Green River Community Mediation & Peacebuilding Institute (CM&PI)
WHY are we developing a mediation and peacebuilding institute?
To consolidate and increase our community outreach and service; namely, citizens come to the College because they know we can facilitate the resolution of their conflicts peacefully and professionally.
Along with more than 30 other of ‘Democracy’s Colleges’, Green River Community College has a mission to promote the values inherent in the statement above. More specifically, our extended learning mission includes goals such as ‘innovation’ and ‘contribution to college and community’. On this basis, there has been unanimous support for this ‘mediation initiative’, as formally endorsed by President Ely in September 2013.
HOW do we achieve the vision of building peace in our community?
The attached functional chart provides an overview of how the CM&PI vision will be achieved. Specifically:
- Training college staff and community members in conflict resolution skills, with provision – through our partnership with the Dispute Resolution Center of King County – for those wishing to become certified mediators and subsequently volunteer at our Mediation Center. This program commences in April 2014.
- Implementing a campus-based program, led by students, for students. The focus of this program called Sustained Dialogue is the improvement of campus culture and climate through more understanding of and respect for difference in all its forms. Sustained Dialogue was pioneered at Princeton and is now operating in 50 campuses, including several community colleges. This program is scheduled to commence in October 2014 in conjunction with the GRCC departments of Campus Life, Diversity and Counselling.
- Implementing a program of community dialogue which has a number of focal points depending on the audience:
- Restorative dialogue to resolve conflicts with juveniles, including in school districts and in collaboration with local courts, in which latter case this methodology is referred to as Restorative Justice.
- The approach in (a) is also applicable to adults who choose the restorative justice option in preference to litigation, in which case it is also referred to as Restorative Justice. (This offers victims and offenders an opportunity to listen respectively and respond in ways which preclude the need for further legal action).
- The facilitation of agreements between groups in conflict due to cultural, religious, socio-political, or similar contributing factors.
This program is scheduled to commence in 2015.
WHO benefits from this mediation initiative?
Our students, faculty, staff and administrators, as well as students, teachers and parents in the local school districts, as well as in the 5 municipalities served by Green River.
Development of the vision and strategy for the Green River CM&PI
Approval by President and VP IPEL to proceed
Appointment of Advisory Board*
Negotiations with key individuals and organizations in King County
Draft cooperation agreement with the Dispute Resolution Center of King County (KCDRC)
Commencement of dispute resolution service in collaboration with KCDRC
Organization and delivery of a Basic Mediation Training course (5-9) May
Selection of a student to attend the 2014 Conflict Resolution Education conference in DC, June 12-15
Securing a scholarship and funding for this student (Ana Cho)
Attendance of two faculty and two administrators at this same conference
Arbinger workshop for IPEL , July 2014
Training for faculty and staff at fall in-service day
Commencement of training in Sustained Dialogue
Consolidation and extension of the initiatives introduced in 2014
Introduction of Community Dialogue/Restorative Dialogue
*Advisory Board/Development Group
Current members are: Ross Jennings VP, IPEL; Leslie Moore (administrator); Frank Primiani (full-time faculty) and Rich Elfers (part-time faculty/mediator in training) and Barry Bannister as chairman and director. Additional members to be appointed.
Share of fees from mediation sessions
Budget support from IPEL
Dr. Barry Bannister
Director, The Peace Institute at Green River
417 Ramsay Way
Kent, WA 98032