The Green River Community’s – Mediation & Peacebuilding Institute
Update on Recent Activities, through Spring 2015
- Since my last report we have trained 30 participants – in two groups of 15 – in basic mediation skills. From June 22—30 another Basic Mediation Training (BMT) course for students and staff of Green River College will be held at our Kent campus, under the direction of Richard Elfers. Mediation trainers for this course are drawn from our pool of experienced practitioners, including from Clark County Dispute Resolution Center, in Vancouver, WA.
- Our Advisory Board meets monthly to develop and monitor the community mediation and peacebuilding agenda. We also continue to seek opportunities for our BMT graduates to advance towards certification as mediators:
- While practicum places with the Dispute Resolution Center of King County are limited and negotiations with Pierce County DRC seem to have stalled, we continue to be hopeful of sufficient places becoming available;
- As a long term solution to this issue, we currently we are considering the designation of ‘campus mediator’ for BMT graduates who complete our own practicum and are willing to volunteer as mediators on Green River College campuses.
- During the period August 2014-February 2015, approximately 40 staff and faculty participated in a series of four workshops on ‘Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding’, led by staff member Barry Bannister using innovative approaches advocated in the Arbinger Institute. Dr. Bannister is a certified Mediator and Facilitator for the Arbinger Institute. These workshops continue each month through 2015: the dates for the Spring term are March 26-27; April 10 & 17; May 8 & 15.
- We will introduce two new workshops in Fall 2015:
- Restorative Dialogue (for Teachers and Counsellors) and
- Advanced Conflict Transformation, for graduates of either the BMT, or the conflict resolution workshops.
- Our cooperation agreement with the Dispute Resolution Center of King County (DRCKC) continues to strengthen and courses in dispute resolution for parents and teens have attracted participants from the local community and from Green River College. Our second BMT for 2015 will be managed by DRCKC, under the leadership of a colleague who conducts 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