Contact us at: (706) 206-7472

Georgia Conflict Center

about us

GCC Visioning


A just and equitable community, where all can prosper and thrive, in Athens and beyond.


Build peace with justice by advancing restorative practices within communities, schools and institutions.


We build community capacity through training and facilitation in the areas of conflict transformation, restorative justice, and nonviolent communication.

Core Values

We view conflict as a natural part of life and an opportunity for growth and new understanding.

We believe peacebuilding is based in justice.

We work collaboratively to help create an equitable, just, and restorative community.

We are committed to anti-racism and to working together to dismantle practices and systems of racism and white supremacy.

We practice good stewardship and accountability. 

We treat everyone with respect.

We are committed to serving community members, regardless of ability to pay.

Target Audience

Primary: Athens, Ga

Secondary: Georgia

Tertiary: Beyond (U.S., International)

Key Definitions

Justice - the pursuit of relationships and systems which recognize, honor and promote human dignity and the conditions for all to heal, thrive and prosper.

Equity - acknowledges historical cycles of oppression and marginalization, and seeks to ensure all have what they need in order to thrive and prosper.

Restorative Practices - a movement oriented by a set of guiding principles that prioritize building community and connection, democratic participation, and responding to harm in ways that embrace relationships, inclusiveness, support and accountability.

recent Gcc news

Virtual Training

August 13th, 2021

Join us for School-based Restorative Practices Virtual Training this fall

Upcoming Training

June 29th, 2021

Restorative Community Conferencing Training

Georgia Conflict Center (GCC) is working to establish a community-based restorative justice alternative for youth and adults as a diversion from the traditional criminal legal process.


June 1, 2020

Restorative practices virtual training series

GCC facilitated a 5-Module Virtual Training Series on Restorative Practices for School-based Implementation. To find out more, email Daniel Malec @


December 4th, 2019


It was a fun evening of celebration, amazing music, stories about restorative practices in Athens schools, and lots of fun! Stay on the lookout for our spring fundraiser in 2020!


Georgia Conflict Center Director John LashGeorgia Conflict Center Circle Keeping

Georgia Conflict Center began with a conversation. In 2010, a group based in Athens, Georgia was exploring the intersection of religious faith and social justice. The group was led by Fr. David Hyman of the UGA Catholic Center, and he would invite guest speakers to tell the group about their work. One of the speakers was Liz Loescher, founder of The Conflict Center in Denver.

In 1987, Liz was a public school teacher, and became convinced that when kids had the tools needed to address conflict they would do better in school and in life. She decided to start an organization committed to teaching those skills, and The Conflict Center is still going strong. Liz had recently left her job as the director and moved to Georgia to be near family. After she shared her story the group committed itself to bringing a similar organization to their own community, and Georgia Conflict Center was born. ​

Liz became the director and helped get the organization on a solid footing. After she left a new executive director, Gwen O’Looney, took over. Gwen’s history as the mayor of Athens and long involvement in social justice made her a natural fit for the job, and she expanded GCC’s work into schools and the local jail.

In 2013, John Lash became executive director. He came to GCC as an intern while pursuing an M.S. in conflict management, and brought a focus on community peacemaking, restorative justice, Nonviolent Communication, and structural violence to GCC’s work.

GCC has continued to expand, supporting schools, jails, prisons, faith communities, businesses, and other groups in sharpening their conflict skills and finding restorative means to address conflict and harm. The work of GCC is perfectly captured in its motto, “Conflict is inevitable; violence is not.”

This approach, known as a positive orientation to conflict, underlies all of GCC’s efforts, because ultimately all conflicts are human conflicts, and it is in our nature to address these in a way that takes account of the needs of everyone. To learn more about the GCC’s community benefits, or to make a charitable donation to the cause, click here.

meet the team

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