Peacebuilding Simulation: Susana Hayek

By Cate Malek, University of Colorado


Susana Hayek

Background

You grew up in Blue River, the largest city in Maren. Your mother was an immigrant. She made the dangerous trip to Maren on a tiny raft. Your mother never explained what happened to your father. All you know about your mother's past is that it is shrouded in violence and fear and she doesn't like to talk about it much.

You are unusual in the immigrant community. Your mother sacrificed everything to keep you in school and you worked hard at it. The Marenese Church is very similar to the one your mother went to as a child and you have been active in it since you were young. You received a scholarship for college from the church. You left Maren to go to a Western college and then law school, but you came back right after graduation. You want to use your education to help your community.

Growing up, you remember being poor and some months were hungrier than others. Both you and your mother worked incredibly hard to make it. Your mother worked two restaurant jobs, sending some of the money home to her family and saving the rest for you.

Once you returned from school, you got a job as the director of the church's community service mission. Your job is to come up with community improvement projects. So far, you have created some very successful initiatives, including a community garden and building affordable housing for the poorer members of the congregation.


Rising Tension

Conflict Emergence

Tensions or grievances can persist over long periods of time without resulting in a noticeable conflict. This phase is the best chance to fix things. Once a conflict starts to escalate into violence, the parties may become too invested in "winning" to let the conflict go.

Things aren't going well in Maren. You remember hating the Mendozans when you were a child. The kids from the Mendozan community always acted like they were superior to the Marenese kids and the immigrants. You are disturbed to hear about the resurgence of the Vigilantes, a violent Mendozan anti-immigration group. The Vigilantes haven't been heard from for more than thirty years, since you were a child. But, you remember those times. No one in your community would go out at night, and even in the day you felt afraid. Several of your mother's friends disappeared, only to be found dead a few weeks later. You hated to go to town because Mendozans would harass you. Your mother always slept with a gun underneath her pillow. You feel sick to your stomach when you think about a return to those times.

Of course, you realize that the immigrants are not blameless either. Several immigrant men are wanted for a series of brutal rapes. No one was arrested, because the suspects are believed to have slipped back over the ocean. Then there were the Marenese kids who vandalized that tech firm and who are generally harassing any Western kids coming into town, further polarizing the Western and Marenese communities. All this conflict has taken its toll on the economy. The poverty of the locals is startling, especially in a relatively rich country like Perades.

You want to help your community. The affordable housing project you started several years ago was very successful and you'd like to expand it. You've received a sizable grant from an organization in the West, but their one caveat is that you have to include Mendozans in the project. You have made some half-hearted attempts, but the truth is that you distrust the Mendozans and you're not sure you want to work with them. Even if you did, they wouldn't accept your help. You know that a housing subsidy could make the difference between poverty and a lower middle-class life for them, but they're too proud to receive charity from an immigrant. You're starting to think that you're just going to have to forfeit your grant.

Questions:

  1. What could Susana do to de-escalate the conflict in her community? Think about ways to improve the quality of communication between the different groups in Blue River.
     
     
     
  2. What are possible triggering events that could escalate the conflict in Blue River?
     
     
     
  3. Where is the common ground between the groups in Blue River?
     
     
     
  4. What are the real differences where the groups will never see eye to eye?
     
     
     

 


Taking Action

The other day you noticed an ad that Mayor Mike Green put in the paper offering money for initiatives promoting cooperation between the communities living in Maren. You are guessing it is Mike's attempt to address the increasing violence in the community. You are interested in his idea. You may not need his money, (which is too small an amount to be of much use anyway) but you could use his advice. You decide to drop in and see him the next day.

When you tell Mike your idea, he says he thinks it's interesting. He says that he's been considering starting an agency that provides housing, food and medicine to families going through hard times. He thinks your initiative could be a good start.

"The only problem is this," you tell Mike. "I can't get the Mendozan community to participate. I know that some of the Mendozan families need this aid just as badly as we do. But, they would rather become homeless than receive help from an immigrant."

Mike replies, "Well, one thing that might help is if you include some Mendozans in the leadership of your project. I have found that collaborating equally with the Mendozans works much better than trying to force them to participate."

The Third Side

"The Third Side is not some mysterious or special 'other.' It is us. The missing alternative to force and domination is in our hands." — William L. Ury

You smile. "I may need some help with that. I'm afraid that any Mendozans I help will immediately see my prejudice. I try to be spiritual in my approach to those people, but I've put up with their disdain for our community for so long. It's just hard for me to respect them."

Mike nods. "I do know what you mean, but I think this project will be a good start to building respect between the two communities. I can call on some of my staffers to recruit people from the Mendozan community to help with your project. I think this is a great idea, Susana. Meeting people's basic needs may go a long way towards preventing violence in this community." You thank Mike and head home.

Questions:

  1. Is the housing subsidy strategy the best strategy for Susana to use?
     
     
     
  2. What are some of the problems and sources of opposition she may run into?
     
     
     
  3. What are some ways she can overcome these challenges?
     
     
     

That night, you mention your new project to your mom and some of her friends. Your mother starts laughing.

"Good luck Susana," she says in her broken Peradean. "Those Mendozans are the meanest people I've ever met. All they want to do is be bitter about their lives and make other people miserable as well. If I were you, I would just give your money to the Marenese and the immigrants. At least they'll appreciate it."

You laugh too but then you say, "You know Mom, I'm not sure that you're right about that. This project may just change some ideas we have about the Mendozans."


Organizing the Third Side

In the next few weeks, the project takes on a life of its own. Mike talks to some of his staff members from the Mendozan community and they recruit three people who are interested in helping. They join the four people from your church who are already working on the project. Mike didn't bother to tell them that the Marenese Church is sponsoring the project, which made things a little awkward at first. When they learned that they would be working for an immigrant woman, you could feel their suspicion and it made you impatient.

"Look," you told them, "We have the money. No one can deny that the need is there. Let's just put our pettiness aside and get this project started."

The Third Side

Third siders act in a community threatened with destructive conflict as an immune system acts in a body threatened by disease. Average citizens such as teachers, journalists, artists, and police officers can play key roles in preventingde-escalating, and resolving conflict.

Once you actually get down to work, things go a little more smoothly. The Mendozans are actually quite capable and excited about the project. You are working with two women and a man. One woman, Evelyn, is the owner of the local general store. She doesn't hide her prejudice towards the immigrants, but she also knows almost everyone in the Mendozan community. Plus, she's feisty and a hard worker. The other woman, Ann, is a nurse tired of seeing so many impoverished people at the clinic. The man, Henry, works for Mike Green. You meet nights and weekends a few times a week. The project begins to come together. The other members of the committee are more ambitious than you and they want to create a food bank as well. You are worried, you think the funds might not be there, but they are insistent.

Evelyn tells you, "I just see so many people who could use it. It just breaks my heart to sit in that store stocked with food all day and see so many people who only buy beans and bread."

You make sure that the initiative is branded as a community project and that there is very little mention that the Marenese Church is actually sponsoring it. Your caution pays off and there is huge response to the project, both from people who want to volunteer to build houses and from people who need the housing.

Sometimes when you are working late with Evelyn, Ann, and Henry, or when you are on site building houses you forget the animosity between the communities. But other times there are disturbing reminders. You are starting to really respect Evelyn as a coworker, but her prejudice towards the immigrants is startling. You don't know how to deal with the situation. It makes you furious, but at the same time, you are pleased that the immigrant, Marenese and the Mendozans communities are working together for maybe the first time in history.

One day, Evelyn comes to a meeting acting more ornery than usual. She snaps at everyone and makes the entire meeting almost worthless. After the meeting you decide to try to be friendly and you pull her aside to ask her what's wrong. It comes out that an immigrant man attacked Evelyn's daughter and that although she managed to fight him off, she is badly shaken.

You feel genuine sympathy for Evelyn. The recent series of rapes were reported to be quite brutal. You tell Evelyn how sorry you are and ask her if the police have arrested anyone.

Evelyn's eyes flash angrily, "No, that's the worst part. My son, Andre, went out to catch the man who did it, but my son-in-law is a policeman and instead of helping to capture the perpetrator, he arrested Andre instead."

You inhale sharply. You read about this in the paper. Evelyn's son is one of the leaders of the Vigilantes. You are suddenly too angry to speak. While this current version of the Vigilantes has not been as violent as its last incarnation, you feel it won't be long until you once again have to be afraid to leave your house at night.

You try to hold your tongue, hold your temper, but Evelyn isn't finished. She tells you, "You dirty immigrants should take better care of your men. Maybe then they wouldn't be going after our women."

"Evelyn," you say, with a shaky voice. "Your son is the scum of the earth and I hope he rots in prison."

Evelyn promptly drops out of the project.

Questions:

  1. Now that Evelyn has left the project, what should Susana's next steps be?
     
     
     
  2. Was Susana right to ignore Evelyn's prejudice for so long?
     
     
     

You continue work on the houses and they are finished in record time. When they are ready for the families to move in, Mike comes with newspaper reporters and they publish a big story on your cross-community project. But, you feel disillusioned. It seems the relations between the communities are even worse than when you started the project. Goaded by Evelyn, Ann and Henry have dropped the project as well. There go your grand plans for building a community center to deal with poverty. When you talk to your mom about it she shrugs sympathetically.

"What'd I tell you, sweetheart? These Mendozans, they are evil people. They use up all your money and they give you nothing in return. Next time, stick to helping your own people."

You hate to admit it, but your mother is right.


Spider Webs

Still, you have heard of some good things going on in the City of Blue River. Stephen Pelle, a police officer in town, arrested the leaders of the Vigilantes for beating an immigrant man.

You also hear that a Westerner named Emma Thornton has started a successful co-community soccer league. It seems to you that things are changing for the better in some ways, just not with your project.

"When spider webs unite, they can halt even a lion." — African proverb

Clearly, though, there are still deep problems in Maren. In the newspaper, you read about a shadowy group called the Marenese Defense Association or the MDA who are stockpiling arms in order to protect themselves from the Vigilantes. You wonder why in the world they feel the need to do that, since most of the leaders of the Vigilantes are in jail.

You don't think too much about these developments; you're too busy.

Question:

  1. What third side roles are being played in Maren and what roles still need to be filled?
     
     
     

 


Escalation

Escalation

Escalation is an increase in the intensity of a conflict. The number of parties and issues tends to increase, tactics become heavier, malevolence increases, and overall destructiveness generally increases as well. Destructively-waged conflicts typically involve great losses for one or more of the contending parties, and tend to persist for a long time.

It started as a drunken brawl on a hot July night. In the beginning the fight was between two men, one Marenese and one Mendozan. But from there, the facts get fuzzy. Some say the Mendozan had been harassing one of the busboys at the bar — a young immigrant man — when a Marenese man stepped in to defend the immigrant. Others say it was the Marenese man who started the trouble, that he had a gun on him and he was bragging about it and showing it off.

What is certain is that as the fight spread into the streets of Blue River, some of the Mendozans used it as an excuse to target Marenese property, breaking windows and torching buildings. Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on your viewpoint, the Marenese community was prepared for exactly this situation. Some members of the underground organization called the Marenese Defense Association or the MDA, who had spent the last few months training, went home to get weapons and then returned to the scene of the violence. The introduction of weapons turned the already escalating conflict into an all-out riot. When the smoke cleared, two Mendozans had been shot and went to the hospital in critical condition. The police arrested fifteen people, including William Luchard, a professor at the local university.

However, here the story gets blurry again. Although it's clear that two men were shot, it is more difficult to say who shot them and why. The members of the MDA say that they while they were armed, they never fired their guns. They blame the police for the shootings. When the police conduct an internal investigation that pins the shootings on the MDA, the Marenese community denounces their findings as a whitewash.

In the weeks after the riot, the people of Maren and the town of Blue River especially are shaken up. Although Maren has always had its problems, no one ever expected that it would get to this point. A line has been crossed and many people fear that it is too late to go back. The newspaper reports that many people have bought guns for their households, hoping to protect themselves in case the violence continues. The Western community segregates themselves further from the rest of Blue River. There is talk of plans to build several gated communities in the hills. The Mendozans, Marenese, and immigrants have withdrawn into their respective communities, avoiding any activities that would require them to associate with outsiders such as soccer practice or going into town to shop. The streets in town are deserted and there is talk of the economy being threatened. The citizens of Maren seem to be holding their breath, waiting to see what is going to happen next.

Questions:

  1. What are some ways of de-escalating a conflict?
     
     
     
  2. Which of these methods could Susana use in this situation?
     
     
     

 


Preventing Violence

Question:

  1. How could the third side be used to prevent future incidents of violence in Blue River?
     
     
     

 

Average citizens impact a violent conflict in two key ways. First, they can speak out against violence. The history of the twentieth century is filled with examples of men and women forming political movements that changed the course of history. Second, individuals can practice alternatives to violence in their daily lives.

Your house is one of the ones damaged in the riot and you are frightened and angry. You are worried about your safety. You remember when you were a child and neither you nor your mother would leave the house at night for fear the Vigilantes would attack you. You are afraid that because your house was targeted, that maybe you will be targeted as well. You are angry because you think that Evelyn may have had something to do with the attack. You are even angrier that all the work you put into improving the lives of the Mendozans not only has not decreased their prejudice towards you, but also actually has made you a target. You find all your high-minded spiritual ideals quickly draining from you as you become mired in fear and anger.

As afraid as you are of the Vigilantes, you are more afraid of the MDA. Angry young men with guns are not your idea of security. You wonder why no one seems to be doing anything about the organization.

It is your mother who helps you to pull out of your depression. She tells you that you shouldn't give the Mendozans the satisfaction of taking not only your time, energy and hard work, but also your spirit. She advises that you immerse yourself in work, since that seems to have helped you in the past.

You take her advice and decide to go forward with your plans to create a community center to help struggling families. The center will provide housing, food, and medicine for families on the verge of becoming homeless. The Marenese Church is excited about the project and you quickly secure the funding and support you need to get started. This time, you avoid reaching out to anyone in the Mendozan community. If they need help, you decide, they can swallow their pride and ask for it. You are no longer going to risk anything to help them.


Mobilizing the Moderates

Moderates

Most groups in a conflict include a substantial number of moderates — people who, while they may feel passionately about an issue, are also open to hearing the other side and exploring opportunities for compromise. Moderates have a special ability to transform destructive conflicts.

However, despite your anger towards the Mendozans, something Evelyn said to you has stuck with you. You are extremely concerned about all the rapes. Why are some of the immigrant men compelled to such disturbing violence? Although your mother is an immigrant herself, the immigrants are not a defined community. Many immigrants are migrants, moving from place to place looking for work. Your mother taught you to speak the Trinerean language, but many of the immigrants have such different accents that you can barely understand them. You know that most of the immigrants are good people, but they keep to themselves. The new language, customs, and laws in Perades confuse them and they are afraid of the police. You would like to reach out to that community, to see if there is something you could do to help.

You take a two-pronged approach to the problem. First, you decide to add some services to your new organization to help the victims of the attacks. You use the rest of your grant money to hire counselors who would be trained to help rape victims. You also hire a self-defense teacher and set up regular classes. Second, you decide that maybe if the immigrants felt more like a part of this community, then they would be less likely to lash out in violence. Also, you hope that if the immigrant community is less anonymous, then it will be easier for the police to track down the rapists. You promote your organization heavily within the immigrant community, making sure they know they can come to you for extra food or medicine if they need it.

The project is well on its way when two unexpected things happen. The Marenese community has been in an uproar because, at Mike's urging, the prosecutor allowed some of the Vigilantes who were caught on the beach a few months ago to receive reduced sentences in exchange for going through a restorative justice process. The way you understand restorative justice, the perpetrators were given a chance to sit down and talk with the victim of the beating and together they worked out reparations that the Vigilantes would do instead of serving jail time. In general, the restorative justice idea seems like a good one to you. You've never thought that jail was all that effective in reducing crime rates. However, you really think that Mike and the prosecutor have made a mistake in this case. The crimes the Vigilantes were charged with are severe and you think they should be made an example of. No one in Maren has ever stood up to the Mendozans and made it clear that prejudice and violence are not an acceptable way of handling conflict. There is no doubt in your mind that the Vigilantes meant to kill that man on the beach that night and you think they should be punished to the full extent of the law.

Thus, you are extremely surprised when the result of the restorative justice process is that Andre Hart is going to be working with you, building houses and handing out food. You don't know how to handle this. You know Andre from school and you remember him as a bully. Finding out that he was one of the leaders of the Vigilantes has not increased your respect for him. And now, you're expected to work with him? Well, one thing is for sure, you're not going to make this community service project cushy for Andre.

Questions:

  1. Who are the moderates in this story and who are the extremists? How do the moderates view the conflict differently from the extremists?
     
     
     
  2. What can Susana do to humanize the extremists?
     
     
     
  3. Was restorative justice appropriate to use in this situation?
     
     
     

 


A Viable Third Side

"As you look around and wonder how you can contribute to the wider community, you don't need to start from scratch. Instead, begin with what you already do and add an extra third-side dimension. Parents can help their children learn how to deal with conflicts constructively. A teacher can weave a conflict resolution strand into the subject matter, whether it is history, social studies, or languages. A journalist can spotlight emergent conflicts for public attention. The key is to identify your distinctive competence and incorporate it into what you do every day." — William L. Ury

You have just finished planning a particularly difficult project for Andre to do when you receive your second surprise. Evelyn Hart comes to see you. She tells you that she read in the paper about your initiatives to address the recent attacks on women and she appreciates your efforts. She also tells you that she participated in Andre's restorative justice hearing and that she doesn't think it affected him much. "But I feel like a transformed woman," she says. She said that talking to John, the immigrant man that Andre hurt, made her feel much more sympathetic to the immigrants. She tells you she is sorry for what she said earlier and that she respects you and would like to continue working with you if you agree.

You are floored. You never expected Evelyn Hart, of all people, to give you a full apology. In a bit of a daze you tell Evelyn that you accept her apology and you would be very pleased if she rejoined the team. To your extreme surprise, she agrees.

Once Evelyn returns, your projects pick up momentum and you are immersed in work. Working with Andre is not as difficult as you predicted, especially with Evelyn there to act as a buffer. You and Evelyn work extremely well together and it is much easier now that she has stopped the nasty remarks about Marenese and immigrants. You are extremely excited. For the first time in years, you feel passionate about what you are doing.

One day, Mike calls you up. He says he's impressed with what you've done with the housing project and he is wondering if you could take it one step further. Since people from all the communities in Blue River are working on the project, he would like you to ask them to form crisis response teams. Basically, these would be small groups of ordinary citizens who would be prepared to take action in the event of another violent situation like the last riot. You agree immediately. When you talk to the people working on the housing project with you, they are very interested in the idea. You spend some time brainstorming ideas of how the crisis response teams should work.

You are so busy during the next few months that you barely pay attention to the news. Thus, it comes as somewhat of a surprise to you when you hear that Maren's youth soccer teams have made it to the national championships.

Last year, a Westerner named Emma Thornton organized a youth soccer league that drew from Marenese, Western, and Mendozan students. The league was extremely successful and three teams went to nationals and did very well. Emma was able to keep the league going a second year, in spite of the riot, and this year the teams are reported to be even better.

Even though it is only a youth league, the teams have attracted a lot of attention. Somehow the people of Maren have decided that this is their opportunity to prove that they are just as good as the rest of Perades. The night of the championship games, the bars are packed with people. You are there too, along with a large group of family and friends.

There are three Maren teams competing, one in each age group. The two youngest teams play first. They play beautifully and amazingly, they both come in first place in the nation. Everyone watching the games is extremely excited, screaming and chanting. The final and most important game is the oldest team. Last year, they came in second place. This year, they are looking to bring home the championship.

You can't believe how well they play. It's heartwarming to see kids from Maren's three communities working together so well. The players are tall and short, slender and stout, they have all different accents, but they have learned to play together and have developed a unique style that is nearly unbeatable. You watch as they beat team after team. Finally, it is time for the final game. It is a difficult one, but they beat the other team 3-2. Maren has come in first in all three age groups! It's a miracle!

The next day, you are out at a restaurant with some friends and family celebrating the soccer teams' win. When the news comes on, you assume the soccer championships will be the top story of the night. But instead, the anchor leads with the story of the death of one of the men who was shot in the last riot. He had been in a coma and died in the hospital just a few hours ago. All of a sudden you look around. Everyone is drunk and the mood of celebration is starting to turn darker. You begin to panic. This is exactly the situation that led to the last riot.

Question:

  1. What could the third side do to prevent this situation from becoming violent?
     
     
     

 


Limiting Escalation

You scan the restaurant, trying to get a read on the situation. A conversation between a Mendozan and a Marenese man is becoming heated. Their drunken comments have turned aggressive. You can hear shouting outside. You can't hear what they're saying. You don't see many police around.

De-escalation

Conflicts do not escalate indefinitely. Eventually, they reverse direction, decreasing in intensity until they are forgotten or resolved. However, de-escalation tends to proceed slowly and requires a lot of effort.

You hear glass breaking outside. You run to the door to see what's going on. Suddenly, you run into Evelyn.

"Susana," she calls. "Come with me. We're going to go stop this thing!" She chortles as she sprints out the door. You think to yourself that Evelyn may just be the loopiest woman you've ever met. Still you run after her just in time to see Evelyn run up to a huge Mendozan who is harassing some Marenese men. She starts to berate the man who is apparently her nephew. You hurry over to help. You tell the Marenese men to go home before they get themselves in trouble. Together, you and Evelyn work your way from group to group doing anything you can to get people to go home. At first, you are frightened and your only thought is to keep Evelyn from getting killed. But soon, you see that people are flooding out of the bars to help you. Some of them are soccer parents and coaches. Others are the members of the crisis response teams that you set up. Soon police officers have joined the fray as well. You become more confident. You and Evelyn are both small women, but people are still listening to you. Soon the streets are clear. The police are telling the few people left on the streets to go home. A broken shop window seems to be the extent of the damage. You and Evelyn go over to talk to Stephen Pelle, one of the Mendozan police officers. He was the officer responsible for starting the restorative justice project and he is also Evelyn's son-in-law.

"We didn't even have to arrest anyone," he says.

The whole thing is over so fast that you start to doubt yourself. Maybe it wasn't such a big crisis after all. Maybe you're just a little too tense. But looking at Stephen and Evelyn, you can tell that they were scared too. You say goodnight and join the crowds heading home.

Questions:

  1. Now that the conflict has de-escalated, what are some of the underlying causes of the riot that still need to be addressed?
     
     
     
  2. How could you help to resolve them?
     
     
     

 


Reaching a Stable Peace

Over the next few weeks, Blue River seems the calmest it has ever been. In fact, you can't remember the last time the streets downtown were so full of people. Still, you know that the rifts in this community run very deep. You wonder how long this period of calm will last. Mike announces a town meeting to promote open dialogue about some of the town's conflicts. The night of the meeting, hundreds of people show up. You are surprised that so many people are showing an interest. Mike steps up to the stage to begin the meeting. He starts:

Stable Peace

In 1978, Kenneth Boulding introduced the term "stable peace." He defines it as "a situation in which the probability of war is so small that it does not really enter into the calculations of any of the people involved." In order to reach stable peace, the underlying issues that provoked the conflict in the first place must be resolved.

Good evening, everyone, and thank you for coming out tonight. I have noticed a profound shift in the culture of this town in recent weeks. I view the simple fact that so many of you have gathered here this evening as a victory. The problem with preventing violence is that there is no way to know how bad things could have gotten if no one had taken action. However, I firmly believe that just a few weeks ago, the city of Blue River was on the brink of disaster. The animosity between the various communities trying to coexist in Maren had reached dangerous levels. Although I know that not all of Blue River's problems are solved, I hope that we can move into the future as one community working together. I also hope that we, as a city, can realize that our true enemy is not each other but the animosity that divides us.

The meeting proceeds smoothly. People are concerned about what they hear, but they do not appear angry. During the course of the evening, many people step up to the stage to share their concerns and ideas about what should be done to prevent future problems. You are glad that these problems are out in the open, but you soon realize that there are way too many people at the meeting to have a real discussion. One of the most positive outcomes of the evening is your suggestion — together with Evelyn — that you start a community group devoted to reducing tensions in Blue River. You want to call the group the Maren Citizens Organization or the MCO. You hope this group will solidify some of the positive changes that have occurred in the past few months.

Questions:

  1. What underlying issues still haven't been addressed?
     
     
     
  2. What else could be done to improve the quality of communication in Blue River?
     
     
     

 


Transformation

Conflict Transformation

Many people believe that conflict happens for a reason and that it brings much-needed change. Therefore, to eliminate conflict would also be to eliminate conflict's dynamic power. In transformation, a conflict is changed into something constructive, rather than being eliminated altogether.

As the mayor predicted, Maren still has many challenges to overcome. In fact, it seems there are more conflicts than ever as people from different communities try to work together for the first time. Still, it seems better to have these conflicts out in the open rather than festering under the surface. Your new organization, the MCO, attracts a large following and soon, hundreds of people are regularly attending meetings all around Maren. You continue your work building houses and offering food to struggling families. But you also expand your services, offering community mediation and sponsoring a series of public dialogues on problems facing Maren. Emma starts a chapter of the MCO in the Western neighborhood in Blue River. She hopes to educate them about how they are affecting the Maren locals. She enlists William Luchard to help her. Apparently, they do some good because the economy starts to improve. Stephen quits his job as a police officer and starts a restorative justice center in Blue River. The violent incidents in Maren decrease to almost nothing. Although Maren is still a poor region with diverse cultures struggling to work together, people now seem to have a sense of hope and momentum. You feel like things are starting to change.

Question:

  1. What would you have done differently from Susana in this story?