After a very rewarding three years as president of KMC, it is time for me to pass the torch to our very capable new board of directors. I am happy to announce that Anne Sawyer was voted in as the new KMC President at our board meeting on December 12th. We also welcomed Emily Dixon as our Secretary and Grant Committee Chair and Andrea Avila as our Treasurer and member of the Grant Committee. Thank you to our other board members, Wendy Kramer and Chuck Ervin. Also to our Communications and Development Supervisor, Madeline Wall.
I also want to express my gratitude to Ariella Morrison for her faithful service over the past 3 years. Ariella was instrumental in helping us fundraise and Chaired the Grant Committee for many years, which is such an integral part of what we do as an organization. KMC will miss her energy, help, and support.
I have served on the board for 5 years and so much has changed in that time. Under past President, Maria Simpson, the board grew and thrived for many years. Maria served as President of the SCMA Education Foundation, together with Jason Harper and Julie Ware, were able to get the organization on track and donated the remaining funds from an original grant from Woody Mosten to college libraries for mediation books and other media. When I joined in 2015, we expanded our grant program and were able to start fundraising again. We awarded grants to some community mediation centers, as well as other groups supporting mediation and conflict resolution. In 2017, at the board retreat, we did a lot of soul-searching and decided that we wanted our focus to strictly be on the support of peer mediation programs in schools. That is when Kids Managing Conflict was born.
Since then, we have hosted the Symposium for Kids Managing Conflict for 3 years, sponsored many trips to the Museum of Tolerance for Southern California Peer Mediators, and continued the Celebration of Peer Mediation. Last year, I was proud to award the first-ever Young Peacemakers Award to Sarai Benitez and this year to Sein Yun and Porter Wade. And a special Peer Mediator Achievement Award to Will Hoadley-Brill, peer mediator and peacemaker extraordinaire, who has been a constant inspiration for what peer mediators become. We expanded our grants to support schools who wanted to start or maintain their peer mediation program and over the past 3 years have donated over $45,000 to Southern California Schools. Of course, this year marked the inception of the KMC Community founded by Sarai Benitez and Will Hoadley-Brill.
I am very proud of all we have accomplished. None of it would have been possible without the amazing people and organizations who have worked alongside me.
Special thanks to past board members - Jason Harper, Maria Simpson, Julie Ware, Shaune Gatlin, Betsy Decyk, Mike Powell, and Marvin Whistler.
Thank you to the advisory board members for their support, Ken Cloke, Joan Goldsmith, Dr. Pamela Kreiser, and Marco and Kathryn Turk. A huge debt of gratitude goes to the Southern California Mediation Association Members, as well as, the Judicate West Foundation for their generous and ongoing support over the past 5 years. Also, to the American Arbitration Association, whose generosity helped us expand our programs and grants to schools. The on-going support of the NCRP program at CSU Dominguez Hills and our partner organizations who value peer mediation as much as we do - APADRC and Western Justice Center.
I know I am forgetting someone and those who are too numerous to list, so please forgive me. Just know I carry you all in my heart and am grateful for your help, guidance, and support over the past 5 years.
Please continue your support of this amazing organization as we continue to help support peer mediation.
With gratitude, appreciation, and love,