The Dispute Resolution Center's new Community Impact Report, "Civic Harmony Starts Here", has just been published and is being distributed throughout Thurston and Mason Counties.
This report provides a brief overview of the DRC's services, along with statistics that help demonstrate the many ways in which the efforts of our organization - through the support of our many volunteers, donors and community partners - are advancing our vision and helping create a more civil and peaceful community.
We hope you will take a few moments to read the online version of our report.
Congratulations to Terry Teale, who was honored at our recent annual volunteer recognition picnic as the DRC's Outstanding Volunteer for 2018.
Terry has been a valued member of the DRC Family since 2010. She was a member of the DRC Board, including serving as its president. She has been an active mediator and is now also becoming a phone conciliator.
"The DRC is extremely grateful for volunteers like Terry," emphasized Executive Director Jody Suhrbier. "She has an unassuming yet steadfast presence and we're so lucky to have her."
To read a special profile of Terry recently published by Thurston Talk, click here.
The work of the Dispute Resolution Center would not be possible without the efforts of 134 active volunteers, including 84 certified mediators. These dedicated individuals collectively gave more than 5,000 hours of their time in the past year to help create a more civil and peaceful community.
Thank You to all of our volunteers for your dedication to helping create a more civil and peaceful community!
Our Vision: We envision a South Sound community that has and uses healthy and respectful conflict resolution skills.
Where we are: After a year of internal stabilization, core strengthening, and increasing community visibility, the year 2018 has been one of expansion - in outlook, capabilities, and infrastructure to meet the community needs of today. We are building bridges to our community’s future.
Accomplishments - achieved or on track for completion in 2018 include:
Grateful to have accomplished so much, we remain focused on addressing the needs of our community that are in alignment with our vision and capabilities, aware that there is more to achieve.
Our ultimate goal: The Dispute Resolution Center is widely recognized and utilized as an indispensable community resource, playing a vital role in creating and sustaining a thriving community where differences are met with authentic, respectful dialogue. As such, our organization is supported by a broad base of individuals and entities throughout the region, which provides for robust, sustainable service provision that truly meets community needs.
How we get there:
Curious to learn more?
On Wednesday, September 12, 2018, from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m., we will host an open house and discussion focused on advancing our vision. We will provide a light meal, give a brief update on our critical path, and then ask those in attendance to suggest 1-3 candidates for the Board of Directors to help us on the most crucial, strategic work facing the organization as we step into the future. We hope you can join us for this important conversation.
The Board of Directors and staff of the Dispute Resolution Center are pleased to announce that the DRC’s offices will be moving to a new location in mid-July. In a return to the DRC’s original West Olympia roots, our offices will relocate to 2604 12th Court SW, Suite A-1, in the Parkmont Office Park (just off of Black Lake Blvd. between Hwy 101 and Capital Mall).
We will close our current Downtown Olympia offices on July 11th and re-open in our new location on July 16th. Please note that our business mailing address will continue to be P.O. Box 6184, Olympia, WA 98507.
Our new facilities will enable us to better serve residents of Thurston and south Mason Counties through improved access and parking, as well as expanded mediation and training space.
After many years of discussion, review and reflection of how the DRC’s current facilities meet community needs and what future needs may be, the DRC Board formed a Facilities Committee in early 2017 to identify a new site for service provision. Key criteria identified in this process included location, accessibility, parking, safety, and adequate space for mediation and training, to help support the DRC’s expanding services and ensure long-term stability. Following an extensive review of options, the Parkmont Office Park site was determined to best meet these criteria.
A special open house is planned for early fall – date and time to be announced.
On the afternoon of Sunday, April 15th, the ballroom of the Hotel RL in Olympia was filled with community leaders and members of the DRC family who came together to celebrate and support the vital work of the Dispute Resolution Center. This year's theme, "Civic Harmony Starts Here", highlighted the importance of community collaboration in promoting civility and respect.
Thank You to all of our table hosts, volunteers, business partners, wine & chocolate vendors and, especially, our generous donors, who made this event a success.
Our guests at the 2018 edition of The Toast:
- Enjoyed savory hors d'oeuvres from the Hotel RL chefs, sampled sweet treats from local chocolatiers and tasted vintages from area wine-makers,
-Joined us in honoring Olympia Downtown Ambassadors Teal Russell and Katherine Trahan, recipients of this year's Evan Ferber Peacemaker Leadership Award,
- Heard from DRC Executive Director Jody Suhrbier and our keynote speaker, Congressman Denny Heck, addressing the theme of civic harmony,
- Viewed the premier of the DRC's new video, "Civic Harmony Starts Here",
- Gave generously to support the DRC's efforts to build a more civil and peaceful community,
- and thoroughly enjoyed themselves, as you can see from the photo gallery below (click on thumbnails to view photos):
Download our Training Services Flier
Tailored for Your Organization's Needs
The DRC provides customized training to businesses, organizations and government agencies to help prevent and manage workplace conflict, de-escalate intense situations, increase understanding, promote teamwork and improve customer service.
Custom communication, conflict prevention and conflict resolution training benefits:
- Supervisors & Managers - Customer Service & Sales Staff
- Human Resources Staff - Public Safety Professionals
- Work Teams - Educators & School Staff
"I found the DRC's training invaluable and applicable to any facet of my life. I have already recommended it to my colleagues."
Facilitating Effective Meetings
This training provides valuable concepts, processes, and skills for anyone who runs or attends meetings in businesses, government agencies, schools, non-profits, civic groups, faith communities or other organizations.
16 hours over two days Courses offered February & July
Useful to anyone who manages or participates in work teams, this training provides powerful, common sense tools to advance your goals while preserving valuable relationships.
16 hours over two days Courses offered in March & November
Professional Mediation Training
These skills are beneficial to anyone who wants to help others resolve conflicts more peacefully, to build relationships with neighbors, co-workers, family and friends, to strengthen professional skills, or to become a certified mediator with the DRC.
40 hours over five days Courses offered January, June & October
Learn more about the DRC's Training Services and how they can benefit you and your organization.
Contact Oriana Noël Lewis, Training Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org
call (360) 956-1155 or visit MediateThurston.org/Training
Tips for Preventing and Resolving Conflict at Family Gatherings
This article, recently published by Thurston Talk, provides a number of approaches and strategies to help you successfully navigate family gatherings during the holidays - and throughout the year - from the DRC's Training Manager, Oriana Noël Lewis.
What is your picture of peace? When I picture peace, I see hope and inspiration that begins in the hearts of each of us. In fact, it cannot begin anywhere else. Our vision inspires our actions and those actions define us. This vision then radiates out to touch untold lives - far beyond our community and far into the future.
You are a part of our vision: a South Sound Community that has and uses healthy and respectful conflict resolution skills. Each year, we help thousands of our neighbors to manage and resolve conflict, and to communicate more effectively so that they can prevent conflict whenever possible. This combined effort enhances our ability to feel at peace within ourselves and see how it can manifest in our community and world.
Your special year-end gift will make it possible for the Dispute Resolution Center to:- provide mediation to individuals and families for whom cost is a barrier
- provide training to individuals and organizations with limited financial resources
- offer restorative practices in local schools, which support and mentor the next generation
Please make a secure online donation today by clicking here: DONATE
Your generosity of spirit creates a more civil and peaceful community - and world.
Jody M. Suhrbier, Executive Director
Governor Jay Inslee has proclaimed October Community Conflict Resolution Month.
Please join the volunteers and staff of the Dispute Resolution Center of Thurston County - and all 21 members of the Resolution Washington Network - in celebrating the power of peace-making.
We are pleased to be partnering with The Olympian this fall to help raise awareness of community-based mediation through a special campaign, 10 Reasons to Choose Mediation .
The Olympian is highlighting the work of the DRC in a special online article, which will also appear in this coming Sunday's print edition of the paper.
Each year, we help thousands of Thurston County residents move through conflict with confidence, integrity, and respect. Your involvement and support - as a volunteer, a donor, a community partner - make this vital work possible.
Jody M. Suhrbier
1. Mediation is affordable.
The DRC’s Mediation Program is affordable and is based on a sliding fee scale.
2. Mediation is fair and impartial.
Parties have an equal say in the process and they, not the mediator, decide the terms of the settlement. There is no determination of guilt or innocence in the process.
3. Mediation saves time and money.
Mediation works best when used early in a conflict, and many mediations are completed in one meeting.
4. Mediation is confidential.
Information disclosed during mediation will not be revealed to anyone.
5. Mediation avoids litigation.
Mediation costs less - in time, money and emotional toll - than a lawsuit and avoids the uncertainty of a judicial outcome.
6. Mediation fosters cooperation.
Mediation fosters a problem-solving approach - for anyone in conflict - that gets to the root of the issue to find true resolve for all parties.
7. Mediation improves communication.
Mediation provides a neutral and confidential setting in which the parties can openly discuss their views on the underlying dispute. Enhanced communication can lead to mutually satisfactory resolutions.
8. Mediation identifies underlying issues.
Parties share information, which can lead to a better understanding of issues affecting the relationship.
9. Mediation allows personalized solutions.
An impartial third party assists the parties in conflict to reach a voluntary, mutually beneficial resolution. Mediation can resolve all issues important to the parties, not just the underlying legal dispute.
10. Mediation works!
You can solve it. We can help.
2604 12th Court SW, Suite A-2
Olympia WA 98502
PO Box 6184
Olympia WA 98507
Federal Tax ID: 94-3130662
Contact US (360) 956-1155
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