Training for new mediators was held last month in St. Ignace resulting in several more volunteer mediators providing their services to the citizens of the EUP through their work with the EUP Community Dispute Resolution Center. This training was approved by the Michigan State Court Administrative Office as meeting the initial training requirement for General Civil Mediation according to the Michigan Court Rules for mediators.
The interactive training course, The Art and Skill of Mediation, included topics such as the mediation process, mediator skills, communication skills, effective agreement writing, and ethical issues. Hands-on activities and exercises ensured every participant took part in practicing mediation.
Trainers Wanda Joseph, Outreach Representative for the Michigan Special Education Mediation Program in Michigan and owner of Creative Conflict Resolution, and Bill Waters, retired Northern Michigan University criminal justice professor and co-founder of The Mediation Institute of South Africa shared their experiences bringing many stories with practical advice.
The EUP CDRC is one of 19 centers across Michigan recognized by the SCAO. The community mediation center services Chippewa, Luce, and Mackinac Counties. The EUP CDRC is partially funded by the SCAO with additional funding coming from United Way of the EUP, donations, and small fees for some services.
Disputes mediated in the EUP include family issues, divorce, adult and child guardianship and placement, special education, business, contract, employment, landlord/tenant, creditor/debtor, and neighborhood issues. The trained, neutral volunteer mediators help people resolve their disputes by guiding their conversation toward mutually acceptable solutions. Services are provided at little or no cost to the mediation participants.