Summit County Government

Posted on: September 22, 2015

Commissioners Proclaim October to be Conflict Resolution Month

Illustration. October is Conflict Resolution Month in Colorado

Summit County Commissioners encourage residents to utilize community resources to resolve conflicts in constructive ways

Contact:
Commissioner Karn Stiegelmeier
970-471-2298, karn.stiegelmeier@summitcountyco.gov

SUMMIT COUNTY – The Summit Board of County Commissioners proclaimed October to be Conflict Resolution Month in Summit County Tuesday. In doing so, the BOCC joins with individuals and organizations across Summit County and the State of Colorado committed to productive and nonviolent strategies for dealing with conflict, dispute and disagreement.

“Dealing with conflict in your personal or professional life can be stressful and difficult,” Commissioner Karn Stiegelmeier said. “This October, our community is shining the spotlight on resources available to help people work through conflicts in ways that produce satisfying, long-lasting results for all parties.”

Conflict Resolution Month is a statewide initiative that builds awareness of practices such as arbitration, mediation, restorative justice and non-violent communication, helping Coloradans deal constructively with conflict.

“I am pleased to be involved with this effort to promote peaceful resolutions to conflict,” Colorado State Representative Millie Hamner said. “While conflict among individuals and in our communities is inevitable, we would all like to see less violence and more opportunities to resolve our differences more effectively.”

Gov. John Hickenlooper has issued a statewide proclamation declaring October as Conflict Resolution Month. Locally, a diverse coalition of organizations has come together to advance conflict resolution.

The Conflict Resolution Coalition of Summit County was organized in September 2014 to expand awareness of conflict resolution programs and services in the area. The coalition includes more than 40 members, including attorneys, juvenile diversion professionals, the Keystone Policy Center, Summit School District, law enforcement agencies, Summit County Library, the faith community, social services administrators and others.

In one example of proactive conflict resolution employed locally, the Summit County Sheriff’s Office has hired professional mediators to resolve protracted or escalating disputes between neighbors. Such disputes have the potential to result in criminal activity and subsequent charges, typically with significant involvement by Sheriff’s Office deputies. But when a mediator engages all parties in a facilitated process to resolve the conflict, criminal activity can be averted, and law enforcement resources can be put to better use.

“We don’t utilize these services often, but in circumstances that merit this approach, it results in better outcomes for the neighbors involved and reduces the number of calls for service that our deputies have to respond to,” Sheriff John Minor said.

Members of the Conflict Resolution Coalition have organized the following events and activities to take place during Conflict Resolution Month:

  • 1-4 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 3, Summit County South Branch Library, Breckenridge: Free ice cream social with a presentation at 2 p.m., featuring Rep. Millie Hamner and County Commissioner Karn Stiegelmeier. All month long, the library will display “Talking It Out” dialogue panels depicting recent conflicts in Colorado that were resolved through dialogue. Topics include conflicts between neighbors, ethnic groups and those involved in a fatal automobile accident. For more information, call 970-453-3544.
  • 5 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 14, The Next Page Bookstore, Frisco; and 6 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 20, Summit County South Branch Library, Breckenridge: Interactive talk entitled, “Four Generations in the Workplace: Conflict Guaranteed!” In these interactive talks, Keystone Policy Center Facilitator Jonathan Geurts will highlight the unique challenges and opportunities inherent to a multi-generational workforce. He will draw primarily from the book Sticking Points, in which Haydn Shaw proposes a five-step process with which the generations can overcome many of their most common hurdles. The book was selected by Conflict Resolution Month in Colorado to encourage conversation on ways to resolve conflicts at all levels of society. A limited number of books will be available for a suggested donation.
  • 2-4 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 25, Summit County Community and Senior Center, Frisco: Facilitator-led discussion entitled, “Moving the Race Conversation Forward,” a conversation designed to promote a deeper understanding of race and its impact on the daily lives of all members of society. Facilitators Harold Fields and Holly Fulton will lead the discussion. For more information, contact Carol Gerard at carol.gerard60@gmail.com.
  • 2-6 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 28, Summit County Justice Center, Breckenridge: The Summit Combined Courts will recognize Conflict Resolution Month with a Rural Resource Day for couples and families already in the court process. Professional services will be offered at no cost, including a parenting class from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Spanish interpretation available.
For more information on Conflict Resolution Month, visit www.conflictresolutionmonth.org.

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