Caucus: Fall 2019
Center for Conflict Resolution
In This Issue of Caucus
CCR's Core Values
Upcoming Events
Volunteer Resource Guide
Welcome New Staff Person!!
Stalking/No Contact Mediation Program Update
Help Us Plan an Upcoming Continuing Ed Program
A Letter from Cassie Lively
Welcome New Board Members!
CCR's Core Values

Over the last 18 months, a dedicated group of CCR mediator volunteers, Volunteer Council members, Board of Directors members, Auxiliary Board members and staff worked to articulate CCR's Core Values. Our sincere thanks to this team, led by Allison Margolies and Howard Epstein, and guided by Mike Cohen, for their hard work. Click here for more on this project.

Upcoming Events

Working With Families In Crisis: Strategies, Tips, and Lessons Learned

Stephanie Senuta has been working in the ADR field for the past 19 years.  She started her career at CCR and has worked as a full-time mediator for the Circuit Court of Cook County in three different divisions - Domestic Relations, Child Protection and Domestic Violence.  Stephanie currently runs an ADR program in the Domestic Violence Division, in both civil and criminal court, for parents who are seeking protective orders against their child(ren)'s other parent, to help them create safe parenting plans.  This session will provide an overview of this innovative ADR program (originally funded by the Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women) with a special emphasis on working with families with active orders of protection.  Stephanie will introduce a framework developed by the Battered Women's Justice Project that can help mediators assess risk and account for violence both when mediating and when crafting safe agreements.  Stephanie will share practical strategies, tips and lessons learned for mediators when working with families in crisis.

When: Thursday, November 21, 5:30pm - 7:00pm

Where: CCR, 11 E Adams St., Suite 500, Chicago, IL 60603

Preparing for Difficult Conversations

Is there a conversation that you've been avoiding? Maybe it's something about an important relationship in your life or about a deeply held belief. In this 2-hour workshop, participants are given tools to plan and prepare to have a difficult conversation. This session focuses on strategies to manage internal responses to high-conflict dialogue, preparing language and approaches to frame and carry out the conversation, and approaches to de-escalate so that we can have more productive conversations.

When: November 20, 2019 from 6pm-8pm

Where: CCR, 11 East Adams St., Suite 500

Cost: $50

Thanks to Auxiliary Board Co-Chair Kelli Garcia for representing CCR at the
Chicago Bar Foundation and CBA Young Lawyers Section Pro Bono and Community
Service Fair at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom on October 23!
Volunteer Resource Guide
We are currently working to create a resource guide for new volunteers. If you're interested in supporting this effort by reviewing our final drafts, let Rae know. We would love to get feedback from the volunteer community. A big thank you to Susanne Hollander and Cathay Lancaster for all their work on this project!
Welcome Lauren Miller!
CCR welcomes a new staff member, Lauren Miller. Lauren is Program Coordinator for CCR's new Juvenile Re-entry Mediation Program. A licensed Social Worker, before joining CCR Lauren was the Youth Project Coordinator for American Indian Health Services of Chicago, Inc., where she facilitated a weekly youth empowerment program for youth residing in the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center. Lauren has a Masters of Social Work (MSW) from the School of Social Service Administration, The University of Chicago and a Masters of Science (MSc) in Gender, Rights and Development Studies from the University of Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom. Lauren has been an advocate in juvenile justice for over a decade and has worked/volunteered for Amnesty International, UNIFEM, Metropolitan Family Services, The Network and Resilience. Lauren is also a volunteer Crisis Counselor for the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN). A couple fun facts: Lauren loves to travel and has traveled to 27 countries. Also, she is a MAJOR knitting enthusiast.
Stalking/No Contact Mediation Program Update
Recently, we had an opportunity to meet with our judicial referral partners in the Stalking/No Contact program and we are now seeing an increase in referrals. Parties in these cases are strong candidates for successful mediation due to the nature of their relationships. In recent years, the number of civil Stalking/No Contact Order cases has diverted some of the resources of the specialized domestic violence court house. These cases involve neighbors, landlord/tenants, co-workers, students at the same school, members of the same faith institutions, and/or social acquaintances. These are a great use of our mediation model and volunteers should expect more opportunities for these cases in the coming months.
Help Us Plan an Upcoming
Continuing Ed Program!
Do you have a great idea for
a speaker or topic for
an upcoming 
Continuing Ed Program? 
If so, we would love to hear
your thoughts.
Please contact Continuing Ed Committee Chair,
Jonah Orlofsky

Dear CCR Community:

Happy Fall!
We are recovering from the premature demise of our case management software, and
have our new, Salesforce-based platform up and running! While the transition needed to
happen faster than we anticipated, everyone is excited to have a new system that will ultimately result in a lot of time-savings, as well as keeping our data secure for many years into the future.

If you are in the office in the upcoming weeks, please make sure to say hello to our new
staff member, Lauren Miller! We were able to hire Lauren thanks to Impact Grants Chicago. Lauren will serve as the coordinator for our new Juvenile Re-Entry Mediation Program, in partnership with the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center. You can find a profile of Lauren in the newsletter.

Our Training Department has just finished up a very busy part of the year, working to train law students from Northwestern, Loyola, Chicago-Kent and UIC-John Marshall. The students worked hard to complete their certification, and are now serving clients in
our court programs. Several of the students also volunteered their time to help us enter case files into the new system!


Congratulations to Auxiliary Board Member Alex Weinstein and his wife, Nicole Friedman, on their marriage!
Welcome New Board Members!

Elizabeth Hermann Smith first became involved with CCR while she was a law student at DePaul, then became further involved as a PILI fellow in 2010.  She is now a Partner in the Commercial Finance group at Katten, working on a variety of commercial lending transactions, with particular experience in franchise finance.  She is pleased to have the opportunity to return to CCR as a Board member.  Elizabeth also enjoys participating in a number of other pro bono and service initiatives, both through Katten's pro bono program and through outside organizations, including as a member of the Associate Board of One Tail at a Time, a local dog rescue.

Jennifer L. Dressler joined the Center for Conflict Resolution as a volunteer mediator in 2017 after retiring from a 20+ year career as a business owner, and corporate and securities attorney. As an attorney, Jenni represented Fortune 500 and industry leading, publicly traded, multinational corporations, with expertise in transactional and securities law. She is currently a frequent speaker, offering improv workshops to professionals to help improve their communication, facilitate conflict management, and hone specialized skill sets. Jenni received her undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Wisconsin.