Thursday, April 19 , 2018, 12:15 pm | A Few Clouds 62º


Towbes Foundation Awards $6,000 to Conflict Solutions Center of Santa Barbara

The Towbes Foundation recently awarded a $6,000 grant to Conflict Solutions Center and the funding will be used to support the ability for low-income bilingual/bicultural community members to receive mediation skills and conflict resolution training.  

“We are tremendously grateful for this generous award," said Lizzie Rodriguez, Co-Executive Director of the Conflict Solutions Center.

"This charitable support from the Towbes Foundation displays great commitment to achieving community harmony while proving life-long skills to Santa Barbara community members. 

“This funding allows low-income, bilingual and bicultural community members to receive 40-hours of professional mediation skills training. In turn, the bilingual/bicultural community will receive mediation services supporting individual and community empowerment. This gift will positively affect many members of the Santa Barbara community.”  

Conflict Solutions Center encourages anyone interested in being a change agent or community leader, in learning skills to resolve conflict, or becoming a professional mediator to inquire about their next Mediation Skills Training taking place in Santa Maria. 

This training is designed for beginning mediators, practicing mediators, business professionals, lawyers, counselors, service providers, human resource representatives and other community members interested in learning the process of mediation and resolving conflict more effectively.

The training will take place at 120 E Jones Street over six Saturdays: Aug. 8, 15, 22 and 29 and Sept. 5 and 12 from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 
Registration is $485, with scholarships and discounts available to those who qualify. Please contact Jammie Stone-Stevens at 805.349.8943 or [email protected] for details or visit  

In this 40-hour training participants will learn about the theoretical foundations, objectives and stages of mediation. They will also have the opportunity to learn about the nature of conflict, your own conflict style, and how to effectively break down conflicts into resolvable pieces.

This training will also give an introduction to nonviolent communication basics and ways to increase listening while decreasing anger and defensiveness. It will also teach fundamental communication skills especially important in conflict management and that are transferable to a variety of situations and settings, providing you an edge in problem-solving and negotiations.  

Mediation is a facilitated, constructive negotiation process for resolving differences and conflicts between individuals, groups and organizations. It is an alternative to avoidance, destructive confrontation and prolonged litigation or violence. 

It gives people in conflict an opportunity to take responsibility for the resolution of their dispute and control of the outcome. Community mediation is designed both to meet individual interests while strengthening relationships and building connections between people and groups, as well as to create processes that make communities work for all of us.  

In mediation, the decision-making authority rests with the parties themselves. Recognizing variations in styles and cultural differences, the mediator's role involves assisting the disputants in defining and clarifying issues, reducing obstacles to communication, exploring possible solutions and reaching a mutually satisfactory agreement. 

Mediation presents the opportunity to constructively express differences and to “hear each other out” even when an agreement is not reached.  

Founded in 1989, Conflict Solutions Center is a community-based nonprofit organization committed to the development of non-adversarial responses to conflict and differences that strengthen social harmony and support individual healing.

The organization serves the communities of Santa Barbara County by providing compassionate communication, appropriate dispute resolution and problem solving practices, restorative justice, consultation, training and mediation services.

— Jammie Stone-Stevens is the programs coordinator at the Conflict Solutions Center.

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