In Communities

Christina has been an active participant in the Westford town community for over 30 years; working, leading, collaborating on many different initiatives all with the goal of building and strengthening connections and conversations for a healthy, thriving, peaceable community.

A constant over the years has been her dedication to co-creating shared vision in the town, a blueprint for the public schools; as a key player in the Teen Peace and Peaceable Community initiatives; and currently in the Westford Coalition for Non-Violence (WCNV).

She facilitated meetings bringing people together to co-create the very first shared vision for the town of Westford. This included numerous gatherings of people from cross-section of town government, community services, clubs, schools, and residents (1991 to 1992). Today she continues to be both participant and convener of community building meetings.

Westford 2000 — A Peaceable Community

This movement was a natural offshoot of the Peaceable Schools activities. For several years (1997 to 2002) Chris was a member of a small group of volunteers who worked to create an on-going conversation in town, connecting people and building a community based on values of respect and non-violence. Specific activities included:

  • Forums and participation in Apple Blossom parades to raise awareness
  • Creation of a presence — Peaceable Community logo and signs about town.
  • Developing a shared mission statement — resulting in a town resolution being passed.
  • Responding to the Columbine High School shootings with 'The Teen Peace Initiative'— gathering and workshops for teens, an essay competition, and awareness raising activities to prevent bullying and violence in schools.
  • Responding to unacceptable behaviors on the sports field with a 'Sports Respect' campaign for awareness and education.
  • Responding to the 9/11 terrorist attacks with Peace Circles. These began in the First Parish Church weekly, and sensing a greater need for people, Chris began hosting daily Peace circles in her home. People met daily for an hour through Nov 2001.

Westford Coalition for Non-Violence (2010/2011 ongoing)

The Westford Coalition for Non-Violence (WCNV) is a group of residents, town employees, victims and professionals, who have joined together to promote non-violent resolution to conflict. WCNV began as a community response t two tragic incidents of domestic violence in town in the winter of 2009/2010.

Strategy is three-fold:

  1. Reaction/Response — working to ensure immediate support is ready and available to victims of Domestic Abuse, and all parties affected.
  2. Education/Prevention — creating forums and educational activities to promote awareness, to inform, and to encourage early detection and prevention of Domestic Violence, and to enable non-violent resolution of issues. An example is participation in the 'White Ribbon' project
    Book Reference: 'Understanding Violence' by Elizabeth Kandel Englander
  3. Creating Community — ongoing community engagement activities, mobilizing the entire town, inviting the 'bystanders' to participate actively to build a close-knit mutually supportive community one neighborhood at a time, one cup of coffee at a time. An example of an "upstream" prevention project idea is "Each One Reach One".

An informative book: "In the Neighborhood: The Search for Community on an American Street, One Sleepover at a Time" By Peter Lovenheim.

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"Chris is gifted at helping others to get to clarity, which always clears the path to positive and productive action."
Community Leader
Westford, MA