By MARGARET BLOHM
For the Times-Herald
Wayne County Dispute Resolution Center seeks volunteers for mediation training to further its mission of helping change the culture of conflict in Wayne County.
WCDRC, a community based nonprofit organization, is one of 18 dispute resolution centers in Michigan, and provides mediation services for Wayne County’s Circuit, Juvenile and Probate courts as well as mediations for general civil, small claims, landlord-tenant, neighbor disputes, elder care and Child Protective Services.
WCDRC school programs include restorative practices, special education mediation and facilitation, truancy prevention mediation, peer mediation services and independent party mediations.
“Mediating disputes can be an extremely rewarding experience as our mediators truly make a difference in people’s lives,” WCDRC Executive Director David Robinson said. “Serving as a volunteer mediator is a valuable way to give back to the community.”
WCDRC volunteer mediators receive 40 hours of a state-approved training session from experts in their field, Robinson said.
“Our volunteers come from all walks of life and backgrounds,” he said. “Many are current or retired teachers, social workers and attorneys who want to provide pro bono services.”
Attorney Niccole Maria Hudson, a 2019 Archer Pro Bono honoree, was recently featured in the January-February 2020 issue of “Detroit Lawyer” for volunteer mediation services she provided to WCDRC.
Licensed Professional Counselor Cartrenia Colbert, who completed WCDRC’s mediation training for domestic and civil issues in 2013, recently shared how serving as a volunteer mediator has impacted her life.
“I have a passion for working with teens,” Colbert said. “When I can talk with parents and change the environment for children in a positive way, it’s a wonderful feeling to know I’ve made a difference in the life of a child. It’s a natural high.”
Registration is open for General Civil and Domestic mediation training sessions that are held at WCDRC’s offices in the Dearborn Atrium, 835 Mason, Suite C30, in Dearborn.
The 40 hours General Civil training session will be led by Barbara Johannessen and held from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. March 20, 21, 27, 28 and April 3.
Domestic Relations mediation training of 40 hours and an additional eight hours of Domestic Violence screening training led by Zena D. Zumeta will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. April 16 to 18 and 23 to 25.
For more information about WCDRC and to apply for the General Civil or Domestic training sessions, go to www.wcdrc.org, call 313-561-3500 or email [email protected] Class size is limited.