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Life on Hill Q&A with mediation center director

POSTED: October 26, 2017 11:26 a.m.
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Jill Cheeks is executive director of Mediation Center of Savannah

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Q: Name & current job title?

A: Jill Cheeks, Executive Director

Q: What roles do you play within the Mediation Center?

A: The most important role is delivering our mission and ensuring the coastal community is aware of this valuable local asset. Conflict management is a critical component of community health and we have the resources to help organizations, companies and individuals.

Q: How have you seen mediation impact the lives of those coming in seeking to settle disputes outside of court?

A: Having a voice or a say in how the disagreement will be solved is very powerful – research shows agreements are twice as likely to be adhered to as court ordered decisions. The neutral third-party facilitator (mediator) allows the parties to be heard. People in conflict often have a significant weight on their shoulders and their lives are being deeply impacted by the dispute. Mediation provides an opportunity to find closure and define a better path forward.

Q: What should people do if they are interested in playing a role in mediation?

A: Come to one of our monthly Mediation Matters information sessions at our offices in Midtown Savannah.

Q: What programs are available for those looking to train to become mediators?

A: We provide general civil and domestic mediator trainings to become a registered neutral in the state of Georgia. This professional registration allows you to volunteer at the Mediation Center.

Q: What plans are in place for the future of the Mediation Center and how can we, as a community, get involved?

A: The Mediation Center looks to continue to expand its current programs to serve a broader area of the community. In addition, we look to partner with other nonprofits, the city and the county to develop new programs to help the areas youth develop skills to handle conflict in a more peaceful and effective manner.

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