“Do you know what the number 1 know motive for murder is in Kansas City? Not drugs, gangs or domestic violence, but arguments. Last year, 22 people were killed because they were involved in a dispute with someone who could not resolve the conflict without violence.
We have a great resource locally in the non-profit Center for Conflict Resolution. Their goal is to give people the skills to deal with conflict at lower levels, so it doesn’t escalate into violence.”
Jackson County Sheriff Darryl Forte
“We can either pay to educate our youth with conflict resolution skills or pay to incarcerate them later. Instilling conflict resolution skills in members of our community most likely to resort to violence is an important step in building a more peaceful community. To that end, I support the Center for Conflict Resolution to provide comprehensive mediation and conflict resolution assistance to the community.”
Kansas City Mayor Sly James
Center for Conflict Resolution
The Center for Conflict Resolution (CCR), formerly the Community Mediation Center, is a non-profit, 501(c)3 organization that provides mediation services, facilitation and training to individuals and organizations. By using restorative justice (RJ) processes and providing safe, structured and positive environments, CCR empowers people to solve conflict in their lives, giving them the tools they need to choose understanding over escalating conflict and to find peaceful solutions.
By dealing with conflict in the early stages, CCR has demonstrated that many disputes can be resolved without harm or violence. Schools, businesses and law enforcement are just some of the many sectors that depend on CCR to help individuals find constructive solutions for potentially destructive problems.
For 16 years, CCR has demonstrated an ability to respond to each conflict situation with expertise. When the Kansas City, Mo., Human Relations Mediation Department was de-funded by the city in 2009, CCR stepped in to fill the need. The number of people CCR served climbed from 4,119 in 2009 to 10,318 in 2011.
At CCR no one is turned away because of inability to pay for service. Sixty percent of those served are minorities, low income or at a high risk for violence due to impoverished economic conditions and the cycle of violence that continues in families and communities.
After nine years heading a successful mediation center in Davenport, Iowa, CCR Emeritus Executive Director Diane Kyser moved to the Kansas City area. Interested community organizers urged her to develop a similar program in this area, a place where people could find help in positively addressing the potentially destructive conflicts of daily life. An advisory council soon became a board of directors and, in the spring of 2000, United Way and Community Development Block Grants provided funding, allowing CCR to hire two paid staff members.
Programs expanded to include domestic mediation, deciding property and custody issues. In 2004, Missouri Department of Public Safety funding enabled the expansion of victim-offender mediation for Jackson County Juvenile Courts. A similar program was added through Clay County juvenile Court.
Today 3 full-time and 7 part-time staff members, 20 certified mediators and dedicated volunteers keep alive the vision of finding peaceful solutions to problems.