The Nerdery - Overnight Website Challenge

Minneapolis 2013,

Community Mediation Services, Inc.

Since 1983 Community Mediation Services, Inc. (CMS) has been dedicated to

helping individuals move from conflict to resolution through respectful,

confidential and efficient mediation and restorative justice processes. We believe many of our community’s most pressing issues—housing instability, juvenile crime, family/workplace/neighborhood discord -- stem from an unresolved dispute. With

the generous support of trained volunteer mediators and through partners in local communities, schools, and courts, CMS is systematically changing the way our community addresses conflict. Individuals are able to craft their own sustainable solutions, and our local communities are able to make better use of precious public resources. CMS is a nonprofit organization funded by both public and private support, serving 40 cities in the Twin Cities northern and western metro areas.

In addition to providing mediation and restorative justice services, CMS

provides a wide variety of training opportunities. More information is

available at

What new functionality we are looking for

1. Created by nerds, but managed by not-so-nerdy CMS staff.

2. An updated, visually-pleasing, uncluttered, updated look.

3. Cleaner, more direct pathways for five distinct audiences (described below)

4. User-provided secure data entry for a) initiating or referring to mediation, b) training registration and credit-card payment, c) donor activity.

5. Youth appeal.

6. Able to use our actual URL. (We can only link to specific pages by using our old URL)

7. Mobile device compatible.

8. Password-protected pages for our volunteers.

9. Linked to Facebook, Twitter, GiveMN sites

How the new functionality will help

We believe we have five different website audiences who will seek out different types of information from our website.

1. Individuals seeking resources on how to deal with a dispute.

Conflict is difficult. We understand that it’s common for people to become conflict-avoidant when embroiled in an uncomfortable dispute. CMS seeks to provide confidential information, guidance and support and we understand how difficult it is to simply start the process of moving through conflict by initiating and responding to an invitation to mediate. We would like disputants to be able to get information from our website, and if they choose to initiate a mediation process, to make it as simple as clicking a ‘submit’ button.

CMS uses a Filemaker database for purposes of correspondence with clients and for collecting a variety of statistics/reports for our funders and referral sources. In addition to reducing the obstacles to initiating a mediation, a website containing a data entry component could greatly streamline the administrative work in ‘opening a case’. We’d rather use those valuable staffing resources serving people than entering data.

Often mediation is NOT the right resource for people contacting us. We could save them and our staff time by connecting them to more appropriate resources through website links.

2. Training information and registration

As a member of both mediation and restorative justice collaborations, CMS is responsible for a) providing information about upcoming trainings b) responding to inquiries about scholarships, c) accepting registrations and maintaining class lists, and d) accepting payments from trainees.

CMS has joined forces with three other mediation organizations to co-sponsor training events and under a shared leadership model, CMS’ contribution to the collaboration is to administer the training inquiry and registration process. Truth be told, it’s a little overwhelming. We’d love to streamline all of this with improved website functionality.

3. Donors

CMS has shifted all of its private fundraising to the online Give to the Max day. No more chicken dinners. As a result, our online presence is more important than ever as we attempt to drive more people to our GiveMN site. Our goal is 2013 is to double the number of supporters who make an online contribution.

4. Public

CMS is proud to meet all standards of the Charity Review Council. Many of the standards relating to transparency were met by making a commitment to provide a variety of information – e.g. donor lists, governance policies, financial statements - available to the public through our Annual Report and website. As we move forward we intend to reduce the amount of printed annual reports and rely more on a website-based annual report. This will allow us to publish earlier in the year (updating as needed) and to reduce the expense of printing and mailing. Plus, it’s the green thing to do.

5. Volunteers

CMS’ workforce consists of 3 FTE staff and over 100 incredible community volunteers. Password-protected volunteer pages (including a calendar?) could streamline the scheduling process. In addition, mediators who need an on-the-spot question answered during that Sunday afternoon mediation could access it via our website.

How our organization will use the technology

Who will use the technology

Before & After Snapshots

Thumbnail_1 Thumbnail_2

50 Messages from Supporters

2013-01-30 16:25:00 UTC
N. Leba

I'm a volunteer mediator for CMS. As such, I get to witness the peaceful feelings that happen when people resolve their conflicts in a structured and respectful manner. A first class web site would help people know all the help that is available to them for FREE.

2013-01-29 14:49:00 UTC
Leslie McEvoy

CMS has been tirelessly providing quality dispute resolution services to our community for 30 years - and doing so on a limited budget. A quality, user-friendly website would greatly enhance and increase community access to these services and to opportunities to support these services. A quality website is no longer a luxury - but a crucial necessity for outreach, communication and donor activity.

I strongly and enthusiastically support Community Mediation Services bid to receive website support.

2013-01-29 15:55:50 UTC
Sue West

We are celebrating 30 years that Community Mediation Services has been in business this year. CMS has been supporting the community with impressive results through their dispute resolution services. In order for CMS to bring these important services to the community, it requires significant community support and volunteerism. Improving the website would create a better platform for the community to learn more about the numerous services and would also allow CMS to reach more volunteers, which is an important backbone to the success of this organization. I fully support CMS receiving the bid for website improvement!

2013-01-29 18:46:02 UTC
Mary Heer-Forsberg

CMS deserves and needs a new and improved website for so many reasons. They have had a huge impact on improving neighborhoods, communities, schools and individual's lives for 30 years! CMS is a volunteer-driven organization that has done so much with limited resources. Their focus is on improving quality of life throughout the west metro and empowering residents to solve conflicts. A new website would help them more effectively and efficiently reach and engage with people who would benefit from mediation services, volunteers who are dedicated to delivering those services, organizational partners who are committed to creating safe and peaceful communities, and donors who are passionate about supporting the work of CMS. CMS is highly regarded in the local and national mediation community and by the municipalities and government agencies they work with. Investing the Nerdy resources in CMS would guarantee a high return on investment that would continue to benefit the region for years to come.

2013-01-29 22:07:08 UTC
Joan Molenaar

Communuity Mediation Services [previously North Hennepin Mediation Program] is a non-profit prividing opportunities for Peace and conflict and dispute resolution in our neighborhoods, schools, and commnunities [40] through trained volunteer mediators and community partners. I speak from the experience of being a community council person for eight years. CMS was a valuable tool and effective partner to assist neighbors to respectfully resolve their conflicts. CMS saved my community time intensive and expensive staff time to many futilely atempt to address those conflicts. and andA very critical service provided is youth restorative justice programs which are prividing safe, respectful ways for young people deal with their juvenile crimes, turn their lives around, and learn new life-long positive behavior and ways to engage in community.
CMS does all this on ashor-string budget through the generosity of grants and donors. Today, the way for a community organization to reach out to community in order to to provide maximum informnation and capacity to be reached is through a well-deveveloped and interactive website. A "shoe-string" budget just does not usually stretch far enough to engage highly trained quality designers.

By choosing Community Mediation Services for your generous investment
of expertise, you will be maximizing the capacity of CMS and its partners to facilitate PEACE.

2013-01-30 00:51:59 UTC
Jason Fink

Community Mediation Services provides very valuable conflict resolution services to the residents of Northern and Western Hennepin County using very limited public and private resources and a pool of highly trained and dedicated volunteers. Given the increasing digitization of society, CMS must improve its website in order to continue to engage its clients, volunteers, and partners. Unfortunately, an adequate, professionally built website is cost-prohibitive at this point. Your services would enable CMS to more effectively execute its mission.

2013-01-30 01:52:31 UTC
Amelia Vnuk

CMS does amazing work on far too small of a budget. They deserve to have a better website so they can reach more people, which would allow them to help more people.

2013-01-30 03:21:05 UTC
Nancy Kloehn

CMS is an unsung hero in the pursuit of peaceful, mindful dispute resolution for our community. More people need to know that there is an accessible service that will empower them to resolve issues that affect them, their families and their lives. A state-of-the-art website will be an important tool in the outreach capabilities for CMS. I urge your selection of CMS for website improvement. In the process your company and staff will also learn more about what it can do for them!

2013-01-30 14:54:29 UTC
Susan Carpenter

CMS does amazing things for the community. The people who work at CMS are amazing people, as well. You will not find a more dedicated group anywhere. They go above and beyond the call of duty and any help they can get with the website frees them up to make a difference in people's lives. I cannot think of a better organization to be chosen for website improvement. My vote goes to CMS!

2013-01-30 15:41:30 UTC
Beth Bailey

We understand it can be difficult to take that first step to do something about the conflict in our lives. A good website can make it easier for people to take that first step by giving them a means to access resources, get questions answered and even initiate the mediation process. CMS also relies on the services of trained volunteer mediators. A good website would also be a wonderful way to support them in their service to the community.

2013-01-30 18:47:02 UTC
Samila Dille

CMS provides free or affordable conflict resolution services to communities across Hennepin County. A great website would help CMS to reach out to more people who are in need of this service and are not aware of this service. As a result, more people would be able to take advantage of this great free service and resolve their conflicts in a peaceful manner and that would translate to a better and more peaceful society.

2013-01-30 19:10:24 UTC
Artika Tyner

CMS offers the community a valuable resource by providing the resources needed to address conflict in a constructive manner. A website enhancement will bolster their work as they educate the community about alternative dispute resolution and showcase the services offered. As a proud volunteer and supporter of CMS, I highly recommend the group for receipt of this award.

2013-01-30 19:12:17 UTC
Scott Beaty, Executive Director, MN Youth Intervention Programs Association

This is a great organization doing fantastic mediation work for Hennepin County residents. When an organization has to use resources to build and maintain their website it takes away from their ability to use that money to provide services. I hope you pick CMS for the website improvement project.

2013-01-30 19:48:18 UTC
Jeanne Zimmer

CMS is a leading partner in community mediation in Minnesota: they are generous with their time and talent in supporting other programs, particularly in handling the registrations for joint trainings. A new website would not only support CMS and the wonderful work that it does, it would indirectly assist other programs, such as the Dispute Resolution Center (one of the collaborative training partners). We fully support CMS in this endeavor.

2013-01-30 20:26:40 UTC
James Henson

I would like to highlight one of the many ways CMS serves the community-at-large:

CMS's staff and volunteers regularly work with middle schools and junior highs to help students resolve conflict. When a student is having an ongoing conflict that is disrupting other students, school staff may contact CMS. CMS will then send in volunteer mediators meet with the students and provide space for the students to talk safely and confidentially. The mediators listen and re-frame issues to help students see the issue at different angles. The mediators empower the students to come to their own resolution so that they can move forward and be successful.

In today's world where school safety has become a priority, CMS is stepping up and enabling students to resolve conflict in an appropriate and productive fashion.

2013-01-30 20:45:46 UTC
Peg Nichols

Mediators are people who believe that disputants are capable of finding mutually agreeable solutions to conflict through mediation, and that informal discussions as in mediation sessions are far less intimidating than court appearances. Website improvement for CMS will help them extend their valuable services to a larger number of people.

2013-01-30 20:50:09 UTC
Mark Collins, NYS ADR Office

I met with CMS staff many years ago as a NAFCM board member, and I was inspired by their dedication to providing their community with excellent mediation services. Beth and the entire staff should be congratulated, and any resources that can be directed their way to enhance their existing website, may be viewed by numerous community mediation centers throughout the country; offering ideas and encouragement to others as well as providing seeds of improvement that can have a ripple impact.

2013-01-30 21:04:25 UTC
Sue Ann Allen, Training Director, Dispute Resolution Center of King County (WA)

Mediation is an effective option for resolving many conflicts, and it is, unfortunately, not widely known. Helping publicize this service to the community will provide choices beyond "Let's sue!" for ways to handle disputes.

2013-01-30 23:51:51 UTC
Dr. Timothy Hedeen, Atlanta, GA

CMS brings a valuable service to the communities it serves, and it does with remarkable cost-efficiency. The organization provides a structure through which dozens of volunteers deliver professional services to individuals, families, businesses, and any range of public and private agencies--all in the interest of constructive, collaborative approaches toward problem-solving. A website makeover will enable CMS to broaden and deepen its impact, and I look forward to attending the big "reveal" party.

2013-01-31 03:17:37 UTC
Mary Ellen Bowen, MSc, Executive Director, Mid South Mediation Services, Tennessee

CMS does amazing things for the people of the communities served. Cases are handled by volunteer mediators who have been trained and certified in non-violent communication and mediation skills. The respectful manner in which these cases are resolved usually results in the parties signing a contract for restitution or resolution that all can agree is fair. The mediation work is founded on the principles of restorative justice as a positive alternative that rights the wrongs by giving the parties a chance to face each other with a fair witness. Mediation aids in violence prevention by helping people work out conflicts peacefully.
Website improvement for CMS will definitely help them expand the awareness of their valuable services to more and more people who are increasingly using the internet to gain knowledge.

2013-01-31 12:12:56 UTC
Gina Tinker-Williams

I am a volunteer coordinator with the Community Dispute Resolution Center in Elmira, NY. Working with today's technology can be a benefit to a small non-profit agency. However, given the cuts in funding, and financial pressures causing decreased donations it can be difficult to find the money to pay for technological upgrades. Most mediation centers focus on their services to the community. Often technology, marketing and publicity take a back seat when funds are low. Given today's public and their use of the internet, it can benefit for a mediation center to have a great website. Often individuals today will research a service on the internet before even contacting the agency. Winning a website makeover could really help this mediation center in many ways. It could assist them in reaching more people in conflict with information of their services, more volunteers willing to become mediators and more philanthropists looking to give donations.

2013-01-31 18:48:02 UTC
Andrew Walls

With community truly being the heart of the organization, CMS is all about the people who make up the North Hennepin community. As the internet constantly and increasingly shapes the social interaction of these people and all people, so does it revolutionize the entire concept of community; it is impossible for an organization like CMS to realize its potential in reaching and helping its community without being equipped with a cutting-edge website.

A website redesign would be especially helpful in connecting with our community's youth, a group for which CMS already does a great deal. As part of a generation that largely grew up with the internet, I know how important online communication is in particular for those in my age group and younger. A more interactive and young-person-accessible website could be integral in showing kids exactly what mediation is and how healthy working out disputes together can be; it could literally work from the ground up to revolutionize the way in which the youth of this community see the concept of harm and more importantly the concept of justice. Unlike the majority of the justice system, which projects consequences and blame, mediation portrays justice in a positive light. For kids to be shown that fact at a young age not just conceptually, but in action within their community would lift a burden off of them and empower them to take the ideas behind mediation into the community themselves. For this reason, I wholeheartedly support the CMS bid and feel that any other member of our community should do the same.

2013-01-31 19:36:53 UTC
Michele Gullickson Moore

I have collaborated with and worked for CMS and I know first-hand they use every cent donated to them to the fullest benefit to the organization, it's volunteers, and most-especially, the communities it serves. Websites are how people find services, understand what they need to do and connect with the right resource. CMS is the right resource for thousands and they need a killer website to facilitate that service.

2013-01-31 21:37:28 UTC
Debra Petersen, LPC Director

I have learned first hand the importance of a good website. After taking over as director 15 months ago one of the first things I did was change the non-profit's website. Since the change, I have actually received calls from individuals because of it. Community mediation is an important tool for the community as a whole. In order for the community to be able to use the tool, it has to be easy to use. If the information on a website is not easily accessible, the person that is seeking the information loses. If CMS receives the bid for improvement of their website, it will be the community that ultimately is rewarded.

2013-02-03 00:36:20 UTC
Kevin Slator

GREAT organization doing GREAT conflict resolution work in the community -- a vital need.

2013-02-02 04:38:38 UTC
Sandy Moberg Walls

In reaching 30 years of service, CMS has become a leader in the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) world as a quality non-profit community mediation service to Hennepin County and beyond! The monies to operate the program are used in direct services and very little is available to catch up with technology on line. CMS' website needs a present-day, inspirational, user-friendly boost to become more interactive. This opportunity can meet that need.
Folks of all ages and from all walks of life are hoping for an alternative to litigation when conflicts arise and they are seeking out ADR and are using the privacy of the internet looking for real answers to difficult personal problems. Connecting to an "on-the-spot" informational, personalized ADR site can not only provide those answers, but can demonstrate appropriate communication skills and give effective tips to practice toward resolution dialogues.
Education and engagement in practices of mediation and restorative justice applied in any venue stimulates lasting positive change, reduces residivism of crimes, levels power imbalances, increases understanding between people, inspires volunteerism and giving, reduces fears and encourages hope to the community -- not just close by, but worldwide. Outreach efforts are always going on in CMS in getting that word out -- now would be a good time to improve that effort via the website!

2013-02-02 14:14:55 UTC
Tess Abel Hohman

Community Mediation Services (CMS) = Dedicated,caring volunteers finding common ground, solving conflicts and creating safer communities. CMS ≠ web designers. Please help.

2013-02-02 18:23:00 UTC
Mary Lacey

A new website would help Community Mediation Services do the following things:
It would lower marketing costs by being a more flexible than print marketing.
Provide information to the community 24-7-365. Conflicts do not always occur between 9-5 and people need to know there are quality options for them.
Improve creditability in the community.
Reduce dollars spent on site maintenance.
All of these things would allow CMS to continue to service the community as they have for the past 30 years and help them serve even more people in the next 30 years.

2013-02-02 19:26:32 UTC
Bob Branham

In this time of social media enhancements and the continuous need for improvement to remain competitive, a new website with faster response times and easier client functionality for CMS is critical. The work of Community Mediation Services is important and often thankless, entering into the emotionally charged moments of all of our lives, searching for a positive and meaningful outcome. With limited dollars to do the good work we all appreciate, this opportunity to upgrade their web site and save them money both in the short and long run would be tremendous. I support CMS receiving this support and strongly endorse this organization for consideration.

2013-02-02 22:11:40 UTC
Daniel Lucking

CMS provides a wonderful outlet for folks who feel trapped in a world of chaos and are often embarrassed by their inability to resolve challenging issues. Many of CMS success stories start an individual who wanted to seek help as anonymously as possible. CMS can extend their reach to these people and more via a polished website offering an easy uncomplicated path to their help.

2013-02-03 04:12:13 UTC
Liz Blank

The excell at what they, fill a very important void in or society and They do it well. You do what you do well and they could use that help.

2013-02-03 04:21:02 UTC
Catherine Carey

CMS is doing important conflict resolution work in the community and needs a more professional website to fulfill its mission. It is an important organization doing important work. Please help them create a state-of-the-art website that is well-designed and easy to navigate. Such a website would have a positive impact on many lives.

2013-02-03 15:34:19 UTC
Peggy O'Leary

As an educator, I often see firsthand the need for the services of CMS. Please help them continue their challenging work with the improvement of an upgraded website.

2013-02-04 15:53:33 UTC
Michael Friedman

CMS is a very reliable local resource for conflict resolution services, deserving of a very reliable and up to date web site that can efficiently serve the many needs described. Their programs rely on many dedicated volunteers, who find satisfaction in helping people solve problems through their own capabilities. In addition to traditional mediation areas such as family and neighborhood conflicts, CMS helps solve issues that would otherwise require a less patient, a less listening, and a less resolving government process, for instance in regard to school behavioral problems or youth petty crimes.

2013-02-04 18:36:34 UTC
Michele Braley

Community Mediation Services is dedicated to making their services available to anyone who needs them - which requires widespread awareness of their services. CMS is active in many community partnerships to expand and improve the use of mediation and restorative justice in Hennepin County, Minnesota. They are truly deserving of this support for improving their website.

2013-02-04 18:45:32 UTC
Miriam Feingold

CMS is a great organization that does truly great work. Having an updated website would be a boon for them, allowing them a greater ability to offer their services and reach the community in a new and more technologically accessible way. The CMS staff specializes in working heart to heart with the community, but their webdesign knowledge is a little less spectacular. They would really benefit from aid in that arena.

2013-02-04 21:18:51 UTC
MiaLisa McFarland Millares

Community Mediation Services, Inc. has provided efficient, cost-effective and professional services for 30 years in a variety of arenas. Our volunteers, work tirelessly in the courts, community and with youth to provide conflict resolution services. Not only do we provide direct services to clients. . . we provide low-cost, high-quality training opportunities for people throughout Twin Cities and the suburbs. We need a better website to more effectively reach people and engage clients. Please help our organization to continue to grow and thrive in this technological age! I whole-heartedly support CMS receiving a website support!

2013-02-05 12:11:04 UTC
Ben Lowndes

I am a current law student, volunteer with CMS, and a new member of the CMS Board of Directors. A main part of CMS's mission is offering people in conflict a place to turn for help, and I believe that an updated website will help CMS accomplish this. Specifically, an updated website can communicate to the public through both words and design that CMS can help address their conflict, no matter how small or large it is. CMS is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, and I can think of no better anniversary present than an updated website that provides the public an opportunity to learn about CMS's services and to contact the organization for conflict resolution assistance, serves as an information portal for volunteers, and embodies CMS's wonderful mission of building a more peaceful community and world.

2013-02-05 12:53:01 UTC
Rich Krambeer

"I'll check out their web site" - how often have we heard others say this or said it ourselves? Community Mediation Services for 30 years has used untold thousands of hours of volunteer time to effectively help school staff and students, persons involved in the court system, neighbors, and so many other members of the community amicably resolve disputes. Not only that,but hundreds of people have been trained by CMS to provide those services. As a nonprofit, CMS has not had the funds to re-tool its web site. In an age of electronic communication, having a user friendly web site clearly spelling out the organization's mission and vision and goals is crucial. Investing in CMS' future by giving it a web site makeover will help launch the next 30 years of an incredibly effective and valuable community service organization.

2013-02-05 15:56:21 UTC
Kelsey Taylor

CMS is a critical community resource that is responsible for organizing and implementing numerous volunteer trainings and other events each year. With a new website, CMS would not only be able to serve the community more effectively, but also become more a more visible organization throughout the state as well.

2013-02-05 16:18:24 UTC
Amy Malek

As an intern with CMS, I have personally witnessed the passion the staff and the volunteers have for mediation process. The success they have had over their 30 years of service is unsurpassed. The ability for parties to participate in their own sustainable resolution provides satisfaction for all participating parties.

As they continually move into the age of technology so does their need and ability to reach out into the community via technology. By updating their website they will be able to visually attract more viewers in need, publish their mission and goals, be linked to social media, and be mobile device compatible.

Updating their website would be such a wonderful gift to reach out into the community and better serve them. I am very lucky to work with a group that is so passionate and prideful about their service to their community.

2013-02-06 21:25:12 UTC
Chris Kellogg

CMS does BIG, BIG things on a very, very small budget. Right now they could really use a website overhaul; if you help them by doing what you do best, they can conserve their resources to do what they do best.

2013-02-07 01:46:49 UTC
Debra Safyre

Creative genius plus big hearted volunteerism = thriving communities! Everybody wins!

2013-02-07 14:51:57 UTC
Christine Bright Marwede

It sounds so simple: CMS helps people have conversations. Yet, this is the core of our being. Family to family, friend to friend, neighbor to neighbor, group to group, state to state, country to country. It is what we say and who we say it to that defines our lives. We all know that if there is tension in our lives it is usually because of our interaction with someone else. CMS provides a process through facilitative mediation that can alleviate that tension. What a wonderful thing!

2013-02-07 14:56:31 UTC

Community Mediation is great at working with people but needs all the help it can get working with technology!

2013-02-08 05:27:01 UTC
Todd Paulson

I was a Boardmember of Community Mediation Services back in the late 80's. The organization is a stable force that brings stability to our area and is highly regarded as a leader in the field of mediation. The Executive Director and staff are computer media savy in a way that can make the most of an amped up website upgrade. There are many more of us who hope and encourage your kind action be awarded to bring peace the homes, community, and people helped by this essential service.

2013-02-08 05:52:22 UTC

I've seen firsthand the good this organization can do in the community. Please, take it upon your heart to consider CMS for the website makeover. They are a worthy organization dedicated to peace, family harmony and community cohesiveness; things I know you believe in.

2013-02-08 05:52:59 UTC
Kris Decker

I've seen firsthand the good this organization can do in the community. Please, take it upon your heart to consider CMS for the website makeover. They are a worthy organization dedicated to peace, family harmony and community cohesiveness; things I know you believe in.

2013-02-08 14:56:52 UTC
Sheri O'Meara

I can't think of a more deserving organization than CMS for a website makeover. The website, this window onto the world, is the means for CMS to connect with and help so many others and make a meaningful difference. Thank you for considering helping CMS bring peace into so many lives with your time, talents and website expertise.

2013-02-11 04:51:21 UTC
Rick Hendrickson

I have been a volunteer mediator with CMS for over 20 years. The organization is a valuable resource to the Citizens and governments of Hennepin County. CMS is one of the leading mediation providers and educators in the entire state. CMS deserves all our support.

Our Mission

Since 1983 Community Mediation Services, Inc. (CMS) has been dedicated to helping individuals move from conflict to resolution through respectful, confidential and efficient mediation and restorative justice processes. We believe many of our community’s most pressing issues—housing instability, juvenile crime, family/workplace/neighborhood discord -- stem from an unresolved dispute. With the generous support of trained volunteer mediators and through partners in local communities, schools, and courts, CMS is systematically changing the way our community addresses conflict. Individuals are able to craft their own sustainable solutions, and our local communities are able to make better use of precious public resources. CMS is a nonprofit organization funded by both public and private support, serving 40 cities in the Twin Cities northern and western metro areas. In addition to providing mediation and restorative justice services, CMS provides a wide variety of training opportunities. More information is available at