Silicon Valley is one of the most unique, diverse, exciting, and enlivening regions on earth, with seemingly abundant opportunities for achieving a high quality of life. Despite these unique characteristics, there are stark social and economic divides within Silicon Valley that sometimes lead to interpersonal misunderstandings and feelings of disconnectedness and disenfranchisement.
Many recent events across our nation involving racial tensions between communities of color and law enforcement and associated uncivil discourse appear to be amplifying ideological and political differences, making this an uneasy time in our community and nation. Silicon Valley has been extremely fortunate to avoid such extreme incidents, yet it is not immune.
Beginning in late 2016, the Peninsula Conflict Resolution Center (PCRC) noticed a growing demand for its expertise in dialogue and deliberation, relationship building, and bridging diverse perspectives. Community members and organizations in Silicon Valley were seeking solutions which addressed community tension and strengthened cross-community relationships.
To attempt to address these needs, PCRC launched the “Strengthening Communities Project” (SCP) in 2016 in order to (1) improve relationships among the various components of the community; (2) build trust between community residents and law enforcement institutions; and (3) reduce violence among youth.