Everything you always wanted to know about Cambridge Dispute Settlement Center : CNC's August member feature
Every month, CNC sheds a spotlight on one of our fabulous nonprofit members. To be featured, please email Elena (firstname.lastname@example.org).
What are your organization’s guiding values?
Our guiding values are accessibility and self-empowerment with a social justice lens.
Established in 1979, the Community Dispute Settlement Center (CDSC), is a private, not-for-profit mediation and training center dedicated to providing an alternative and affordable forum for resolving conflict.
CDSC promotes better ways to understand and deal with conflict through skilled teams of pro bono mediators, training programs in mediation and conflict management, and broad community outreach.
We are committed to making our services accessible to underserved populations and to addressing emerging community needs.
What are the ongoing services or programs that your organization provides?
CDSC provides mediation services:
CDSC also provides training: conflict skills workshops for those interested in hands-on skill development for dealing with conflict effectively and 32-hour mediation training for those interested in becoming a mediator (or incorporating mediation skills into their work).
Are there any upcoming projects or initiatives that your organization would like others to know about?
1. HOUSING: CDSC is providing FREE mediation services to Tenants and Landlords involved in evictions during Covid-19.
This program is part of the Massachusetts statewide Eviction Diversion Initiative, run by the MA Office of Public Collaboration (MOPC) and the MA Department of Housing & Community Development (DHCD).
2. PARENTING: If you are in the process of separation (married or unmarried) and are dealing with a dispute around parenting plan issues you may be eligible for 4 hours of FREE mediation. This program is supported by the Mass Office of Public Collaboration (MOPC) and the MA Department of Revenue.
3. RE-ENTRY: for individuals soon to be released from prison, this is an opportunity to mediate with someone in the family/community with whom there may be unresolved issues.
Share a recent story that embodies the work of your organization.
“The mediation was a salvation for us. We could not afford lawyers or private mediators. CDSC was very helpful and professional while also being very affordable. We had a great experience. I can’t thank you enough ….You saved my divorce! Wish you could also have saved my marriage but I am glad at least you saved my divorce.”
— From Divorcing Husband/Father (participant in Parent Mediation Program)
If your organization was an emoji what would it be and why?
🌉 A bridge, symbolic of our focus on building bridges, people-to-people, face to face. Helping people connect and resolve conflict.
How long has CDSC been providing conflict resolution services in the community?
42 years! As we learned from a Cambridge teen during one of our workshops: it’s conflict revolution!