In 1979, as the nation healed from war and political upheaval, our little desert city decided to take a practical step toward peace. The Community Mediation Project was launched with the goal of providing Tucsonans with a safe, respectful, accessible process for talking through conflicts and reaching win-win agreements. In the intervening 40 years — thanks to countless skilled neutral volunteer mediators — this goal has been achieved thousands of times, by neighbors, family members, co-workers, business partners, students, teachers, and others, in disputes ranging from noisy barking dogs to the leadership of organizations.
Following the shooting of Congresswoman Gabby Giffords in 2011, the project joined forces with Tucsonans for Civility to create the Center for Community Dialogue. While still providing free and low-cost mediation, the Center and its volunteers expanded the usage of civil dialogue as a conflict resolution tool in our community. Through Community Forums, large groups of people have their opinions heard, listen to others, and move toward consensus on difficult topics. In facilitated Circle discussions, people of all ages and perspective make connections and share ideas. The Center’s highly rated trainings place these tools in the hands of others and increase their skill in using them.
This fall we have an abundance of reasons to celebrate, and want to share our vision for the future with those who have shared their time and support in the past. In September we will have a celebration unveiling our new expanded location on the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona Campus.
Additionally, on October 20, join us at the Loft Cinema for an exclusive experience combining the thought-provoking film “The Insult” and community dialogue circles addressing causes of violence in our community. Finally, check out our schedule of enriching fall trainings available at ourfamilyservices.org/training.
As we look to the next 40 years of the Center, we see a bright future full of opportunities for growth and ways to apply our practices to new audiences. Our mission is unique in Arizona and rare in the nation. After 40 years, we’re proud to say our desert city continues to take big steps for peace!