The Dispute Resolution Center takes the safety of our clients, volunteers and staff very seriously and want to share with you how we are responding to the continually evolving Coronavirus/COVID-19 public health situation.
The DRC is currently maintaining regular business hours and scheduling services as usual.
We have placed some common sense infection control protocols into place, including providing posted reminders on effective hand-washing technique as well as providing hand and surface sanitation options for use onsite and in Small Claims Court. We are encouraging a 'no handshake' practice during meditations for the time being.
We are developing contingency plans to prepare for changing circumstances, which may include reduced office hours, and possible postponement of mediations, facilitations, trainings and events. We will communicate with clients regarding cancellation policies and adopt a flexible approach to ensure both client and volunteer health needs are addressed within this changing landscape. We are actively monitoring Washington State Department of Health, as well as, Thurston County Public Health Department recommendations. We will announce any program or operational changes through all of our regular channels including email, social media and our website.
Questions? Please contact Jody Suhrbier, DRC Executive Director, at (360) 956-1155 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Infection Control Practices for Clients, Volunteers and Staff
To help prevent the spread of infection and protect the health of our clients, volunteers and staff - as well as the wider community - please follow these infection control practices:
Jody Suhrbier, Executive Director of the Dispute Resolution Center of Thurston County, has been elected to the Board of Directors of the National Association for Community Mediation (NAFCM).
The NAFCM Board is made up of a select group of individuals from across the United States who have a passion for community mediation, its advancement, services, and potential.
The purpose of NAFCM is to support the maintenance and growth of community-based mediation programs and processes. NAFCM supports peacemakers by being the hub for advancing the work of community mediation, aggregating the wisdom of community mediation and amplifying the voice of community mediators.
Before joining the NAFCM Board, Suhrbier previously served for two years as Co-President of Resolution Washington, the state-wide coalition of dispute resolution centers.
Suhrbier has led the Dispute Resolution Center of Thurston County (DRC) since November, 2016. The DRC has served Thurston and south Mason Counties residents since 1991 through mediation, group facilitation, training and youth services, serving nearly 5,000 people in the past year.
Washington Governor Jay Inslee, the Thurston County Board of Commissioners, and the Olympia City Council have each proclaimed October as Community Conflict Resolution Month. October 17th has been designated, internationally, as Conflict Resolution Day.
Please join us, and all 21 member of the Resolution Washington network, in celebration of the power of strengthening connections through communication and conflict resolution.
We want to express our gratitude to everyone who helps advance our vision of a South Sound community that has a uses healthy and respectful conflict resolution skills. Your involvement and support - as a volunteer, a donor, a community partner - is making this vision a reality - one connection at a time.
As we strive to strengthen our service capacity in response to increasing and evolving community needs, your advocacy, time and financial support is critical in this effort.
Each year, we help thousands of our neighbors move through conflict with confidence, integrity and respect. This is an achievement worth celebrating - this month and throughout the year.
Thurston County Commissioners Tye Menser (left), John Hutchings (center) and Gary Edwards (right), presented their proclamation for Community Conflict Resolution Month to DRC Board member Robin Campbell and Community Engagement Manager Joe Sanders at their September 24th meeting.
Is there an elephant in your office?Workplace conflict, lack of communication and incivility are common in many organizations, but, too often, ignored or avoided. Unaddressed, they can have significant negative consequences for employers - emotional costs to you and your team, as well as financial costs:
Join us for a special breakfast workshop to learn insights and skills to effectively address workplace conflict.
Tuesday, October 22nd, 2019 8:00 – 9:30 a.m.
SPSCC Lacey Campus, 4220 6th Ave. SE , Lacey, WA
Check-in, coffee and networking begin at 7:45, with the program beginning at 8:00.
Breakfast provided by Budd Bay Cafe.
Congratulations to Steve Tilley, a member of our DRC Family for more than 20 years, who was honored at our recent annual volunteer appreciation picnic as our Outstanding Volunteer for 2019.
"When we were considering who to honor as this year's outstanding volunteer, the themes that came up in regard to Steve were: his tireless dedication, steady presence, and quiet humility," emphasized DRC Executive Director Jody Suhrbier. "Steve is one of the first people I mediated with as an apprentice. I was then and continue to be impressed by his calm demeanor and genuine interest in a fair process."
"Steve has an authentic interest in ensuring that the processes he uses support long-term health and well-being for those touched by our services - whether that may be a child whose parents are separated or an incarcerated adult seeking to make reparations in our community."
To read a special profile of Steve recently published by Thurston Talk, click here.
The work of the Dispute Resolution Center would not be possible without the efforts of more than 140 volunteers. These dedicated individuals collectively gave more than 5,000 hours of their time in the past year to support the mission of the DRC.
Thank You to all of our volunteers for your dedication to helping create a more civil and peaceful community!
We have a vision at the Dispute Resolution Center of a South Sound community that has and uses healthy and respectful conflict resolution skills. It takes all of us - connected - to make that happen.
The Dispute Resolution Center's new Community Impact Report, "Strengthening Connections", has been published and is being distributed throughout Thurston and Mason Counties.
This year's report highlights the many collaborative partnerships that, collectively, are helping advance our vision and creating a more civil and peaceful community.
We hope you will take a few moments to read the online version of our report.
If you would like to receive printed copies of the report, please contact Joe Sanders, Community Engagement Manager, at email@example.com.
Thank You to all of the individuals, businesses, foundations and organizations who have made an investment in the mission and work of the DRC through their financial, in-kind and service partnership support.
To see a complete list of our 2018 supporters, click here.
The ballroom of the Hotel RL in Olympia was filled with community leaders and members of the DRC family who came together on Sunday, April 14th to celebrate and support the work of the Dispute Resolution Center. This year's theme, "Strengthening Connections", highlighted the many personal connections and community partnerships that help advance the DRC's vision - a South Sound community that has and uses healthy and respectful conflict resolution skills.
Thank You to all of our table hosts, volunteers, business partners, vendors and, especially, our generous donors, who made this event a success.
Our guests at the 2019 edition of The Toast:
- Enjoyed savory hors d'oeuvres from the Hotel RL chefs, sampled sweet treats from local chocolatiers and bakeries, and sampled libations from local wine-makers, cider-makers and distillers;
-Joined us in honoring Rev. Carol McKinley, recipient of this year's Evan Ferber Peacemaker Leadership Award;
- Heard from DRC Executive Director Jody Suhrbier and our keynote speaker, Olympia High School teacher Jason "Blue" Peetz, addressing the theme of "strengthening connections";
- Gave generously to support the DRC's efforts to build a more civil and peaceful community;
- and enjoyed re-connecting with long-time DRC supporters, as well as introducing first-time guests to the work of the DRC.
Click on the gallery thumbnails below to view the full-size photos:
Jesse Laird has joined the Dispute Resolution Center's staff as our new Volunteer Manager. In this role, he will lead volunteer recruitment, retention and coordination activities, as well as manage the DRC's mediator practicum program.
A native of Portland, Jesse earned Masters degrees in Conflict Resolution from Portland State University and International and Multicultural Education from the University of San Francisco. He brings to the DRC extensive experience in developing and implementing educational curricula, and has created and presented trainings covering a wide variety of topics, including conflict resolution, facilitation and advocacy.
"Stepping into the role of Volunteer Manager, Jesse brings several years of experience in conflict resolution as an educator," notes DRC Executive Director Jody Suhrbier. "He has been a curriculum designer and teaching faculty, which has honed his interest in strengthening adult learning with a tailored, person-to-person approach. We look forward to Jesse's active engagement with our DRC family and the broader community."
Jesse can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org .
"Riley" is a 15-year-old boy who is two months into his sophomore year of high school. He has an older brother who was at school with him last year but has since graduated. Riley is struggling in his classes and has left school at lunch more than once, not coming back for class. He's not into drugs or crime (yet); he just wandered around town by himself.
People in Riley's life could call him many things:
- A "slacker" by his peers;
- A "frequent flyer" by his counselor, who sees him when he's been skipping;
- A "delinquent" by the juvenile court counselor who sentences kids to rehab for truancy; or,
- A "future inmate" by the State of Washington.
We know Riley to simply be a student who is struggling. To stay out of the juvenile justice system, Riley needs to stay in school. To stay in school, Riley needs to understand what's going on inside of him and how that influences the decisions he makes and the actions he takes. To do that, he needs support.
Help support students, like Riley, with your donation.
Fortunately, Riley's high school partners with the DRC's Youth Empowerment Services (YES!). Once a week, Riley's day includes a period when two young people from our YES Team come in and take over his teacher's class. They have everyone sit in a circle, which is meant to show that everyone is equal. Riley wanted to leave the room when they started talking about feelings, but things got interesting when they played a game he liked. Someone would say a feeling and toss the ball to someone else who had to say a need that was connected to that feeling. He enjoyed it when it wasn't just about him. Riley now feels more engaged at school, and his attendance and grades are reflecting that.
You can help students just like Riley learn how to process the aspects of their lives that get in the way of their learning. Your support will enable the DRC to partner with more schools and serve more students, helping them stay in school and get on track to create a future with possibility in it, not prison.
Say YES! to empower youth with your contribution to the DRC's Youth Empowerment Services through the 'Give Local' campaign.
If you make a donation before November 20th, 2018 your gift will be "stretched" by an Incentive Fund from our partner, the Community Foundation of South Puget Sound. If you have already made a donation, please accept our gratitude for your support for our efforts to mentor and nurture the next generation.
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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