Conflict = Opportunity is Midlands Mediation Center’s initiative to engage community members in learning and practicing peaceful conflict-resolution skills.
The initiative, which emphasizes community-based efforts to teach and promote communication methods to reduce and resolve conflict, has been funded through a discretionary grant approved by the Richland County Council.
Leaders of formal and informal groups can participate and develop an understanding of conflict dynamics and the skills necessary to uncover mutual interests and creatively resolve issues, leading to better outcomes for all. Participants will have the opportunity to link arms and minds with others in the community who believe people are capable of resolving their own disputes and are interested in becoming more proficient with using mediation and conflict resolution skills in their personal and civic lives.
The project is designed to involve a broad cross-section of groups throughout Richland County. During the first year, the goal is to train 100 or more Conflict = Opportunity Change Agents.
We are seeking prospective partnering organizations that have at least 10 people interested in participating in our two-hour Conflict Resolution Workshop. This session is designed to help adults learn and practice skills to identify, analyze and resolve disagreements that may occur between neighbors, co-workers, fellow organization affiliates and family members. The training will explore the following topics: understanding the causes and consequences of unresolved disputes, conflict style identification, the importance of active listening and the task of moving a difficult conversation to a learning one.
If you’re interested in gaining or renewing your peaceful conflict-resolutions practices, please contact us.
Currently we are also seeking individuals to participate in the following roles (some volunteers may choose to be involved in more than one role):
- Volunteer Trainers, who will meet together at least twice a year and will be expected to facilitate the program for community members three to four times a year.
- Support Team Members, who will meet together at least twice a year and will be expected to attend a majority of the functions to foster community and skill development.
- Partnering Organizations that would like to involve their formal and informal leaders in this initiative.
This project is now being coordinated by Monique McDaniels. Monique has been engaged in community activities in Columbia, SC for more than a decade. She has held executive level positions with Columbia College, Richland County Government, and the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.
For more information or to express your interest in becoming part of this growing Community of Practice, contact Monique McDaniels or Lee Morriss, at (803) 714-1176, or use the Contact Us form.
This initiative received grant funding from Richland County for FY2017 and was recommended for multi-year funding, pending County Council approval during the annual budget process. Together, we will expand and engage an ever-widening and diverse mix of people to come together to discuss differences and to find lasting and effective solutions to everyday problems.
The mission of the Midlands Mediation Center is to help individuals and organizations resolve conflict, improve relationships and strengthen communities. Our transformational approach to conflict resolution helps build appreciation for differences, respect and responsibility.