Greenfield’s The Mediation and Training Collaborative relaunching as nonprofit Collaborative Resolutions Group

  • Gloria Santa Anna

  • Debbie Lynangale

Staff Report
Published: 11/15/2020 2:42:17 PM

GREENFIELD — Building on more than 30 years of work in mediation, training, facilitation, restorative practices and conflict coaching in Franklin, Hampshire and Hampden counties, The Mediation and Training Collaborative is now Collaborative Resolutions Group Inc. (CRG), a nonprofit with expanded services.

To celebrate the launch, CRG invites community members to attend a 30-minute virtual event on Wednesday, Nov. 18, at 4 p.m. According to a CRG press release, participants can meet staff and board members, observe a simulated demonstration on how creative approaches to conflict work in hot button areas (such as dinner table conversations about politics), and join in a question-and-answer session.

“Across our communities, national and local elections, the COVID-19 pandemic, and violence against Black and Indigenous people and other people of color bring new urgency to finding ways for individuals and communities to deal meaningfully with real differences,” said CRG Co-Executive Director Gloria Santa Anna. “We’ve all seen how everyday interactions at stores, polls, street corners or dinner tables have become particularly painful hotspots.”

“Most of us fear conflict because we fear it will mean the end of personal or professional relationships,” added fellow Co-Executive Director Debbie Lynangale. “We really wish the conflicts would just go away … or we run away when we don’t see how to de-escalate it. But unresolved conflict hurts people and relationships — think about kids whose divorcing or separating parents are fighting, workplaces losing money and momentum when work teams spend more time fighting than getting things done.”

As a community mediation center, CRG seeks to empower community members to help themselves and others, according to the release. At its Basic Mediation Training classes, people become mediators and learn to use mediators’ approaches to positively impact their families, workplaces and communities. At the Nov. 18 launch event, CRG staff will offer practical tips and insights to attendees who might be feeling at a loss for how to manage the conflict that emerges in everyday life.

“I am proud of CRG’s staff of five,” said Cate Woolner, CRG’s board director. “All mediators, together they have more than 50 years’ collective experience. On our roster of approximately 40 volunteer and consultant mediators, several of our mediators have more than 30 years’ experience. Yet, everyone at CRG has something to learn, every day. Working in this field right now requires that we as practitioners listen more, learn from our community collaborators and stakeholders, and rethink how we make decisions in the service of equity and peacemaking.”

Amid the pandemic, CRG pivoted to online mediation and training services not just to its usual service area of Franklin, Hampshire and Hampden counties, but also the broader region. According to the release, flexible scheduling, sliding scale fees, scholarships, payment plans and customized approaches help ensure accessibility to CRG’s services.

To register for the launch event and to observe the simulated demonstration of CRG work, visit bit.ly/36wQwo3.

All who register will receive an email with details and links for the Nov. 18 event. For more information about CRG, visit collaborativeresolutionsgroup.org, email csabo@crg-collab.org or call 413-774-7469.




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