Jim MacDonald, Vice President, Community Impact
United Way of Greater Kansas City (UW) goes out of its way to support Partner Organizations. This morning about 40 Partner Agency Leaders gathered for breakfast at the new UW offices, located on the Plaza. Jim MacDonald, Joan Cabell and Teri Retzlaff welcomed us as we enjoyed opportunities to meet and talk with people from other service organizations. The meeting topic was Campaign 2013: Strategies to Resource Community Need, and included ideas to boost giving to this year’s campaign so that many more people in the Kansas City area can receive needed services and opportunities.
During the 7 years I’ve been with the Community Mediation Center (CMC), I’ve witnessed an increase in the quantity and quality of contact that the UW staff has with Partner Agencies, allowing opportunities for input and feedback from the people who serve high need community members. CMC began receiving support from UW at a higher level in order to cover a 60% increase in numbers served when the Kansas City, MIssouri Human Relations mediation office closed in 2010. Because of UW support, CMC brings conflict resolution training to children, youth and adults, serves families and communities at risk for violence with mediation and training, offers neighborhood accountability board services to courts and much more.
United Way helps hundreds of organizations like CMC look to a future where all are valued and everyone has the resources and support they need to live happy, healthy lives. Welcome to the Peace Party!
You can join! Make a donation to CMC and partner with us to help people at risk for violence solve problems peacefully.
CMC’s Judy Heath talks with an Urban Ranger
What does the term ‘Restorative Justice’ mean to 60 young men in the Kansas City, Missouri urban core whose lives have been affected by crime, violence, arrests and prison? That was one of the questions discussed last Friday, July 5, 2013, at the Wayne Minor Community Center. Annette Lantz-Simmons and other staff and volunteers from the Community Mediation Center (CMC), with the help of guest facilitator, Airick Leonard West, from Community 360, met with high school aged Urban Rangers for exploration and interaction.
Restorative Justice is a process where all parties, including the victim, the offender and the community, engage in a facilitated dialogue with goals to listen, talk, and co-create a plan to make as right as possible the harm that was done. Restorative Justice focuses on relationships and needs, unlike a criminal justice process that focuses on punishment.
For the second half of the session, the young men broke into small groups to explore personal values. Introducing a circle process, using a talking piece and a guideline that one person talk at a time, adult facilitators helped create an atmosphere of open and honest sharing. The young men were engaged and often insightful as they talked about their lives, expectations and goals.
This is the 4th year that CMC has been a part of the Urban Rangers summer program. The conflict resolution component, graciously paid for by PeaceWorks KC, is an important element that we are privileged to provide. One CMC staff member wrote, “Being with the group for the morning was the highlight of my week. I was impressed with the organization and with the young men.” Growing burgeoning leaders and improving lives, theirs and ours. Welcome to the Peace Party!
You can join!
Leave a comment. Sign up to follow this blog. Donate to CMC. Contact CMC 816-461-8255 www.communitymediationkc.org
Annette and Don Ivans at Palestine with Thomas E., Thomas O., and Anna Bibbs
Mix energy, interest, enthusiasm and momentum together and you will have a sense for the conflict resolution sessions at the Palestine Neighborhood Development Corporation in April and May. The sessions, made possible through a grant from the JAMS Foundation, covered topics such as conflict coaching, communication skills practice and trauma healing.
Thomas Bibbs, president of the Neighborhood Association, his wife Anna and son Thomas E., hosted the events, greeting participants as they arrived and creating a welcoming space for interactive learning to take place. The final session found the group of 41 community members walking through a conflict coaching process based upon a real life scenario involving siblings and secret information. Through the coaching process we asked questions such as: How do you feel? How do you want to feel? How might the other person feel? What is the best outcome? What type of engagement might facilitate that outcome? These questions helped us find empathy for all of the conflict partners and to see the benefit of staying separate from the problem yet connected to the people in multi-party situations.
As Community Mediation Center (CMC) facilitators, we learned far more from the group than we taught and found ourselves looking forward to the sessions with anticipation and excitement. It is our hope that an already competent and engaged community gleaned helpful theories and concepts for navigating the daily conflicts we, as human beings, face. One participant wrote, “I’m learning the importance of staying calm and staying open minded in conflict”. That’s a skill we can all aspire to! Welcome to the Peace Party!
You can join. Help us continue to bring conflict resolution training to areas of extremely high conflict, empowering communities to solve conflict before it escalates to violence. Find the button to the right and ‘DONATE NOW’