Mediation & Conflict Resolution Center

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[edit] General Information

  • Official name: Mediation & Conflict Resolution Center
  • Country: USA
  • City: Columbia
  • Type of organization: non-profit organization
  • Date of creation: 2001
  • Interests: Mediation - Training
  • Fields of expertise: Community Disputes

[edit] Description

[edit] History & Structure

The Mediation & Conflict Resolution Center (MCRC) became a department of Howard Community College (HCC) on July 1, 2001, after approximately 10 years as a grassroots organization in Howard County. HCC's decision to incorporate MCRC was a visionary move for a community college. Hosting a community mediation center advances HCC's goal of "strengthening community partnerships." MCRC strengthens HCC's community partnerships by providing, upon request, excellent mediation and facilitation services, and conflict resolution education, to various county agencies. MCRC also provides Restorative Dialogue services to Howard County citizens through its referrals from the Howard County Police Department, the Howard County States Attorney's Office, and the Department of Juvenile Services.

MCRC is a unit of HCC's Office of Academic Affairs. The MCRC Director is supervised by the Vice President of Academic Affairs, Ron Roberson. The MCRC Director is part of the Social Sciences/Education Division in her role as manager of HCC's AA Degree for Conflict Resolution. MCRC's Director is also advised by an Advisory Board representing the community, HCC, and other appropriate organizations & agencies.

MCRC is currently staffed by one part-time Director, Kathy Rockefeller, and one half-time Program Coordinator, Dennis Gilbert. Sixty-six trained volunteers provide mediation and restorative dialogue services for the Center.

[edit] Mission

The Mediation & Conflict Resolution Center (MCRC) at Howard Community College promotes peaceful resolution of conflict by providing mediation and conflict resolution services, education and training for the Howard County community.

[edit] Values

  • “MCRC helps people improve their lives by helping them handle conflict in healthy ways.
  • MCRC contributes to our community through early conflict intervention and proactive conflict prevention.
  • MCRC promotes the power of dialogue through open communication amongst ourselves and with all members of our community.
  • MCRC provides high quality, convenient and financially accessible conflict resolution services.
  • MCRC supports lifelong learning about conflict resolution techniques for all residents of Howard County.
  • MCRC embraces the ideals of Restorative Justice---processes that promote the empowerment of all persons affected by a conflict to collectively identify and address harm, needs and obligations in order to make things as right as possible.
  • MCRC strives for organizational flexibility to meet changing conflict resolution needs of Howard County.
  • MCRC models the ideal of respecting diversity by honoring differences and similarities among people and cultures as an important part of our work”.

[edit] Services

“MCRC provides an array of programs and services for the Howard County community. They are divided into three programs:

  • Community Mediation: Community Mediation is a process that helps people in conflict reach a mutually satisfying resolution with the assistance of a neutral, trained professional.
  • Restorative Dialogue (RD): Restorative Dialogue is form of Restorative Justice that gives victims of certain minor assaults or property damage a chance to talk with the harm-doer who committed the crime in a safe environment.
  • MCRC's Restorative Dialogue program opens the door to many possible outcomes. The spectrum ranges from an apology and increased understanding of the situation and what led to it; to actual steps to repair the harm done. The Restorative Dialogue program is an integral part of MCRC.
  • MCRC's Restorative Reflection program provides an option to those involved in a first time offense. The dialogue takes place between one of the parties involved in a crime, and gives them the chance to reflect and come up with tools to use in future similar situations that may take place.
  • Conflict Resolution Education: MCRC's mission pledges to: promote peaceful resolution of conflicts by providing quality mediation and conflict resolution services, education and training at HCC and within the larger Howard County community. MCRC has many programs that work to achieve this portion of our mission. MCRC offers free workshops to the HCC community in topic areas not limited to: effective communication, reflective and active listening, conflict resolution skills, gender, non-verbal communication, diversity etc”.

[edit] Training

  • Annual 40 Hour Basic Mediation Training: MCRC and Howard Community College (Continuing Education Division) hold annual 40 Hour Basic Mediation Trainings, led by Barbara Blake Williams. These trainings typically run for three consecutive weekends (Thursday and Friday evenings, and all day Saturday). The cost is approximately $900 and 100% attendance is mandatory. The training generally takes place in the late spring or early summer, and dates are generally announced sometime in February".

[edit] Contact

Howard Community College, 10901 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia MD 21044 - USA

Tel: 410-772-4620

Fax: 410-772-4660


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