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9 Hallmarks of Community Mediation Centers


The Nine Hallmarks of Community Mediation were arrived at during a gathering of community mediation center leaders in Las Vegas, Nevada in 1992.


The  Hallmarks are intended to identify a set of guiding principles which could be applied in a variety of contexts but, at their heart, define the practice of community mediation. NAFCM appreciates that in keeping with the importance the Hallmarks place on inclusivity, Centers will apply them as best fits the needs of the local community they serve along with the skill set present within the Center. Many approaches in addition to mediation, like conflict coaching, community dialogues, facilitation, listening sessions and restorative practices, aimed at dispute resolution and conflict management can be approaches to conflict provided that the intent behind them remains focused on areas like access, diversity, education, quality, and local community norms and values as set out in the Hallmarks. 

Should you or your organization have questions about any particular Hallmark application we would be happy to hear from you. In this way, with your questions, we at NAFCM will continue to learn and grow.

Community Mediation Centers are Characterized by, and/or Committed to:

Community-Based (1) A private non-profit or public agency or program thereof, with mediators, staff and governing/advisory board representative of the diversity of the community served.
Open (2) The use of trained community volunteers as providers of mediation services; the practice of mediation is open to all persons.
Accessible (3) Providing direct access to the public through self­-referral and striving to reduce barriers to service including physical, linguistic, cultural, programmatic and economic.
Low-Cost (4) Providing service to clients regardless of their ability to pay.
Inclusive (5) Providing service and hiring without discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, age, disabilities, national origin, marital status, personal appearance, gender identity, sexual orientation, family responsibilities, matriculation, political affiliation, source of income.
Timely (6) Providing a forum for dispute resolution at the earliest stage of conflict.
Innovative (7) Providing an alternative to the judicial system at any stage of a conflict.
Outcome-Oriented (8) Initiating, facilitating and educating for collaborative community relationships to effect positive systemic change.
Newsworthy (9) Engaging in public awareness and educational activities about the values and practices of mediation.
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