UMass Boston Administers Grants to Community Mediation Centers
November 01, 2012
Office of Communications
Massachusetts Office of Public Collaboration at UMass Boston Administers Program
The doors of community mediation centers throughout Massachusetts will remain open to citizens seeking help in addressing family, neighborhood, and community conflicts, thanks to financial assistance from a University of Massachusetts Boston program.
The newly established Community Mediation Center Grant Program, administered by the Massachusetts Office of Public Collaboration (MOPC) of UMass Boston, has awarded state operating grants to 15 centers as of October 2012. Grants ranging between $28,400 and $35,400 were awarded through the program to centers that demonstrate commendable standards in delivering affordable mediation services to their communities through trained volunteers. These centers serve primarily low-income citizens in courts and community-based settings.
The grant program, was created in 2012 by the Legislature through enactment of G.L. Ch. 75, Section 47. The program’s purpose is to provide performance-based state funding for community mediation that is grounded in best practices and responsive to the needs of Massachusetts residents..
“Community mediation centers were hit hard by the recession and its aftermath,” said Susan Jeghelian, MOPC executive director. “Entire regions in Massachusetts were in danger of losing their access to affordable mediation services. MOPC joined with community mediation centers, legislative champions, and officials at UMass Boston to turn crisis into opportunity.
“Our vision going forward is to encourage centers to expand their services to different kinds of disputes and to special populations while deepening their community roots,” she said.
Over the years, Massachusetts community mediation centers have resolved a variety of conflicts referred by courts, schools, businesses, local governments, and private citizens, including consumer, neighborhood, family, housing, workplace, small claims, criminal, and juvenile matters. The centers have conducted 12,866 mediations in the last three years. MOPC’s support of these centers through the CMC Grant Program is part of the office’s mission to promote the use of mediation and consensus-building within government and across public, private, and civic sectors of the state.
“This CMC grant program is an excellent example of an initiative that builds on community-based partnerships supported by the university,” said John Ciccarelli, UMass Boston’s associate vice chancellor for government relations and public affairs.
MOPC has funded the following centers through this program:
- Cape Mediation (Cape Cod Dispute Resolution, Inc.), Orleans, serving Barnstable and Nantucket counties
- Community Dispute Settlement Center, Inc., Cambridge, serving Middlesex, Norfolk and Suffolk counties
- Dispute Resolution Services, Inc., Springfield, serving Hampden County
- Greater Brockton Center for Dispute Resolution (Probation Services, Inc.), Brockton, serving Plymouth County
- Housing and Mediation Services Program of the Berkshire County Regional Housing Authority, Pittsfield, serving Berkshire County
- Law Center of Middlesex Community College, Lowell, serving Middlesex, Essex and Suffolk counties
- Martha’s Vineyard Mediation Program, Inc., (Martha’s Vineyard Center for Dispute Resolution), Vineyard Haven, serving Dukes County
- Mediation Program of Family Services of Central Massachusetts, Worcester, serving Worcester County
- Mediation Services of North Central Inc., Fitchburg, serving Worcester County
- Metropolitan Mediation Services of the Brookline Community Mental Health Center, Inc., Brookline, serving Suffolk, Middlesex and Norfolk counties
- Metro West Mediation Services, Inc, Framingham, serving Middlesex County
- North Essex Mediators of Community Action, Inc., Haverhill, serving Essex County
- North Shore Community Mediation, Inc., Beverly, serving Essex County
- Quabbin Mediation, Inc., Orange, serving Franklin, Hamden, Hampshire and Worcester counties
- The Mediation and Training Collaborative of Community Action of the Franklin, Hampshire, and North Quabbin Regions, Inc., Greenfield, serving Franklin, Hampden, and Hampshire counties
For more information about community mediation visit the MOPC website: http://www.umb.edu/mopc/projects/community_mediation_center_grant_program.
About UMass Boston
With a growing reputation for innovative research addressing complex issues, the University of Massachusetts Boston, metropolitan Boston’s only public university, offers its diverse student population both an intimate learning environment and the rich experience of a great American city. UMass Boston’s nine colleges and graduate schools serve nearly 16,000 students while engaging local, national, and international constituents through academic programs, research centers, and public service activities. To learn more about UMass Boston, visit www.umb.edu.