Both the earthship and the de-escalation rooms admirably exist to break cycles — one to break a cycle of abuse toward the environment, and the other to counter a perpetuated idea of what forms of discipline actually make for a well-behaved, de-stressed human.
“Our plan is to be able to do our services out of the earthship. “So instead of building the room inside of a school, we’re hoping to build a room inside of the earthship that will allow the kids to come into the room after school.”
“I could either have a child come to me today or 19 years from today as my purse-snatcher,” Ali-Campbell said. “I want to be part of the solution.”
Rashida Ali-Campbell, who founded her holistic health services nonprofit LoveLovingLove in 2007, is opening what she calls a “de-escalation room” in a low-income neighborhood in West Philadelphia, at 675 N. 41st St.
The general concept is as follows: The room, equipped with a vetted counselor and decked out with art, a waterfall, comfortable chairs, fresh foods and speakers with soothing music, serves as a way to teach adults how to manage their stress and, most importantly, gives parents a place to send their kids when they misbehave.
Why? Because she believes in compassion over condemnation.
“We believe love heals all things,” Ali-Campbell told PhillyVoice. “We live in a society where we want people to ‘pay,’ and we look at somebody suffering as payment. But who says that punishment has to be suffering? Why can’t punishment be transformative? The whole point of punishing is to stop a behavior, not hurt them.”