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NAFCM Webinar - Veterans Mediation: Creating Culturally Responsive Innovations
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NAFCM Webinar - Veterans Mediation: Creating Culturally Responsive Innovations

Presented by The JAMS/NAFCM Veterans Mediation Learning Community Partners

When: 4/22/15
From 3:00 PM until 4:30 PM

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Program Description      


Whether or not you are actively involved in offering a veterans’ mediation program through your center, or want to position your center to be able to begin to offer mediation services for the veterans in your community this webinar will provide you with tools, resources, and framework from which to approach creating culturally responsive innovations which may best serve the needs of the veteran community you serve.


This webinar will address issues of sustainability, innovation design, working with key community stakeholders and funders and staying grounded in what is possible for both your center and your community at this time. The presenters will draw on their experience creating or expanding options for veterans by working with public and private institutions.


Learning Objectives       


Participants will learn  about what veterans mediation may be and that you do not have to be an ‘expert’ in veterans’ mediation to discover if there is a need for mediation within your veterans’ community and what are those variations in needs.


Participants will learn about possible starting places for veterans’ mediation or the expansion of your present effort by connecting with and working through key stakeholders and potential funding sources.  


Participants will  explore  how to get a new program or focus started or restarted- by choosing the ‘best fit’ innovation; which is an innovation that both meets the needs of the veterans’ community targeted as well as is both doable and sustainable by your center.


Presenter Bios     


Angelia J. Tolbert, Esq., Executive Director, Arkansas Community Dispute Resolution Centers, Inc. has served as a mediator, arbitrator, facilitator, trainer and conflict resolution service provider for more than twenty-two (22) years.  Ms. Tolbert is Founder and Executive Director for Arkansas Community Dispute Resolution Centers, Inc. (ACDRC), the first and only state-wide community dispute resolution center in Arkansas, where she coordinates a diverse team of volunteers and dispute resolution experts providing community-based mediation, facilitation and ADR training services and diversity and equity skills building sessions.  Ms. Tolbert advances ACDRC's "Community Mediation as Community Development" program development philosophy which has resulted in ACDRC successfully developing and effectively sustaining over twenty (20) programs, including the Veterans Legal and Mediation Assistance Program (LAMP).  She is an active participant in Arkansas veteran coalitions and continues her long term working relationships with military family service providers.   Ms. Tolbert has served as conference faculty for the Association for Conflict Resolution, Alberta (Canada) Arbitration & Mediation Society, Center for ADR, American Bar Association Dispute Resolution Section, Arkansas Conflict Resolution Association and Arkansas Bar Association.


Elaine M. Bourne, Program Manager, Community Mediation Services, Volunteers of America, Northern New England is responsible for financial management, program development, training, public and community relations, fundraising and oversight of CMS operations. In addition she trains more than 200 people each year on mediation and conflict resolution related topics in a variety of settings. During Fall 2013, the CMS program initiated the development of a veterans mediation services program and has been working on building a program that best meets the needs of the veteran community in Maine.     In her prior life, Elaine worked with law students, developing extensive experience, and a national reputation, as a leader in legal education administration -admissions and career services- from 1993 – 2008.  A non-practicing licensed (PA) lawyer, Elaine has served as an Officer (secretary and vice-president) and as a member of the Board of Governors of the Maine Association of Mediators.  She holds a J.D. from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law and a B.A. from Eisenhower College of the Rochester Institute of Technology.


Jack Signorela, Volunteer Mediator, The Mandell Gisnet Center for Conflict Management at Monterey College of Law is a Veteran of the Vietnam war and a dedicated mediator, is the Veterans Mediation Liaison and a volunteer mediator. Jack was the recipient of a Community Service Award from the United Way of Monterey County in 2014.Jack is an outstanding volunteer and his dedication to the practice of mediation is remarkable.  Following a successful career in medical education and public service, Jack has directed his time and talents to mediation, with a particular passion for veterans’ issues. Jack completed the mediation skills training course at MGC in the Winter of 2012.  Since then he has been mediating in MGC’s court mediation program and NEIGHBOR Project, volunteering in over 100 cases.  Jack is also one of the Center’s best spokespersons. He represents the Center at community events and conducts outreach on behalf of the Center.  Jack has furthered his mediation skills with advanced mediation courses at Pepperdine Law School and Community Boards.


Isabel Bjork, Executive Director, The Mandell Gisnet Center for Conflict Management at Monterey  College of Law received her JD from Stanford Law in 1995 and a Master of Science in Developmental Psychology in 2011 from Sheffield Hallam University in the UK. Trained in mediation, ADR and negotiation, she is committed to ensuring that conflict resolution services and skills are accessible to the public. Isabel is equally dedicated to providing legal clinical education opportunities to law students so that they can gain valuable mediation and negotiation experience while serving in the public interest. She is honored to combine these passions through her work at Mandell Gisnet. Isabel has a long professional history of commitment to public service, including having worked for over 10 years on legal reform projects for the United States Agency for International Development, the World Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development throughout the Balkans and the former Soviet Union, where she negotiated agreements, facilitated dialogue between groups in conflict, and managed legal reform initiatives. Her mission at Mandell Gisnet is to offer mediation services for people who might not otherwise be able to afford them, extend the range of services available to the public, and to train a new generation of lawyers in conflict resolution and public service. She also serves as a Professor of Mediation and International Law at the Monterey College of Law.


Joshua Ostrer, Program Development Coordinator, Mediation Matters, is an Americorps VISTA Fellow at Mediation Matters, which serves six counties in New York’s Capital Region. Josh graduated from Union College in 2014 and is serving as Program Develop Coordinator at Mediation Matters, overseeing mediation program development. Josh and Mediation Matters have developed a comprehensive veteran’s mediation curriculum, aimed at reducing to veteran’s mediation and educating mediation centers on the unique challenges veterans and service members face. Josh has also worked closely with both active service members and local veterans-based non-profits to gain unique insight into what gets veterans and their families into mediations, and which often-unexpected challenges change our understanding of the veteran’s community, and their willingness to mediate.

Karen E. Carroll, Esq, Consultant, Child and Family Services, Center for Resolution and Justice has more than 20 years of experience as a mediator, group facilitator, meeting planner and project manager. Her private mediation practice focuses on all types of conflict with a specialty in family issues and large group facilitation.  Karen joined the Center for Resolution and Justice of WNY in February 2014 as a consultant.  Her work with CRJ has focused on the development of a veteran’s mediation program.  This unique project has included extensive work with a national learning community facilitated by the National Association for Community Mediation, grass-roots community stakeholder engagement, program development and mediator training.  She also worked with CRJ to renew a mediation program to support criminal cases in the Buffalo City Court. From 1998 - 2013, Karen Carroll was part of the original staff of the New York State Family Court Child Welfare Improvement Project. As a local liaison and statewide program Deputy Manager, her role was to support the NYS Family Courts and their collaborative partners in goal setting, engaging workgroups and implementing child welfare system change on a local and statewide level.  During this time, she acted as the local Project Administrator for the Child Permanency Mediation Program in the Eighth Judicial District of New York as well. She is a trained mediator and a member of the WNY Group of Collaborative Law Professionals.  


Sharon Tracy, Executive Director, Quabbin Mediation founded the organization in 1995. A mediator and trainer for twenty years, she develops and implements mediation and conflict resolution curricula in a multitude of settings. She is from a multi-generational military family, and in 2007 created Veterans Mediation, training veterans, Guard, Reserve, active military and family members to mediate for their peers. With more than thirty years' experience in organizational development, she has particular skills in creating innovative programs and writing grant proposals to fund them. An example is Training Active Bystanders, an effective, locally developed school-based leadership development and violence prevention program.  She is a proponent of the concept that ADR practitioners’ skills can be successfully applied to community organizing by convening stakeholder alliances and facilitating their work together to meet their communities’ needs.


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