Community Mediation: Empowerment and Dialogue

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Texas Conflict Coach

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In many communities around the country there are community mediation centers supported by volunteer mediators. Community Boards of San Francisco is the oldest community mediation center in the country, started in 1976. The philosophy of community mediation centers is to empower community members to resolve their own disputes rather than resorting to courts or other outsiders to do it for them. Participants in mediation have found that the process helps them feel heard, and increases their understanding of themselves and the other person as well. Community Boards has handled thousands of cases in its 36 year history, and has helped 85% of those who use their mediation services reach a successful agreement.

Cordell Wesselink, is Mediation Program Manager of Community Boards. He has a Master’s Degree in Negotiation, Conflict Resolution, and Peacebuilding from California State University at Dominguez Hills. He is a mediator and facilitator, and also teaches meeting facilitation skills for Community Boards.

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