Adding Voice – Advoz is Born

Merger of Center for Community Peacemaking and Conflict Resolution Services unifies dialogue programs

The 14 year-old boy looked down at the floor through most of the dialogue session. Then the others in the room, those he had robbed, asked him, “what do you want to do with your future?” There was a pregnant pause.  He grasped for an answer; he wasn’t prepared for such a question about his life, his purpose.

It’s a scene that plays out again and again in restorative victim-offender dialogue.

After writing the acclaimed Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey later identified a wholly different “eighth habit” that gives people purpose and greatness: finding your voice and helping others find their voice.

Covey’s work, which arose from feedback on his original groundbreaking book, shows a growing understanding that communication and empathy are both moral imperatives and survival skills in our post-industrial economy.

And “voice” has become a central theme of forming Advoz from two dialogue-focused organizations joining. Our name, Advoz, discerned unanimously by more than 20 board and staff members, derives from the Latin and Spanish for “voice,” or “adding voice” to dialogue. And an imperative for “adding voice” shows up again and again in our work:

  • The young offender who is asked about his life vision;
  • The crime victim who gets to be heard by those most involved in the violation;
  • The neighbor listening for the first time to the other side of their dispute;
  • The group that shifts their focus to their talents and vision and away from their weaknesses and divisions.

Add to all this the disempowering political news cycle, and it’s clear: the need for “adding voice” is more pressing than ever, in our personal, professional and community lives.

Your involvement with CCP, CRS and now Advoz, is now playing a growing part in cultivating “purpose and greatness” in Lancaster County and beyond.

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