In my community I have two groups of people that just don’t seem to get along. One group is the younger people of the area, and the other group is the older senior citizens that live in the community.
The older people have complained that the younger people are irresponsible, destructive and rude. The younger people of the area have protested the construction of a retirement home in the community, saying that the older people are boring, old fashioned and complain too much. I feel that bringing these two groups together and making them see the things they share in common will be rather easy to accomplish.
Much of the prejudice that the two groups have against each other is based on rumors or something only one member of that group has done. The older people see a couple of younger people riding their skate boards on their street and they assume that all young people are going to take over their streets with skate board riding. The younger crowd may see some senior citizens complaining of service at a restaurant and assume that all older people are picky and rude. The prejudices are of course wrong, the solution is to show the two groups the positive aspects of the other group.
For the younger crowd I would set up a community service through the school to visit retirement homes and help the elderly with chores and other odd jobs. These could be set up through the Honor Society at the school, and the Student Council. These two groups could say that they would have to do some many hours of service to earn credits. This could also be provided to the students who are being punished. Instead of staying after school for 2 hours detention, they could just visit the retirement home or some other elderly related activity. During these activities the young people would realize that not all elderly citizens are picky and rude, that some of them are actually fun to be around. And this would also be beneficial to the older crowd, as they would see the good that the young people can do. Both groups would benefit from this.
Another possible thing to do with these two groups would to just have big community events that both of the groups would attend. That way these groups would be spending more time together and therefor realize the benefits of having senior citizens in the area and the likewise benefit of having younger people in the area.
The key is to make both groups realize that the other group isn’t really like what they thought.