Summer/Fall 2015

  Here are a few San Francisco Peacemaker Awards photographs.  See more below. 
In This Issue
Events & Activities 

Begins January 19 
Mindful Communication: Foundations
8-Week Workshop Series

Begins January 28 
 The Basics of Mediation 
From Darlene's Desk  
It's been an exciting start to our new "fiscal" year here at Community Boards.
We had fantastic enrollments at our recent Basics of Mediation training and BayNVC's Convergent Facilitation Training. We're excited about our new collaborations with BayNVC (see below) and hope to create future opportunities to spread the word about the power of Nonviolent Communication.
We've also seen steady increases in the numbers of cases opened and cases going to mediation. Our Conflict Coaching Program continues to grow as well. The number of coaching sessions has doubled over the past year.
Fortunately, we have a number of fantastic interns helping our small staff keep up with the number of requests for assistance. A very big thank you for their office work to Victor Dias, Mei Chang Yu, Sidney Pucek, Morgan Hernandez, and Allison Edwards.  An extra special thank you to Amanda Reinke for assisting with case development while Mac was away.
Meanwhile, as our day-to-day work continues, we're already planning for two big 2016 events: Community Boards' 40th Anniversary and the 6th Annual San Francisco Peacemaker Awards. We're still exploring multiple options to celebrate our 40th.  For now, please save the date for the awards ceremony and benefit: June 3, 2016.

In peace,

PS - Please be sure to RSVP for our 2015 Holiday Party on Friday, December 11:  RSVP here.

#1: Victor Dias, Volunteer of the Quarter  
I got involved with Community Boards through SF State University back in 2012. At the time, I needed an internship for my degree. I was looking for an opportunity that would give me the skills to better communicate with other people.  By the time I completed my internship, I was "hooked" on CB.  Now I volunteer as a Community Mediator and I come into the office weekly to assist with Spanish case intakes and development.

I find the most rewarding part of volunteering is helping people directly -- whether it's letting them feel heard on the phone or helping them come to an agreement during a mediation.  One of the biggest challenges for me is overcoming people's resistance to Community Boards' ability to assist them.  They come up with lots of reasons and excuses for not wanting to try mediation.  I, however, am really good at getting them to change their minds!
#2: Photo Highlights of the 5SFPA Benefit
These are just a few photographs from our June 5 benefit on our Facebook page.

#3: What is BACCM? 
BACCM was a Partnership Sponsor at our Peacemaker Awards in June.  Many people were curious and asked what the acronym means when they saw it in the benefit booklet.

BACCM stands for the Bay Area Coalition for Community Mediation.  Starting back in 2004, staff of local community mediation organizations formed a informal working group to share information, problem solve issues, and discuss the options and opportunities for keeping community mediation a viable resource for the public.

Ten years later, BACCM now meets quarterly.  For all involved, BACCM is valued as an ongoing work team for sharing expertise, new ADR innovations, and spirit-lifting camaraderie.

BACCM includes, along with Community Boards, the Center for Human Development in Concord, the Conflict Resolution Center of Santa Cruz County in Santa Cruz, the Office of Citizen Complaints in San Francisco, Peninsula Conflict Resolution Center in San Mateo, Project Sentinel in Santa Clara, SEEDS Community Resolution Center in Berkeley, and the Yolo Conflict Resolution Center in Davis. 

We salute all our inspirational BACCM colleagues for their support of the  
2015 San Francisco Peacemaker Awards! 

#4: BayNVC 
We're extremely pleased and proud to work with BayNVC.  BayNVC is Northern California's preeminent collaborative organization leading the development, dissemination, and training in the principles of Nonviolent Communication.

Created by Marshall Rosenberg, NVC is a way of communicating with empathy and clarity that works to meet the needs of everyone involved.  Through NVC, people can express what's important to them, make clear requests that are likely to be met, and listen to others in a way that fosters connection and compassion, even in the midst of conflict and difficulty.

Jared Finklestein and Katharina Dress recently led two very well received Mediation Clinics.  In October, Miki Kashtan, a co-founder of BayNVC, led the very well-received Convergent Mediation training that she developed. 

Coming 2016, Oren Sofer will lead an eight-week series,  Mindful Communication: Foundations, that is based, in part, on NVC principles, and Katharina will return to lead two Mediation Clinics in the fall.    >>> Learn more about BayNVC here. 

#5: Board of Directors Update 

Outgoing President - Megan Oliver Thompson 
After serving as Board President for the past year, I'm enthusiastically passing the baton to Kamela Laird.  My three years of Board service have proved invaluable in so many ways, not the least of which is spending quality time learning from all of you in the CB community.  My Board service has concluded, but my service to CB has not.  Whether it's at a future mediation, or Mediation Clinic, or Peacemaker Awards, I'll be seeing you soon.  Cheers! 

New President - Kamela R. Laird, Esq.  
I'm honored and enthused to be elected as President of the Board of Directors as we prepare for Community Boards' 40th anniversary in 2016. I am completely committed to conflict resolution work as a way of life and I'm biting at the bit to contribute to the successes of Community Boards for generations to come!