See the end of this short summary for links to a longer summary and a link for watching the interview.
In a real democracy, people would empower themselves to solve problems – including interpersonal conflicts – in mutually respectful ways.
This is actually quite possible, with some basic training and skills – and sometimes with help from skilled neutral facilitators.
The Olympia Fellowship of Reconciliation’s December 2013 TV program focuses on a methodology for helping people resolve conflicts. We also feature a local non-profit organ-ization that uses those methods to help people do that.
Across the country and here in Thurston County, Washington, nonprofit organizations (and a few local governments) are bringing people together with support from skilled neutral facilitators, to help people resolve a wide variety of conflicts and disputes in mutually respectful ways. They achieve high rates of success.
The Dispute Resolution Center of Thurston County is a nonprofit organization that has served our community since 1991.
Our TV interview guests are three very active volunteers with Thurston County’s Dispute Resolution Center – the DRC:
• Terry Teale is a Senior Mediator and Chair of the DRC’s Board of Directors. She also helps with coaching and with training.
• Joe VanSyckle started volunteering at Dispute Resolution Center in December 2012. He worked many years doing organizational development work for a big corporation. He reached out to the DRC in order to understand how a non-profit organization builds a group of people to do this kind of work. He fell in love with the DRC’s way of bringing people together to solve problems on their own.
• Paul James has been a practicing attorney for 30 years. While he has conducted mediations as an attorney, he appreciates the Dispute Resolution Center’s very different ways, involving skilled mediators who are very neutral and client-centered.
If you watch movies that end with a gun battle – either a Western movie shoot-out on main street or a battle of bigger explosives in “action movies” – or if you look at the US government’s willingness to attack other nations – you might think that violence is the only way to solve problems.
Nowadays there is so much cynicism throughout our society that people might be surprised that it really is possible to resolve conflicts peaceably and in mutually respectful ways at the grassroots level, without even going to court.
I appreciate our three TV interview guests and many other local volunteers for actually helping people resolve their own interpersonal conflicts in ways that help people maintain or restore broken relationships.
We invite people to contact the Dispute Resolution Center of Thurston County at:
PO Box 6184
Olympia WA 98507-6184
The DRC’s Mission Statement is:
“Our mission is to empower people to resolve their disputes by providing con-flict resolution, mediation and training services to South Sound community members. We envision a South Sound community that has and uses healthy and respectful conflict resolution skills.”
To watch this interview, click HERE.