The nonprofit JAMS Foundation announced today that it approved nine new grants to organizations using innovative ways to promote and advance conflict prevention and dispute resolution. The foundation will distribute the money in the form of Foundation Grants, which provide financial support up to $50,000 for ADR initiatives with national impact, and Opportunity Grants, which award up to $10,000 for smaller scale and more localized projects.
“We’re very proud to continue supporting so many organizations devoted to increasing access to conflict resolution skills,” said Jay Folberg, JAMS Foundation executive director. “Each of these grant recipients hold great promise to make a unique and important contribution nationally or in their communities.”
The JAMS Foundation will provide Foundation Grants to the following four initiatives:
ABA Section of Dispute Resolution (Washington, D.C.) – Public Service Announcement - $25,000 to produce a 30-60-second public service announcement intended to educate the general public about mediation and to encourage its use for interpersonal and business disputes.
Asian Pacific-American Dispute Resolution Center (Los Angeles, CA) – Peer Mediation Program Start-Up Kit - $36,000 to fund the creation and distribution of a peer-mediation program start-up kit for schools and nonprofit organizations, providing all the resources necessary to initiate, administer and evaluate a peer mediation program. The start-up kit will include instructions for implementing a program, student training manual for peer-mediators, trainer’s manual, instructional PowerPoint presentation, video of exemplary live training, and access to continuing online courses providing additional resources on peer mediation theory and practice.
National Association for Community Mediation (Mesa, AZ) – Online Clearinghouse - $50,000 to develop and administer an online clearinghouse of community mediation resources and customizable templates, including thousands of downloadable and translatable documents collected and vetted from community-based programs and centers worldwide.
Walnut Street Theatre (Philadelphia, PA) – National Expansion of Anti-Bullying Theater Program – Building on the success of previous JAMS Foundation grants, $42,000 to fund the development of two new touring outreach shows addressing bullying in elementary and middle schools, marketing materials to promote the productions to schools and theaters nationwide, and the expansion of a semester-long, in-class theater residency program addressing issues of bullying and conflict resolution.
The JAMS Foundation has also awarded Opportunity Grants for these five programs:
Center for Human Development (Pleasant Hill, CA) – Guardianship Mediation Training Program - $10,000 to fund the development of an in-depth training program to prepare experienced volunteer mediators to mediate guardianship disputes. The Center targets contested, pro per probate guardianship disputes typically involving low-income parties and the program’s specialized training and curriculum will be made available to Superior Courts throughout California.
Conflict Resolution Center of Santa Cruz Country (Santa Cruz, CA) – Family Law Affordable Mediation Project - $10,000 to support the regional expansion of a program providing mediation services to low- and middle-income families going through divorce. Employing a law clinic model with a supervising attorney overseeing a trained group of volunteer mediators, the program offers low-cost mediation to underserved populations regarding issues not addressed by court-based programs, including asset/debt division, child and spousal support.
Direction Services (Eugene, OR) – Video Resources from National Symposium on Dispute Resolution in Special Education - $10,000 to fund the production and distribution of video resources resulting from a fifth annual national symposium on dispute resolution in special education, including recordings of keynote address and concurrent sessions, and interviews with dispute resolution system coordinators and program participants describing user experiences and defining exemplary practices.
Prison of Peace (Calabasas, CA) – Peacemaker Training Program - $10,000 to support a training program designed to embed personal and group conflict resolution and peacemaking skills into prison culture. Based at Valley State Prison for Women in Chowchilla, CA, among the largest women’s prisons in the world, the program focuses on inmates serving life terms or very long sentences, preparing them to serve as leaders, mentors, trainers and mediators to other inmates, and providing all inmates with access to more constructive forums for addressing and reducing conflict.
Resolution Systems Institute (Chicago, IL) – Website Analysis and Upgrade - $6,300 to fund the collection and analysis of user data and feedback from target users of RSI’s two court-ADR websites in order to develop a more effective plan for upgrading the sites to better meet user needs.
About the JAMS Foundation (www.jamsfoundation.org)