On the evening of Monday May 9, a group of approximately 12 Legal Hand volunteers and Crown Heights neighbors gathered in the Legal Hand office for a training on Conflict Resolution. The training was co-facilitated by former Mediation Center staff Caitlin Gibb, MSW and Kevin Hershey. Participants, who included local clergy, young professionals, and established Mediation Center volunteers, enjoyed discussing conflicts that come up in their daily lives. With tools from Caitlin and Kevin, participants worked in small groups to re-frame areas of conflict in their lives and neighborhoods into opportunities for growth and discovery. The training covered basic principles of Nonviolent Communication as well as Mindful Self-Compassion, which Caitlin teaches at Columbia University.

Participants gave positive feedback about the training, saying that the facilitators “gave space for people to share what they were thinking.” One participant reported that she used the tools from the training the very next day when confronted with a personal conflict: “I went to the place we went to during our exercise last night and I felt GREAT!  It helped because I did not respond to the energy he was giving, I prepared myself to respond from the energy I got from that peaceful space we were taught to create.”