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10 Centers Answer Call To Action

Friday, September 18, 2020   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Lori Dieckman
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Ten NAFCM member centers agreed to use the framework of the 2019 State of Community Mediation Report (SOCM) to examine the issues that are most ripe in their current social and political environment.  The center representatives met in June and are now meeting in “pods” that are characteristic of their area – rural, suburban, and urban.  We look forward to what will be revealed to each center as they progress through this process.  


We are so honored to travel this path of creating positive systemic change (Community Mediation Hallmark 8) with 10 amazing center members of the NAFCM Family.  These are:


  1. Charlotte- Mecklenburg Community Relations, Charlotte, North Carolina
  2. Clark County Community Mediation Services, Vancouver, Washington
  3. Cleveland Community Mediation Center, Cleveland, Ohio
  4. Dispute Resolution Institute, Murphysboro, Illinois
  5. Mediation West, Scottsbluff, Nebraska
  6. Midlands Mediation, Columbia, South Carolina
  7. Piedmont Dispute Resolution Center, Warrenton, Virginia
  8. St. Stephens Community House, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  9. The Mediation Center of the Coastal Empire, Savanah, Georgia
  10. West Texas Community Mediation Center, Big Spring, Texas


These centers answered the call of Congressman John Lewis (1940-2020): “When you see something that’s not right.  Not fair.  Not just, Say something.  Do Something. Get in trouble. Good trouble.  Necessary trouble.”.  This is who we were called be in the 1964 Civil Rights Act, serving our communities as a forum for all who are impacted  by racial, ethnic, class, and gender inequality, helping others to address social challenges through dialogue and the brave development of interest-based solutions


In July they worked with community partners to anchor their vision of community mediation as community mobilization within the unique context of each of their communities.  Their starting place of conversation was with a focus on fairness, peacemaking and violence prevention grounded in integrity, quality, vision, curiosity, and collaboration.


In August they stepped out from their shared circle and began to take action which the group deemed necessary to strengthen their abilities to continue to build the center they needed to be for their community.  The first action led to a creation of systems a list.  This is a list of their community’s current issues which would benefit from the skills offered by the center and the systems that most directly impacted these issues.  Employing their potential, the center would help facilitate the creation of choices by these community members that would increase community connectivity and decrease cultural and systems issues that serve to marginalize others in their community.


Now, in September, each center is expanding this effort to a broader circle of community members focused on the ability to work with the affinity partners that became known to them, to ensure community connectedness and reduced violence through increased ability to mediate and assist others to resolve disputes between themselves and individual members as well as among groups. Some topics selected to date include the systems that impact voting, virtual schooling, and civic unrest.

We look forward to what will unfold and keep you apprised.

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