Mid Shore Community Mediation Center is seeking volunteers to join their team of community mediators!
Mid Shore Community Mediation Center provides no-cost mediation and conflict resolution services to residents in Caroline, Dorchester, and Talbot counties. In existence since 2005, the center is among the most active in Maryland, with an average of 5-6 mediations scheduled weekly.
Mediation is a private collaborative problem-solving process where people experiencing conflict can come together and have open, honest conversations, with the support of two trained mediators, to get things resolved or make plans for the future. Mediation puts the people involved in the situation into the driver’s seat – participants make all of the decisions.
“Mediation is an essential service for our friends and neighbors, chances are most people on the mid-shore have either been invited to mediation or know someone who has. For families making decisions about their children or elders, folks re-entering the community after incarceration, our young people – the opportunity to participate in mediation can be life changing,” says Executive Director, Jenn Williams. Williams has been with the organization since 2012 and stewarded the center’s extensive youth programs prior to assuming the directorship. “Our mission is to empower our community members to deal with conflict positively. So many people think of conflict as a dirty word – but the truth is that conflict is part of the human condition, conflict can be necessary, and what makes it good or bad is how it is managed,” says Williams.
Volunteer Coordinator, Jessica Basom, says of potential volunteers, “We’re looking for folks who believe that people are capable of resolving their own situations given the right environment and support. Our volunteers must be able to listen to people in really difficult situations without letting their judgments get in the way of understanding what’s happening for them and what they need to move forward.”
Mediations are scheduled at the convenience of our clients. “We have opportunities to mediate seven days a week, from morning through early evening,” says Basom, “so there is something for everyone. Without our volunteers, what we do would not be possible. We really do need every single member of the team. COVID was devastating for us all – we need new members to step up and help foster civility and peace in our hometowns.”
Volunteers are not required to have previous training. “We really encourage everyone and anyone to apply if they have the interest – we value diversity in all areas, from race and age to life experiences,” says Williams.
Basic Mediation Training will take place in March. Participants will be required to self-screen for COVID and wear masks. To apply or for more information, contact Jessica Basom at (410)820-5553 or [email protected].