Anne Arundel Conflict Resolution Center
In 1993 a group of local citizens began meeting to discuss the issue of violence. The end product of their concern and work was the Anne Arundel Conflict Resolution Center. The AACRC opened its doors in Parole Plaza in Annapolis, Maryland, in September of 1994. In October 1994 we had our first training for mediators and have been providing mediation and conflict resolution training services to county residents since that time.
It is the mission of the Anne Arundel Conflict Resolution Center to provide affordable and accessible conflict resolution services through mediation, education and training. The center exists to promote peaceful management and respectful resolution of conflicts/disputes throughout Anne Arundel County, Maryland.
The mediation program is the heart and soul of what we do at the Anne Arundel Conflict Resolution Center. As a community mediation center we provide services on a sliding scale basis ($0 to $80) for anyone requesting them and we respond to the needs of our particular community. Last year more than 50% of the mediation sessions provided involved family disputes. We are delighted to be working closely with the Anne Arundel County and City of Annapolis governments, District Court of Anne Arundel County, a variety of organizations, police departments, private trainers, mediators and attorneys. We have become a resource center for those seeking alternative solutions and have collected knowledge and resources beyond our specific services to share as needed or requested.
In order to make mediation accessible and convenient, we schedule mediations daytime, nighttime and weekends. For those outside Annapolis, we find meeting rooms close to where they live. We partner with schools, government buildings, religious and spiritual institutions, colleges and local businesses who will allow us the use of their meeting rooms. We are grateful for those partners and are always looking for more.
Mediation is a meeting with two professionally trained neutrals who help the participants discuss their needs, points of view and possible solutions. One possible outcome of mediation is an agreement that all parties write together. Another is that each person has a chance to share his or her "story" about the dispute and reach a better understanding of another point of view.
The job of the mediators is to help participants have a balanced conversation about what bothers them, how they feel, what they need or want, and their ideas about how to resolve the matters so all participants can have their needs met.
Recently, a satisfied participant called to let the center know how pleased they were with the mediation service. "Two great things happened because of mediation: first we resolved the thing we were arguing over, but more importantly, I can now live freely in my community. I use to spend so much of my day worrying how to avoid this person; it was really starting to affect my life. Now I do not have to worry about that. We are not best friends but we say hi when we pass in the grocery store, or in the neighborhood".
Our proactive approach to resolving conflict begins with the trainings we offer. All of us experience loss, aggravation and pain. From time to time most of us need help handling the disappointments of life and learning new ways to communicate. To meet the needs of our community, the center offers Effective Communication Classes as well as an Anger Management Course.We are most proud of our outreach efforts. Over the preceding year we accumulated 1,294 hours of outreach into the community. This includes mini workshops on conflict resolution skills as well as presentations to groups about our services. During that same time, over 30% of our referrals came from individuals as self-referrals. This represents deep community knowledge of our services. The Board of Directors has pledged to increase this percentage "...making the AACRC the most used and best known resource in our County".
For more information check us out on the web @ www.aacrc-md.org or call us at 410-266-9033 or e-mail us at email@example.com.