The Stone Stoup Project


What is our Community Engagement Approach?

The Art of Hosting Conversations That Matter

Throughout this project, our approach has been to engage south suburban stakeholders in figuring out for themselves the best way to bring restorative justice practices into their organizations and communities. The general approach we use is often referred to as the Art of Hosting Conversations that Matter (AoH).

At the heart of this approach is the belief that together we can accomplish more than we can alone, especially when we focus on what matters most. Through intentionally-designed conversations that welcome diverse perspectives, we realize our common hopes and dreams, as well as our collective strengths and wisdom. This then becomes the basis for discerning wise collective action. Together we each take responsibility for the end result by finding ways to contribute what we can. And as we continue to be in good conversation and learning about what works, we find ways to be adaptable and resilient regardless of those things that happen outside of our control. In this way, AoH is a process to support sustainability. For more on the Art of Hosting, visit