Why I Support Creative Mediation
By Jason Mockford, Director of Leadership & Service at Cal Poly
We interviewed Jason Mockford, a PAC member, current donor & supporter of Creative Mediation at Wilshire Community Services, to find out what drives him to continue to support San Luis Obispo’s community mediation center. Learn more about why he thinks conflict resolution is so critical, and how it supports his work at Cal Poly everyday!
Why do you support Creative Mediation?
We are part of a society that seems to have a waning interest in the infinite possibilities of life–where everything must either be right or wrong, black or white, to be understood and valued. However, the gray areas are where we truly find meaning and connection with one another. Creative Mediation approaches their work from the philosophy that if we can improve our tolerance for ambiguity and pause long enough to hear what matters most to one another, we can build stronger, healthier relationships. That is a philosophy that I believe in so strongly, that it is essential for me to invest in it.
What about the Creative Mediation’s Elements of Mediation training makes it a worthwhile professional development opportunity for your staff?
Working with others means that conflict will naturally occur. It is a critical aspect of group development. How a group handles that conflict has a direct impact on the effectiveness of the group. Through Elements, my team learns how to mediate conflict with their constituents (students and staff), but they also gain a common language for addressing conflict amongst our team. When a crisis occurs, it can be natural to power through on all cylinders, but in the midst of that, having the ability to see the humanity in each other can open up more impactful outcomes as we problem-solve. Sending my staff to Elements also gives them first hand experience to see a resource available to students in action, and adds authenticity to their referrals.
How do you see Creative Mediation’ programs, services & trainings benefitting the Cal Poly and San Luis Obispo community?
In SLO we like to tell folks that we are the happiest place in America, but that happiness takes care and cultivation. For many, that is not the day-to-day reality. But we do have fantastic resources such as Creative Mediation that are actively working to bring the power of understanding to our community. This is work that will never be done, but is so important, even as our community grows and changes. For students, experiencing life as an adult for the very first time in San Luis Obispo is exciting, scary, complicated, and messy. Creative Mediation is a critical resource for students to learn how to get along better with each other and with their neighbors, and can help them create the foundation for how they will interact with their communities here in SLO and other places they may find themselves down the road.
Jason Mockford is the Director of Leadership & Service in the Dean of Students Office at Cal Poly
He has been a Program Advisory Council Member for Creative Mediation for over 5 years and a certified community mediator for over 6 years.