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October 30, 2013

November is Mediation Month in Oregon

On October 3, Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber and Secretary of State Kate Brown signed a proclamation declaring November "Mediation Month" for the 15th year in a row. Oregon Law, along with the entire state of Oregon, will observe Mediation Month — a month to encourage Oregonians to consider mediation as a method for resolving conflict.

In order to promote safer communities, Oregonians are urged to consider mediation to peacefully solve their own conflicts with the help of professionally trained mediators. The proclamation identifies Oregon Law's Appropriate Dispute Resolution (ADR) Center as one of the foremost organizations that is working to provide mediation and dispute resolution support to the state of Oregon. The Oregon Office for Community Dispute Resolution, housed at the ADR Center, supports 17 community dispute resolution centers in the state. Annually, there are more than 5,000 cases mediated through community mediation centers, positively impacting more than 15,000 Oregonians.

Carrie Heltzel, director of the Oregon Office for Community Dispute Resolution, is a strong advocate for mediation. "When people in conflict elect to participate in mediation, they empower themselves to be at the center of a process that promotes listening, dialogue, and understanding," she says. "This, in turn, enhances opportunities to negotiate mutually satisfactory, creative, and durable agreements."

Mediation is an effective tool to resolve conflict, and often saves communities time and money. The ADR Center prepares students to practice and participate as advocates in mediation within various communities by offering a theory-based education, along with experiential learning opportunities through internships, probate mediation clinics and in small claims.

Oregon Law encourages all Oregonians to consider mediation as a means of conflict resolution and join us in observing Mediation Month this November.

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