BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — There is a conflict resolution program whose goal is to stop violence in western Birmingham.
The program is called Saturday Solutions and was organized by community members in Ensley to teach middle school-age students how to use conflict resolution to avoid altercations that could escalate to violence.
Saturday Solutions started with 25 kids at the Ensley Recreation Center. At the center, the kids take a six-week course taught by Birmingham Municipal Court Judge Jameria Moore.
“When they get it now, they take it through life and they become more successful, they understand how to deal with people,” Moore said.
Jalen Lee, 12, said he has learned a lot from the course.
“Instead of fighting back, you have to calm yourself down, we were talking about how you have to count to 60 to calm yourself down,” Lee said.
Last week, the students graduated from the course. A representative from Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office helped to pass out certificates and the kids got the chance to hear from civil rights activist Gwendolyn Cook Webb.
“We were successful without fighting, without shooting, without cutting, we know what conflict resolution is and we are here to teach them that,” Webb said.
The next step for Saturday Solutions is for the parents of the kids to go through conflict resolution training. Organizers say when that happens, everyone becomes conflict solvers.