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Mediation Center Hopes to Help with Conversations about Current Events

Friday, July, 17, 2020

It is no secret that people are having a difficult time discussing current events without it devolving into fights these days. The Mediation Center of the Coastal Empire is hoping to change that or at least diffuse some of the tension.


The center is offering a place where people can have healthy conversations in a safe environment.            


According to Jill Cheeks, Executive Director of the center, “Being in conflict is emotionally draining, can be expensive, and takes a great deal of time. The Mediation Center provides a third party to mediate or facilitate a process whereby the parties are heard, can discuss their issues, brainstorm solutions, and reach an agreement.”


The center is a not-for-profit entity that was formed in 1986. It was originally established to help neighbors resolve arguments and empower citizens to deal with problems on their own. This mission continues today and is perhaps more important than ever.


Cheeks calls the center a “community resource for citizens from Chatham” and the surrounding area. It helps people resolve disputes outside of the courtroom and has become a trusted part of the community. They also assist in resolving disputes related to contracts, divorce, parenting conflicts, and workplace disputes.


The mediation center has updated its protocols to fit the current social and political climate. It launched the Living Room Conversations to foster healthy communication and help people discuss all of the hot button issues of today, ranging from social distancing to police reform.


Says Cheeks, “Living Room Conversations are not designed to have a specific outcome but are intended to encourage civil discourse and the sharing of diverse viewpoints. Increasing understanding can build empathy and promote community healing.”