May 5, 2011

Meet the NAFCM Board - Joe Brummer

"Meet the NAFCM Board" is a series of guest blog posts designed to introduce you to those shaping the agenda and direction of our field.  We invite you to welcome new Board members and reconnect with our returning leadership by leaving a comment below.

Let me start this short introduction by saying I am really excited to be elected to the Board of Directors for NAFCM. My journey into mediation, nonviolence and peace work has been very personal to me and I am grateful for the prospect of what this new board can accomplish. I started in this work exploring nonviolence as a way of life after being the survivor of two violent hate crimes. As a result, I have wanted to live my life in a way that would contribute to changing the circumstances that allow such violence to occur. I believed then and continue to believe, that if just one person is spared the physical and emotional pain of violence, then this is all worth it. Serving on the NAFCM board is another step in that personal mission.

I started by attending a 64 hour training of trainers with the Institute for the Study and Practice of Nonviolence in Providence, RI to become a nonviolence instructor for youth in inner city schools. I followed that with my basic mediation training at the Community Mediation Center of RI. Around that same time, I discovered the work of Marshall Rosenberg and decided to do a 9-day International Intensive training in Nonviolent Communication (NVC.) I have now spent the last five years doing trainings in conflict management, mediation, and communication all around the North East.

My journey so far has taken me to amazing places. I never imagined I would be doing the work I am doing. I wake up some mornings just amazed at the inspiring projects with which I am involved. In July 2010, I took the job of Associate Executive Director of Community Mediation, Inc. in New Haven, CT. In just one week’s time in this job, I can spend time training law enforcement officers, working with youth to be peer mediators, watching lifelong friends reconcile after months of not speaking to one another, help organize police/community dialogues, and talk to gang members about choosing peace. Those are mere samples of the amazing things this profession brings to communities.

I look forward to using my skills to help further this profession and learning from the other NAFCM members. It is energizing to know I will be serving with people who have such experience, talent and passion.

Best regards,
Associate Executive Director
Community Mediation, Inc.