Support the work of Community Boards, the nation’s oldest public conflict resolution center, and honor the winners of the 5th Annual San Francisco Peacemaker Awards.
THIS YEAR'S WINNERS:
1) Valerie Tulier -- The Raymond Shonholtz Visionary Peacemaker Award goes to an outstanding individual who has made significant contributions to peacemaking, community building and/or anti-violence work in her or his respective San Francisco community.
2) Ja’Marc Allen-Henderson -- The Gail Sadalla Rising Peacemaker Award goes to a youth peacemaker, ages 12-24, who is making a difference in his/her school or community and setting an example for other youth in anti-violence and peacemaking activities.
3) Alternatives to Violence Project -- The Community Boards Leadership Peacemaker Award is given to an organization that has established a meaningful track record in contributing to community building and peacemaking in San Francisco.
Community Boards' 5th Annual San Francisco Peacemaker Awards
Friday, June 5, 2015
•Morning workshop 'Gender at Work: How Gender Impacts Workplace Negotiations and Mediations' with Emily Epstein, J.D.
•Keynote address, 'Healing Communities in Conflict: Federal Strategies and Services for Public Mediation' by TBA Keynote Speaker
City Club of San Francisco
Stock Exchange Tower
155 Sansome St.
San Francisco, CA 94104
Breakfast, Workshop, Luncheon, and Awards: $175
Luncheon and Awards only: $125
Every June since 2011, Community Boards recognizes the contributions of one youth, one adult, and one organization working toward making San Francisco’s neighborhoods and communities healthier and safer through peacemaking and anti-violence work. The San Francisco-based mediation organization’s San Francisco Peacemaker Awards commemorate the vision, public service, and tireless efforts of Community Boards’ late founder, Raymond Shonholtz, J.D. (1943-2012) and have become a living memorial to his legacy of social justice through dynamic community peacemaking. The winners will be recognized at the 5th Annual Peacemaker Awards luncheon at the City Club of San Francisco on Friday, June 5, 2015.
This year, a high school senior who’s a peer mediator, a conflict resolution organization for prisoners and ex-offenders, and a Mission District activist who’s a leader in youth development, violence prevention, and policy advocacy have been chosen to receive the 2015 San Francisco Peacemaker Awards. Bios of all the winners are included below.
Founded in 1976 with the mission to provide the general public with an empowering, effective, and accessible methodology for resolving a wide range of personal, residential, neighborhood, consumer, and public disputes, Community Boards’ programming, services, and trainings remain a national and international model.
Over the past 39 years, Community Boards has trained 17,000 San Francisco residents as mediators; assisted just under 50,000 residents in resolving their conflicts peacefully; scheduled over 9,000 mediation panels; and facilitated more than 2,000 decision-making meetings for public and nonprofit agencies. The organization maintains an ongoing, active pool of 350+ volunteer Community Mediators and serves 2,000 San Francisco residents, nonprofits, and businesses annually, offering its dispute resolution services in English, Spanish, Mandarin, and Cantonese. They also partner and collaborate with a wide array of social service organizations, public agencies, and community nonprofits including the SF Police Department, the SF Unified School District, the SF Superior Court, SF Rent Board, SF Planning Department, various housing/tenant rights organizations, assisted living residences, and arts and cultural organizations.
Community Boards’ Conflict Manager Program, a peer mediation model, is now one of the oldest programs in the United States and is found in 3,000+ schools nationwide. The organization continues to develop and field test new programs and resources for public audiences, such as seniors, gang prevention and other high-risk populations through collaborations with the SF District Attorney’s Neighborhood Courts Program.
“Community Boards' Peacemaker Awards recognize that it takes a village of peacemakers and anti-violence activists to build a San Francisco that values dialogue and resolution over conflict,” says Community Boards’ Executive Director Darlene Weide. “The 2015 award winners are outstanding examples of how incredible vision and true dedication to community well-being can create profound and positive changes in San Francisco.”
About the 2015 Peacemaker Award winners
•The Raymond Shonholtz Visionary Peacemaker Award
Valerie Tulier is an important leader in youth development, violence prevention, and policy advocacy in San Francisco's Mission District. For the past decade her life's mission has been dedicated to serving San Francisco's low-income youth of color and their families. She has worked at RAP (Real Alternatives Program), was the education coordinator at the SF Conservation Corps, taught GED classes at Precita Center, and worked as a district representative for California State Senator Carole Migden. Valerie is currently chair of the Mission Peace Collaborative, where she organizes town hall meetings and events that focus on peaceful community empowerment and reducing gang violence. She is the former Director of the Mission Beacon Community Center where she was lovingly tagged "Mama Bear” because she protected her young with fierceness and courage. There she forged community partnerships and developed a collaborative model for youth leadership and development. Valerie has lived in San Francisco since she was 13 years old. She attended Buena Vista Horace Mann Community School and Mission High School. A onetime resident of the Sunnydale Projects, she earned her B.A., M.A., and J.D. while working full time and raising four foster children. Valerie is also a grandmother, proud of her Mexican, Apache, and Puerto Rican heritage, and a former member of the all-women lowrider car club, Frisco Latin Queens.
•The Community Boards Leadership Peacemaker Award
Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP) is a nonprofit that began in 1975 as a collaboration between inmates at the Green Haven Prison in New York and Quakers interested in working with youth gangs and teens at risk. Now in it 40th year, this successful ongoing project has spread to prison programs across the US. AVP's approach is to provide inmates with intensive workshops to improve methods of communication and encourage taking a deeper look at ways of resolving conflict, including communication and forgiveness, which are also core principles of Community Board's work. AVP's workshops serve to reduce violence in prisons but also to prepare inmates for life in the communities that they return to by changing their approaches to conflict, and through them, changing their communities. In San Francisco, AVP volunteer facilitators lead workshops in the San Bruno jail that houses prisoners returning to San Francisco and the larger Bay Area. Since the San Bruno jail chapter began in 2008, over 370 inmate participants have been trained. San Bruno jail inmates are encouraged to stay involved in AVP workshops after they are paroled. Those trained while incarcerated to be facilitators may continue to provide workshops in their local communities, strengthening their skills in conflict resolution and leading through the power of peer education. AVP's outcomes are significant; its graduates have a 50% reduction in recidivism as compared to those who have not gone through the AVP program. The Bay Area chapter also leads workshops for ex-offenders in the community. http://www.avpcalifornia.org
•The Gail Sadalla Rising Peacemaker Award
Ja’Marc Allen-Henderson is an 18 year old senior at June Jordan School for Equity. His passions are social justice and science. He shares, "I always had an interest in science since I was a child. At June Jordan, I've been inspired by issues of justice. I've noticed that science and new tech generally benefit wealthier people. I want tech to be more equitable and science more accessible, more diverse." Ja'Marc became a Peer Mediator when he started his junior year in high school. He is equipped with skills to disarm conflicts when they arise on campus and with knowledge to support students with ongoing conflicts. Teachers refer students to him for mediation and students can also refer themselves. So far, Ja'Marc has mediated five cases. He noticed that there have been less fights and verbal attacks at school since the peer mediation program began. Ja’Marc explains, "Students feel safer talking to one another than a teacher. Students feel teachers may not be as understanding, so they are more willing to express their true emotions with a peer." In addition to mediating, Ja'Marc led a workshop at June Jordan on sexism in music and media. He is also a Peer Mentor for incoming freshman, helping them acclimate to their new school and to feel supported. Ja'Marc believes that conflict resolution and mediation skills should be taught to kids in elementary and middle school so that they can handle their conflicts better. He says, "Mediation skills are a good thing to have. Without them, it could lead to more violence and even incarceration or worse. A lot of people don't know how to use their words. I've seen conflict resolution skills help my family, and I'm sure these skills could help many more families." In addition to going to school and getting ready for college with College Track, Ja'Marc works three days a week at the California Academy of Sciences in their Careers in Science Program. Ja'Marc, a 3rd generation San Franciscan, credits his mother and grandparents for teaching him kindness and empathy.
Preceding the Awards Ceremony, University of California at Berkeley School of Law lecturer, Emily Epstein, J.D., who specializes in teaching negotiation, facilitation, mediation, and communication skills, will lead a morning workshop “Gender at Work: How Gender Impacts Workplace Negotiations and Mediations.” Epstein has been invited by organizations on four continents to help them overcome protracted challenges, from boosting the profitability of a Fortune 500 company to reducing the global use of child soldiers.
Following, there will be a luncheon, Awards Ceremony, and a keynote address, “Healing Communities in Conflict: Federal Strategies and Services for Public Mediation” will be delivered by TBA.