Anne Arundel Conflict Resolution Center
   Providing mediation services since 1993

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Peace in the Community  

The Center has a new Vision:  
Peace in the Community and  
Mission: Providing mediation and other services in Anne Arundel County to encourage peaceful communication and conflict resolution.
These are even more important to our Annapolis and Anne Arundel Community following the recent tragedy in The Capital Gazette newsroom.
Our hearts go out to the friends and families of Rebecca, Wendi, John, Gerald and Rob, and to the rest of the talented and dedicated staff members of our local newspaper.

Day of Trial Mediation   
Several Center
mediators have recently completed an apprentice program for Day of Trial mediation with the District Court.  
Congratulations to Arnold Abraham, Lisa Lothian, and John Rixey. They join Sheila Coleman, Kathy Gray and Phil Reynolds on our roster of experienced DOT mediators.   
The cases we typically see are small claims; landlord/tenant issues; disputants with service companies such as home builders and car repair shops; personal loans; bill collections; etc. The settlement agreements written by mediators is entered into court records.  
Research shows that participants feel that their court experience is a more positive one with mediation than with going to trial.  
Elaine Phillips, Regional Program Director, ADR Office, District Court of Maryland, says,"Day of Trial mediation is part of our peace-building mediation movement and the District Court is excited to be partnering with AACRC to forward this cause."

Anger Management Works...   

"Lynn" recently completed our Community Anger Management class. She was heartbroken about her situation and came to the class, in a bad mood, sure that it was going to be a waste of her time and money. By the end of the day, she was so engaged and motivated that she asked to stay late for some one-on-one training about active listening.  
Lynn hadn't realized how small nuances can change how people perceive our words. When she learned about our no-cost mediation services, she squealed with excitement and opened up a voluntary family dispute case.  
She has mediated with her husband and daughter to resolve tension from the past and find solutions to move forward. Lynn says she is forever indebted to the people and services at AACRC.

Hello and Goodbye...    

We recently welcomed James Boyle as our new Circuit Court Coordinator.  
James is experienced in facilitating discussion around workplace, small claims, and grievance disputes.He is an Adjunct Professor at Montgomery College.  
Prior to joining AACRC, James was a Mediator with Montgomery County where he still volunteers. He serves on the board of directors as program chair with Maryland Council for Dispute Resolution.  
Pam Romito joined us from AmeriCorp earlier this year and transitions soon to her next assignment. We are glad to have her skills and thankful for Jaquetta Davis who has moved on.  
We also thank NaJae Elisa DeVeaux for her work as Office Assistant. NaJae took a break from college to assist with case management for our Community cases. She returns to college in the fall and will be sorely missed.
During the summer we enjoyed the enthusiastic help of several interns:
Ilana Abraham,
Meirveille Akoumay   Donovan Breshear,  
Keile Cala',Sarah Sandison, and
Carlton Wourman.  
They have completed  basic mediation training and orientation and have hit the ground running!

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August, 2018
Come, Join the Party!

We are Celebrating Our 25th Anniversary!
The Center was founded in October, 1993 so, this year, we are celebrating 25 years of continuous service to the residents of Anne Arundel County. The Board of Directors and the DAM committee are currently hard at work organizing a 25th Anniversary celebration event that recognizes the contributions of founders, volunteers and staff, both former and current.
Our 25th Anniversary Celebration Dinner will take place on Thursday, October 11, 2018, 6:00 to 10:00 PM at The Blue Heron Center at Quiet Waters Park. Join us for cocktails, dinner, and some very special entertainment. More details to come.  Please save the date.

Welcome to Our New Board Members!

Danielle Chappell
is a Staff Attorney with Maryland Legal Aid. She was previously a Volunteer Attorney with the Esperanza Center and a Program Director for Lawyers for Children America. She received her JD from George Washington University Law School, her MA in English from the University of Delaware, and her BA from St. Mary's College.
Jim Denora, our new Treasurer, is a founding member of Leading Edge Wealth Advisors. Before that, he was a founding partner in Severn Financial Group. He began his financial services career with Northwestern Mutual Financial Network. He is a graduate of St. Francis College in PA, and he later earned a Masters of Business Administration from George Mason. He is a CPA and a Certified Financial Planner.  
Tia McNair Ph.D., is the Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Student Success at the Association of American Colleges and Universities. Before joining AAC&U she served as the Assistant Director of the National College Access Network in DC. She has also worked for the National Science Foundation, the University of Charleston, and West Virginia State University. She earned her BA in Political Science and English from James Madison, her MA from Radford, and a doctorate in higher education administration from George Washington.
Colby Peters Ph.D., LCSW
is CEO of Human Systems, a company providing workshops on leadership and organizational development. She was previously Interim Program Director of Seeds4 Success, and an Adjunct Professor of Social Welfare and Social Policy for the University of Maryland School of Social Work where she received her Ph.D. and MSW. She has a BA in Psychology and Art History from the College of William and Mary.    
Risheena Schwemle is a Supervising Attorney at the Glen Burnie District Court Self-Help Center. She previously worked for Maryland Legal Aid, the Domestic Law Unit, the General Unit, and the Child In Need of Assistance Unit. She received her JD from the University of Baltimore School of Law and her BA in Political Science from Morgan State University.

Services to Vulnerable Communities

Signature Partnerships have been established with The Lighthouse Shelter and the Center of Help/Centro de Ayuda both of which provide services to vulnerable communities. - specifically homeless, people on the verge of homelessness, and youth of color.  
Our goals are to provide mediation for families in conflict to increase their chances of success. These are truly holistic solutions for families as we work to meet our vision Peace in the Community.
At The Lighthouse Shelter we are providing:
Residents and "Peaceful Living."  Work with residents several times a year within a large group facilitation to resolve conflicts in a residential setting.
 Case Managers and "Mediation Services." Speak with case managers at weekly meetings to discussing the center's free mediation services.
BEST job training students and "Handling Conflict in the Workplace." Lead two classes with BEST students on handling conflict in the workplace.
Residents in CareerStart Classes - "Effectively Handling Conflict in the Workplace" Teach three to ten residents who need soft skills training.
Community Clients - Landlord/tenant conflict and Community Clients. Work with at- risk-of-homelessness residents.
Resident Assistant Staff (frontline lobby staff). Help them to deal with potential conflict and drama between co-workers, or learn how to de-escalate conflict with a client who is agitated, angry, under the influence, or demonstrating mental health issues.

Services to Vulnerable Communities

The Centro of Help/Centro de Ayuda exists to help Hispanic-Latinos and other immigrants socially, educationally, and economically so that they can become citizens of Anne Arundel County.   
We have partnered with The Center of Help  to address the need for mediation services, specifically family reunification.  Our partnership is in its infancy as we work with the Board Chair Tatiana Klein, Executive Director Sean Schneider and Program Director Kirsten Clark to develop a realistic set of services uniquely designed to meet the needs of children and families taking advantage of Maria de la Paz Safe Spaces initiative which include:
  •         Effective communication:
    •  How to express yourself appropriately
    • Healthy outlets for anger
    • Opening lines of communication,
    • Awareness of interactions with other people
  •          Peaceful Living:  Respecting Space at Work and Play)
This is another example of how we are moving forward with one of the three very important objectives during FY2019.   
Over the next 24 months, AACRC will implement a model of Integrated Family Mediation Services (IFMS). IFMS is a creative and innovative delivery of mediation that expands upon a number of mediation programs currently offered by the center, and others we believe complement existing programs delivered together.   
Opportunities like those we are exploring with Lighthouse Shelter and Center of Help expand services and are necessary to delivering truly holistic solutions to families as we consistently work to meet our vision of Peace in the Community!