Shauna, a social work intern at Legal Hand and the Crown Heights Mediation Center, sat down to talk about what the Mediation Center has meant to her.

Shauna first became connected to the Crown Heights Community Mediation Center by her sorority sister, former Mediation Center employee Hailey. Shauna spent about a year volunteering with the Mediation Center’s Bed-Stuy Anti-Violence project, doing surveys, making phone calls, and helping to set things up for the program. From there, she connected with the social work staff at the Mediation Center and committed to doing a social work internship with Legal Hand.

In her work at Legal Hand, Shauna can connect community members with the resources they need. In talking about her work at Legal Hand, she shared, “I’ve come to learn that fear is more of the unknown, things that people don’t understand, and I feel that the more they get resources, the more their fear drifts away. So, being at Legal Hand where you have somebody that can sit and explain something to you, or refer you to a direct service that can explain something to you, is going to make you comfortable with yourself and the environment that you’re in because you’re able to handle these circumstances better. With that fear drifting away, hopefully it in turn, helps with ending the violence. Once you get some kind of control over your life, it’s going to have that ripple effect and it’s going to affect all aspects of your life.”

Over the course of November, we’ll be using this space to highlight the stories of the Crown Heights Mediation Center staff, interns, volunteers, participants, and community members. If you’d like to share your story, please email or reach out to us on any of our social media platforms. If these stories inspire you to support our work, please visit website,, to join us.