Friday, October 24, 2008

Train the Trainer Training

The Crown Heights Community Mediation Center is offering a full day “Train-the-Trainer” Conflict Resolution workshop. Teachers, school counselors, after-school program staff and other adults who work with young people are invited to attend this fun, interactive, and practical training. Spend the day with us, enjoying vibrant Crown Heights, and learning additional tools to support our young people.

This training will include & explore:
  • A strength-based approach to youth and conflict
  • Identifying personal conflict response styles
  • Facilitation techniques
  • Practicing cultural competence
  • Concrete activities to implement in the classroom
  • Practice teaching new conflict resolution tools

Plus: games, discussion, question & answer and the opportunity to meet and network with other educators and community members

Friday, November 21st 2008

The Crown Heights Community Mediation Center
256 Kingston Avenue, Brooklyn NY
(We’re located on Kingston between Lincoln Place and St. John’s Place. Take the 3 train to Kingston Avenue; walk 1½ blocks north and look for us across from the Fine Fare.)

Sliding scale $125-$175 (see below)
A check made out to "Fund for the City of New York" is due on or before November 21st.

Individual (i.e. on personal time): $125
Professional (i.e. on work time) at organization with annual budget <$300,000: $125
Professional (i.e. on work time) at organization with annual budget >$300,000: $175

Please register by providing the following information to or 718-773-6886.

First Name:
Last Name:
Organization Address:
Work Phone:
Work Email:
Home Address:
Home Phone:
Home Email:

How did you find out about this training?

Non-Profit Breakfast

The Mediation Center was host to a wonderful breakfast for local non-profit organizations sponsored by Assemblyman Karim Camara on Thursday, October 23rd. In addition to the Assemblyman himself, staff from a wide range of organizations attended. Participants enjoyed a healthy breakfast spread and participated in a collective strength-based assessment of Crown Heights.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Peer Mediation Training @ Global

A select group of 9th grade students at the Brooklyn School for Global studies received a full-day follow up training in Peer Mediation yesterday. These students had already completed a three-day full mediation training over the summer, and, after yesterday's session are now ready to begin hearing cases!

(Above, students participated in a Human Knot challenge).

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Another Training Bite!

The Crown Heights Community Mediation Center is offering another free Mediation Skills mini-workshops on Wednesday, October 22nd. Join educators, human service professionals and other community members for a light snack and a savory sample of our customized trainings in conflict resolution, mediation, and more.

What: Free Mediation Skills Mini Training "Bite"

When: Wednesday, October 22nd, 4pm-5:30pm

The Crown Heights Community Mediation Center
256 Kingston Ave., (btw Lincoln Pl. & St. Johns Pl.) Brooklyn, NY

RSVP: (718) 773-6886 OR

Food Stamp Program in November

In collaboration with the Office of Food Programs and Policy Coordination, the Mediation Center is hosting a free information session November 13th. From 1pm-3pm on that day, community members can come learn about food stamp benefits, find out if they're eligible and get help filling out the application.

Spread the word!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Ife in the news

Ife Charles, Deputy Director of the Mediation Center was profiled in the New York Daily News today!

Read the full text on the Daily News Website, or below.

'We are not going to sing Kumbaya'

Monday, October 13th 2008, 10:13 PM

Sharon Ife Charles sees Crown Heights as a spicy serving of rice and pigeon peas with chicken or meat.

"It's this cookup," she says, in the storefront offices of the Crown Heights Mediation Center, where she is the deputy program director.

"Trini people call it pilau," says Charles, 42, a Trinidadian who has lived in Brooklyn since 1977. "It's well-seasoned and well-flavored."

But that's not the only local ethnic delicacy that tempts Charles.

"I got hooked on matzo ball soup," says the community leader, who found the traditional Jewish dish to be surprisingly flavorful. "Bland food is just not in our culture."

Charles has called Crown Heights home since she was 11, but it took her a few decades before she came in contact with the Passover appetizer.

"I always wanted to find out what matzo ball soup was," she says. "What is this thing floating in water?"

After two unremarkable first tries, she ordered it at Mendy's on Kingston Ave. off Eastern Parkway. The waitress was friendly. Charles started with falafel and worked her way to the soup, which she deemed well-seasoned.

It wasn't the first time she had challenged her own preconceived notions, with positive results.

A decade ago, at the suggestion of her son's karate teacher, Charles considered joining a three-day training session at the newly opened Crown Heights Center for Mediation, founded in 1998 - seven years after riots broke out after a Guyanese boy was struck and killed by a Hasidic driver. Today the center operates under the auspices of the Center for Court Innovation.

Charles had an administrative job at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and was reluctant to use vacation days for mediation training. Plus, she was skeptical about changes in the neighborhood.

"I was like, seriously, who are these white people moving in the neighborhood with all this mediation?"

Cheryl Goldstein, the center's founding director, says the course was fully enrolled when she received Charles' application.

"She had written this beautiful story about how she had to intervene in an act of violence in the neighborhood," Goldstein says, explaining why she invited Charles to join the training, despite space limitations.

Charles reasoned that the workshop might be a good way to build on grass-roots work she was already doing.

"She gave it a shot, and it became such a big part of her future," says Goldstein, now director of the Mayor's Office on Criminal Justice in Baltimore. "She became the future of the center."

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Register to Vote

In anticipation of the October 10th deadline, the Mediation Center stocked up on registration forms and put up a big sign in the window encouraging community members to register to vote! In the week between October 6th and 10th, we provided information, filled out registration forms and confirmed voter registration for over 15 residents.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Senior Tax Workshop

Thousands of seniors in Crown Heights have not yet filed for their Economic Stimulus checks of up to $300.

The Crown Heights Community Mediation Center will be hosting a free Tax Filing Workshop where seniors and other community members can get help filling out the necessary paperwork. IRS staff will be on site to provide assistance.

Economic Stimulus Package Tax Preparation Workshop
October 14th, 2008
Crown Heights Community Mediation Center
256 Kingston Avenue

Anyone interested in participating should bring:
- Your social security number
- The annual amount of your Social Security, Railroad Retirement, or Veterans Benefits
- A W-2, if you work

This event is sponsored and organized by Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Leadership Training Institute Applications Available

The Mediation Center is now recruiting for the Leadership Training Institute!

Participants can strengthen their leadership skills while working with a diverse group of activists in Crown Heights. The Institute consists of six skill-oriented trainings on such topics as coalition building, community organizing, fundraising and grantwriting, media strategies, networking, and event planning. Participants will also plan a community-wide event addressing a challenge of the neighborhood. The Institute will run over a 6-month period from the middle of January until June.

Applications are due December 5th, 2008. Contact the Crown Heights Community Mediation Center at 718-773-6886 or for an application or more information.

Applications are also available online here: