)

    Victim Offender Dialogue
    Family conflict
    Workplace conflict
    Community healing
    Community celebration
    Staff development and team building

    Community Conferencing Facilitator Training

    This two-day facilitator training is typically part of a Program Development Package.   Training includes dialogue about core values of RJ and conflict transformation, a variety of experiential learning opportunities,  exploration of oppression and power imbalances in relation to this work, and the role of emotion in dealing with conflict.

    Video about Community Conferencing

    RJ Program Development

    There are dozens of places to get trained in a restorative justice process, but there are precious few places to get help with building and sustaining an RJ program (which is by far the hardest part of building RJ).  Lauren founded the first conferencing program in urban America, and shares the million and one lessons experienced so that no one has to reinvent the wheel . 

    Get help with:
         Program design
         Sustaining quality services
         Effective operations/systems
         Impact and outcomes

    Restorative Justice: The Biological Imperative of our Time


    Human beings are mammals.  Mammals are different than reptiles in that we have a limbic system that is uniquely wired with biological  "apps" that promote our survival--like bonding with our young, emotions, and empathy.   Tragically, many of our institutions (like education and justice) ignore our biology; they focus on separation over connection, rationality over emotion, and punishment over empathy and accountability.  This presentation engages participants in learning  how to build effective schools, fair justice and connected communities through restorative approaches that honor our biology instead of ignoring it.

    Restorative Approaches Workshops

    Restorative Approaches Overview

    Dialogue Circle Facilitation

    Community Conferencing Facilitation

    The Role of Emotion in Conflict transformation

    Trauma, Learning and Restorative Approaches

    Stress, Kindness, and Mindfulness

    Biology of conflict and managing it

    Trauma | Learning | Mindfulness | RJ

    We can no longer ignore the impact that trauma has on our behavior--for children and adults alike.  Learn about what trauma/toxic stress does to our ability to pay attention, learn, and have healthy relationships.   Develop skills for identifying and responding constructively to "bad behavior."  Create a practice for being mindful, and for helping others manage their reactivity through simple and doable exercises.   Workshops are individually tailored so they are developmentally appropriate.

    Impact and Testimonials

    "The program Lauren helped us start in 2008 is still thriving 10 years later."


    "I can finally celebrate my son's life instead of constantly mourning his death."


    ~ Bernard W

    Read the Washinton Post article about this Serious Crimes Conference

    "Repeatedly calling the police about kids playing in the street didn't work. We finally tried a community conference in 2001. As a result, we started a football league for them, and our neighborhood is still reaping the benefits ."


    ~ Neighborhood resident

    VIDEOS about our work

    Community Conferencing in Juvenile Justice, Schools, and Neighborhoods

    See how Baltimore residents transformed their own crimes and conflicts using Community Conferencing

    CLick to see video of Community Conferencing in Action

    Daily Rap Dialogue Circles

    See how young people and adults in various school communities have used Daily Rap dialogue circles to build healthy connections, resolve minor conflicts, and create a meaningful sense of community.

    Click to see Daily rap video

    Healing Justice in Baltimore: "The Flip Side of THE WIRE"

    Lauren gives a 2011 talk at Ignite Baltimore about the ways that Baltimore residents have resolved their own crimes and conflicts, without going to court, in their own neighborhoods.

    click to see "The Flip Side of THE WIRE"

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    Community Transformation

    Baltimore, Maryland, United States