Appendix D

Steering committee: First meeting; February 23, 2015

Vision, Hopes, and Dreams
                a.  What is in my heart to see happen is for us to create opportunity that results in healthier relationships, that through healthy conflict resolution families, churches, and community can stay intact.

                b. How can we help people realize that they can change their position without needing to change their identity?  Conflict can sometimes be most intense when opposing “sides” hold intractable positions that are not open to change or compromise.

                c. We hope to teach elementary and high school students (and other members of our community) that there is a better, healthier way to resolve conflicts than what has often been modeled to them by parents or others in the community.

                d. We note that bringing together representation on this board already represents an effort to overcome some historical divides between:  a largely Amish/Mennonite population in eastern Holmes County and a largely Appalachian population in western Holmes County; Millersburg and Wooster; Swiss Mennonites in Wayne County and Amish Mennonites in Holmes County; older and younger generations; and rural and small cities.

                e. We have a vision to make mediation resources available for small businesses and their employees who may not have the resources available to larger businesses. 

                f. We desire to teach individuals conflict mediation skills and promote the importance of working through conflict in healthy ways rather than avoidance or violence.

                g. A question:  What does new forms of technology, like the internet and social media, mean for conflict mediation today?

                h. There are resources in the community to promote positive practices like forgiveness even though we may have lost some of the skills our parents and grandparents had in promoting good relationships with neighbors.

  • Helping people see civil discussion as an opportunity, not something to be feared
  • Being transformational in our culture—to see people as people, valuing relationships
  • Helping parents to communicate and work through conflict
  • Creating opportunities for conversation “we may not agree but we can still listen”
  • How will “conflict” be framed in our mission/vision statement?
  • Viewing healthy conflict as an opportunity as an opportunity for something better
  • Committing to listening toward mutual understanding
  • Resources, education and tools for conflict
  • Not trying to change others, but meeting others where they are
  • For people to own responsibility and be able to admit faults
  • Healthy conflict breeds intimacy:  common ground is not necessary for comfort ability
  • Strengthening relationship opportunities through conflict
  • How do we find conflict?  In other words, how do we learn about opportunities to teach, walk through conflict with others?  How do we get the word out?