Green River Community Mediation & Peacebuilding Institute (CM&PI)
Update on Activities 2016
- Since our last report, with the expertise of our colleagues at the King County Dispute Resolution Center (DRCKC) and our own volunteer mediation trainers, we have trained another 15 participants in basic mediation skills (BMT) at our Kent facility.
- We continue to seek opportunities for our BMT graduates to advance towards certification as mediators who are able to avail themselves of practicum places with the Dispute Resolution Center of King County.
- During 2016, approximately 40 staff and faculty participated in a series of workshops on ‘Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding’, using innovative approaches advocated in the Arbinger Institute.
- In the coming year, BMT graduates who complete our ‘Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding’ workshops and are willing to volunteer as mediators on Green River College campuses will be designated as our ‘campus mediators’.
- An Advanced Conflict Transformation course, for graduates of either the BMT, or our conflict resolution and peacebuilding workshops will also be on offer in 2017.
- A high priority for the Peace Institute this year has been the introduction of a Sustained Dialogue program to assist the campus -- and especially students -- to improve campus climate through systematically-managed dialogue. When we introduced Sustained Dialogue, the incidence of hate speech and even hate crimes on campuses and in the U.S. generally, had increased substantially. Following the presidential election campaign, this situation has worsened to the extent that interventions such as Sustained Dialogue are crucial to restoring a degree of civility. Starting in January 2017 a college-wide extension of the program focused on the college’s key priorities, including diversity and equity, will occur.
- Our cooperation agreement with the Dispute Resolution Center of King County (DRCKC) was renewed this year and continues to strengthen. Courses in dispute resolution for parents and teens have attracted participants from the local community and from Green River College. Our BMT in September 2017 will again be managed by DRCKC, under the leadership of colleagues who conduct the mediation training program at Seattle University.
- Finally, we continue to raise community awareness of our activities through marketing channels and via free seminars which introduce the scope of what is available in training and services related to resolving conflict and building a more peaceful community.
Dr. Barry Bannister
Director, The Peace Institute at Green River
417 Ramsay Way
Kent, WA 98032