APFM, NAFCM, MBB & ACR Co-Sponsor National Mediation Policy Act!

The Academy of Professional Family Mediators (APFM), National Association for Community Mediation (NAFCM), Mediators Beyond Borders (MBB) and  Association for Conflict Resolution (ACR) have joined Mediate.com’s groundbreaking efforts to set America on a better path by sponsoring The “National Mediation Policy Act” (NMPA).

The NMPA declares a national policy favoring voluntary mediation over disputes being litigated, remaining unresolved or resulting in violence.

Sponsoring Organizations:

Our recommended policy simply states:

“It is the policy of the United States that, when two or more individuals or entities are in protracted dispute, it is preferable that such disputants actively and voluntarily take part in solution-seeking mediation, rather than allowing the dispute to remain unresolved or result in costly litigation, continued conflict, and elevated risk of violence.”


Original November 2019 Article:
Time for a National Mediation Policy Act!

by Jim Melamed, CEO Mediate.com

The current state of discourse in America has become polarized to the point of dangerous dysfunction. Joint action is needed to address this polarization. How can we effectively move forward as a society when every issue is presented as a cynical debate? What are our options here? What would be the most effective way for our society to consider the daunting challenges that we face?

One answer is a National Mediation Policy Act. Consistent with the essential voluntariness of the mediation process itself, this Act would not require anyone to do anything. Rather, a National Mediation Policy Act would express a national policy preference that people experiencing conflict should have available quality opportunities for mediation. A National Mediation Policy Act would express a social preference that it is better for citizens and for America that disputants have the early opportunity to reach agreement in mediation, rather than to have disputes result in expensive and burdensome litigation, remain unresolved or lead to violence.

This concept of “bringing mediation to the masses” is ever more realistic and vital. Mediation has been growing in America and globally for decades. Organizations such as Mediate.com, the National Association for Community Mediation (NAFCM), the Association for Conflict Resolution (ACR), and the Academy of Professional Family Mediators (APFM) have been leading the way in making mediation a part of everyday life in America. It is now time to recognize this societal shift in how we best resolve disputes and embrace mediation as a national policy preference. Importantly, the increasing use of online mediation is now providing access to valuable online mediation services. A mediator is now readily available to each of us with a few clicks on our computer or phone.

Most capable conflict resolution and problem-solving conversations do not happen on their own. Conflict engagement without a capable impartial mediator too often results in grandstanding, vitriolic accusations between “us” and “them,” and a continued fraying of our social fabric. Our current social and political contentiousness, including “hate of others,” will not cure itself, particularly when our political leaders are perhaps most guilty of riling up the masses for selfish perceived political gain.

What our society needs is new leadership, one that recognizes that the one and only way we can most capably resolve the many daunting issues facing our society, the world and us as individuals is an agreed-upon process that supports all sides most effectively “saying our piece” and, critically, also “listening to the other side.” When opportunities are created for this mutual exchange to occur in a safe and respectful environment, true progress can and will be made, whether the issues are within our immediate family, our workplace, or our greater national and international communities.

And thus, while we understand that, “Rome was not built in a day,” it is also true that “the longest journey begins with but a single step.” Our answer for a better future has never been more clear: We as a society must recommit to the value of advancing most capable conversations. Our ability to thrive – indeed, our very survival as a people and as a planet – depends upon our commitment to solve problems and resolve conflict in the most productive and beneficial ways possible.

On these bases, Mediate.com and the broader mediation and conflict resolution communities are calling for each 2020 Presidential candidate to declare their support for a “National Mediation Policy Act.” The Act can be very simple. We suggest that a first National Mediation Policy Act might be a simple and elegant policy statement along the lines of the following:

“It is the policy of the United States that, when two or more individuals or entities are in protracted dispute, it is preferable that such disputants actively and voluntarily take part in solution-seeking mediation, rather than allowing the dispute to remain unresolved or result in costly litigation, continued conflict, and elevated risk of violence.”

And so, paradoxically, it is out of our most troubled times that there can now emerge a critical recognition of the opportunity for our country and for the world to “see the light” and now embrace most capable mediated conflict resolution and problem-solving discussions for our personal, national and global survival.

                        author

Mediate.com Staff

Mediate.com In business since 1996, Mediate.com is the world’s leading mediation and dispute resolution website with over 7 million annual site visitors.  Mediate.com serves as a bridge between professionals offering dispute resolution services and individuals and businesses needing those services. Mediate.com was awarded the 2010 American Bar Association Institutional Problem Solver of… MORE >

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