July is the month when we leave the “June gloom” behind and really heat up, only this year that appears to apply not just to the weather but to the collective political rancor in our country. There may not have been a time in our recent history that cries out more for us peacemakers to be trying to facilitate civil dialogue and ways to connect with one another. As emotionally draining as that can be, it is the role we selected and wear proudly.
Some of our greatest peacemakers amongst us in the community remain largely unheralded, so I wanted to devote this space for a big “thank you” from SCMA for all the work you are doing. We were recently invited to an event hosted by Kathy Shimizu of the Orange County Human Relations, a Dispute Resolution Programs Act (DRPA) organization, and were so impressed by their work both in and out of the courts in Orange County. The DRPA organizations operate throughout the state, providing pro bono or low cost mediation to so many in need, and those with whom we have frequent contact with, including Professor Mary Culbert (2017 recipient of SCMA’s L. Randolph Lowry award) and Sara Campos of the Center for Conflict Resolution at Loyola Law School, Christopher Welch of the Center for Conflict Resolution in Reseda, and Maritza Gutierrez of the Los Angeles County Department of Consumer and Business Affairs, deserve a “shout out” for all their efforts…as do the other dozens of organizations locally and statewide. SCMA continues to provide its support for their efforts and hope that all of you who attend our Annual Conference on November 3 will stop by their Mediation Fair tables and thank them for all they do. The Annual Conference RFP for workshop proposals is now accepting submissions and registration is now open!
Of course, prior to its Annual Conference, SCMA will have its Annual Summer Mixer so that all of us can “let our hair down” with our colleagues. This year is planned for 6 p.m. on Thursday, August 9th at the Bonaventure Brewing Company in Los Angeles. Join us as we celebrate our latest class of graduates from the SCMA Mentor Program and join immediate past president Jason Harper in bestowing the President’s award to our esteemed colleague Woody Mosten. Good food and conversation with your friends and colleagues is on the menu! This event is FREE for members. Click here to find out more.
Many thanks again for all our volunteers who make SCMA such a great organization. Our 1st annual Family Mediation Institute was a huge success as over 75 participants joined us on June 8 and 9 at the Doubletree Hotel in Santa Ana for a day and a half of workshops and learning. I personally witnessed our Board members Terri Breer and Susan Guthrie and a host of other committee volunteers “raise the bar” on a well-run conference, including the exhibitors and the sponsors as participants in an event where everyone shared and learned together. In addition, many thanks to our Executive Director, Anne Sawyer, for ably helping to coordinate the event for all of us.
We so appreciate all our volunteers who make SCMA events so special, with special acknowledgement to our Professional Development Group leaders who continue to facilitate lively and energetic get togethers throughout the summer months. If you haven’t had a chance to join one yet, please make it a plan to use this summer to connect with your colleagues either at a PDG and/or at the Summer Mixer located at Bonaventure Brewing Company next month.
I will keep this message short, but it carries with it my hopes for you and your families to have a peaceful and restful summer despite the rancor around us. I hope to see you at a SCMA event soon and certainly, if not before then, at our Summer Mixer on August 9th.