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Northwest Denver Nonprofits Coordinate Efforts For Colorado Gives Day

November 15, 2012
Northwest Denver Nonprofits Coordinate Efforts For Colorado Gives Day

24 Hours to Give Where You Live Save the Date – December 4, 2012   Did you know that Northwest Denver is home to over 40 nonprofit human service providers? And did you know that many of them will participate in “Colorado Gives Day” on Tuesday, December 4th? “Colorado Gives Day” is an annual, 24-hour “virtual” fundraiser through which people throughout the state of Colorado are encouraged to make online donations to support their favorite local charities. For the first time this year a dedicated group of fifteen Northwest Denver nonprofit providers are collaborating to actively promote the neighborhood’s widespread participation in Colorado Gives Day. Beginning in mid-November, members of the collaboration will distribute 10,000 Save-The-Date postcards throughout the community, reminding you and your neighbors to Give Where You Live! The nonprofit providers leading this effort include: Arrupe Jesuit High School                          Bienvenidos Food Bank      Catholic Charities                                        Colorado Youth for a Change          Caring Connection                                       Colorado Renewable Energy Society        El Porvenir                                                   Denver Children’s Advocacy Center Escuela de Guadalupe                                 Groundwork Denver                          Servicios de la Raza                                    Share Our Strength                                       The Argyle                                                    The Conflict Center                                       The First Tee of Denver In the last year these organizations alone have served a combined total of over150,000 individuals and families throughout the metro

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Photo Exhibit Demonstrates Coloradans Solving Problems Together

November 1, 2012

By Mary Zinn. President, Zinn Mediation Associates “Talking It Out: Getting To Agreement” is a unique photo and story exhibit that features Coloradans working together to solve problems. The exhibit illustrates seven stories of people and communities that have made a choice to solve their problems constructively. It gives evidence of the changes that can be made when we deliberately choose collaborative conflict resolution methods. The exhibit, displayed at the Colorado State Capitol Oct. 1–16, was one of many events in conjunction with Conflict Resolution Month in Colorado, observed every October. Conflict resolution Month’s activities increase public awareness about constructive conflict management and its many benefits. Details can be found at www.conflictresolutionmonth.org.  The goal of Conflict Resolution Month is to decrease violence and increase creativity and productivity for problem solving in relationships, communities, organizations, and businesses. The stories offer possibilities and options for every person and group to consider for bringing more civility to the disputes they encounter. Communities and organizations in Colorado are encouraged to take advantage of the opportunity to display this free exhibit throughout next year and beyond.  You can see “Talking it out: getting to agreement” Nov. 5–Jan. 7 at the Ft. Morgan Museum; Jan. 15–March 15

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Eye-Opening First Weeks at The Conflict Center

October 3, 2012
Eye-Opening First Weeks at The Conflict Center

By Joseph Do As a first-year social work student from Metropolitan State University of Denver, I am required to do a field internship, which I have started at The Conflict Center. I am excited to get started and contribute to our community. My first weeks at The Conflict Center have been busy and eye opening. So much is here! A team of staff and volunteers with years of experience. People to help and issues to address. A toolbox of programs, techniques, and approaches to use, including emotional intelligence, critical decision making, and restorative justice. Beyond the theories, actual practice in communication and conflict resolution. What inspires me most are the stories–especially the ones that bring a tear to my eye–because of the compassion, generosity, and gratitude of people. One of the facilitators describes how a belligerent teen after three classes turned around and thanked him for helping her to communicate with her family. I hear about a teacher driving at-risk students to school to help them attend and succeed. Even in a book I am reading about restorative discipline is a simple yet poignant gesture: I encountered a lunchtime problem in a classroom for elementary children receiving behavior support. I was

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Executive’s Perspective: The Inclusiveness Project

May 16, 2012
Ron_Ludwig

By Ron Ludwig, Executive Director   Earlier this month, The Conflict Center participated in our final activity as part of the “Inclusiveness Project” with the Denver Foundation.  In 2010, The Conflict Center and nine other local nonprofits were funded by the Denver Foundation to participate in a two-year “Learning Community” designed to help our organizations become more ethnically and racially diverse and inclusive.  In addition to focusing on ethnic and racial dynamics, the Conflict Center also considered issues of gender and sexual identity.  While recognizing that creating a fully inclusive workplace is an ever-ongoing process, we are proud of the significant steps forward our organization has taken over the past two years: We established a Committee to guide the work of this project that was comprised of staff, board members and volunteers. The Committee hired a consultant to help guide the effort and to provide training for staff and the board. The Committee has identified key indicators to measure our efforts to becoming more diverse and inclusive. Almost half of our staff members have participated in the national “White Privilege Conference” to examine how the roles of privilege and power work in our national society. All staff members (including our

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Research Notes: Practice Makes Peaceful

April 20, 2012
Current Directions

By Kevin LaPoint, PhD, Volunteer Courses taught by the Conflict Center are designed to empower individuals to regulate their own anger, mediate conflicts, and build better relationships with others. One of the most important skills we teach is self-awareness, which provides the basis for enhanced self-control when dealing with conflict.  For example, students in the center’s classes are taught to recognize how their body and emotions change in response to anger–to know their internal “temperature” during heated situations.  Being alert to when you’re losing control in an argument provides a crucial opportunity for individuals to take charge of themselves, begin “cool down” practices, and make healthier decisions. Psychological research has long demonstrated the link between an individual’s capacity for self-control and the tendency towards aggression.  Those with low self-control during charged confrontations are more likely to react with angry outbursts of verbal, emotional, and/or physical violence. Last month, three psychologists published a summary of multiple recent studies that provide new insights into the power of self-control.  In the March 2012 edition of “Current Directions in Psychological Science,” Dr. Thomas F. Denson and his colleagues wrote that increasing an individual’s ability to self-regulate during non-conflict situations indirectly leads to improved self-control when ultimately facing conflict. According to Denson, almost everyone prefers to avoid violence.  Even those

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Flexing Your Emotional Muscle In The Workplace

May 12, 2012
Flexing Your Emotional Muscle In The Workplace

By Nikki Sterling, Mentor Trainer & Organizational Consultant at The Conflict Center I instantly go numb whenever I hear someone in an organization explain the necessity of keeping emotions out of the workplace. Okay, let me back up . . . Emotions in the workplace are not the culprit.  Mismanaged emotions that get the better of us are instead what damages relationships and curbs an individual and team from progressing to the next level in efficiency.  This is where my pal just mentioned up above makes their statement.  In a sense they have evidence: failed teams, hurt feelings, and broken relationships.  Pretty good empirical evidence. But, of course, it doesn’t have to be that way.  Many of us lead and work in conflict-savvy organizations where the culture demands straight talk be coupled with emotions in order to gain better insight and creativity in reaching business results. However, again, not all of us are so lucky.  So, lets take a look on controlling the one variable we know we can ALWAYS control – ourselves.  Lets focus on flexing our “emotional muscle” by practicing self-control when we are triggered. AUTOMATIC STRESS RESPONSE = LACK OF BUSINESS RESULTS When someone encounters a challenge

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