The Upstate Mediation Center celebrated National Conflict Resolution Day on October 20th with a reception at Greenville’s Historic Kilgore-Lewis House to honor volunteer mediators and funders. At this years’ event, UMC Volunteer Leah Parisi was awarded for conducting the most mediations in 2016. Other volunteers honored at the reception include: Evan Cantrell, Bernie Ferrone, Sean Scoopmire, Don Vandersloot, and Jeff Zelmanow.
Mediators at the UMC are practicing and retired attorneys, members of the mental health community and others with relevant backgrounds that have undergone extensive training provided by the South Carolina Bar Association. Last year, UMC volunteer mediators handled over 650 cases for over 1300 clients. While the UMC offers all types of mediation services, most of the cases handled at the UMC are Family Court mediations. Accordingly, the UMC volunteers brought resolution to hundreds of families in transition. The UMC also provides all of the mediators for the Greenville County Magistrate Mediation Program—a program with a 79% resolution rate, saving the county thousands of dollars each year.
This year, the UMC launched a new Community-Police Mediation Program. This program is offered as an alternative to the traditional complaint investigation process by the Greenville Police Department’s Internal Affairs Department. The UMC and the GPD believe it will build understanding and improve relationships between the City of Greenville Police Officers and citizens of the community. In turn, mediation will help to make neighborhoods safer and stronger.
The UMC is the only non-profit organization in the Upstate dedicated to offering affordable, high-quality mediation services. It relies on the generous support of foundations, individuals and a grant from the S.C. Bar Foundation to keep its doors open.