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The Louisiana Collaborative for Conflict & Accountability offers high quality, uplifting and supportive community resources to all. LCCA takes a restorative approach to punitive and exclusionary options for addressing conflict within communities. Through restorative processes, LCCA advances ideas around the use of creative strategies, to shift the societal framework from one of violence to one of mutual understanding and collaboration. We use collaborative tools such as Mediation, restorative circles and training to expand the culture and accessibility of conflict resolution.

While the Louisiana Collaborative for Conflict & Accountability is a nascent organization, its founding members have pioneered transformative conflict resolution programs throughout New Orleans over the past decade. Members of the Board include the Director of the first Restorative Justice Juvenile Diversion program in the state of Louisiana, the founding and current director of the New Orleans Community-Police Mediation Program, mediators with Community Mediation Services-NOLA,  and the founding and current Program Director of Tulane University’s Conflict Resolution Program.


Lauren Trout 

Lauren Trout (also uses Trucha and Trout as names) (she/them) is a queer, native-southerner, Restorative Justice practitioner, facilitator, trainer, speaker, and consultant. Trout is a certified facilitator of Community Conferencing, a formal Restorative Justice process used in communities, schools, prisons, and other settings for conflict resolution and harm-repair; they also facilitate various Restorative-based circles for dialogue, active-listening, decision-making, organizing, and organizational culture.

Trout uses restorative theory as a tool for people, communities, and institutions to shift their paradigms of justice and embed RJ values and guiding principles into organizational culture and larger systems and infrastructure. 

Trout is also a licensed trainer of Restorative Practices through the International Institute for Restorative Practices and has worked with schools/school systems, juvenile justice agencies, collectives, and businesses around the country. They have spoken and served as a consultant about Restorative Justice on local and national levels and most recently served as the Restorative Justice Program Director in the Jefferson Parish District Attorney’s Office. They currently work for WestEd, a national consulting agency that works with local, state, and federal education and justice systems around equity, research, and policy. Trout has been doing Restorative Justice work for over a decade and specializes in using a Restorative Justice and Transformative Justice paradigm to think about liberatory accountability, systems of power, the spectrum of “harm,” and centering survivor’s healing.

Gahiji Barrow

Since his arrival to New Orleans in 2010 Gahiji has immersed himself in social justice work, collaborating within different New Orleans' communities on many intersecting issues of race, gender, sexuality, class, and especially how these identities interact with the American criminal system. He promotes transformative justice as a way of being together, beyond any process' or facilitator's capabilities. He began mediating in 2015 first for the NOIPM and has expanded to handling many matters which communities and workplaces face. He is also a Reiki teacher and spiritual creativity coach working to assist in balancing and liberating the elements of our planet.

Jules Griff

Jules has served as the Director of the New Orleans Community-Police Mediation Program (CPMP), a program of the Office of the Independent Police Monitor since October 2017.  She first began working with the CPMP in 2014, first as a volunteer and then as a mediator and as a contractor assisting with program operations. The program provides opportunities for community members and police officers to have facilitated face-to-face dialogues to be heard, build understanding, and resolve conflict they’ve had in their interactions with each other. In addition to her mediation work, Jules is a facilitator and trainer of Restorative Approaches and has worked with the Center for Restorative Approaches, providing conflict resolution in New Orleans schools and working to intervene in the school-to-prison pipeline. 

Previously, Jules’ work has encompassed issues regarding public health, human rights, and community education. She worked for four years for Breakthrough, a human rights organization that uses art and media to raise awareness on women’s rights, HIV/AIDS, immigrant rights, and racial justice in the US and India. She served as Program Director for the HeartRescue Project in Philadelphia and has worked on issues of food security and senior health at the The Elderly Project and Santropol Roulant in Montreal. She is a co-founder of the MoBo Bicycle Co-op, a community bicycle education project in Cincinnati. Jules received a BA in history and humanistic studies from McGill University in Montreal.

Melanie Merz

Melanie is a connector of people and ideas. She revels in every opportunity to sit beside people, hear their story, mission, and needs, and help find solutions. Her curiosity and desire to learn and understand have led her from being a Shariah compliant stock broker, to a compost educator, to working in development and partnership building for a one-of-a-kind community radio station.

Melanie currently works as the Stewardship and Donor Engagement Manager for WWOZ 90.7FM. She is a professional community mediator with Community Mediation Services New Orleans and the New Orleans Independent Police Monitor Community-Police Mediation Project. She has been trained the New York Peace Institute, Community Mediation Maryland, and Restorative Response Baltimore. Melanie received her BA in History with minors in French and East Asian Studies from Oberlin College in 2005.

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