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Divided Community Project

The Divided Community Project (DCP) provides dispute resolution and systems-design expertise to help local community and university leaders enhance community resiliency and prepare for and respond to events that polarize their communities.  Winner of the American Bar Association’s Cooley Lawyer as a Problem Solver Award, the project helps strengthen local capacity to transform division into collaboration and progress.

We live in extraordinary times: they are promising, yet contentious.  Feel free to use our Virtual Toolkit, just below, of guides, checklists, and even video interviews that might be helpful resources as you seek to help your community or university bridge differences.  Contact us directly if you think we might help.

Carl Smallwood
Executive Director, Divided Community Project

Andrew Thomas Models the Value of Community-focused Dispute Resolution

Divided Community Project leadership published two publications featuring and honoring Executive Committee Member Andrew Thomas, the longtime director of Rochester's (NY) community dispute resolution center, and the former Director of Neighborhood Engagement for the City of Sanford (FL).  In 2022, Andrew won the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution's Sander Award, "established to recognize innovative methods and extraordinary achievements in the field of Alternative Dispute Resolution."

The first article How One Mediator Made a Difference in A divided Community, was published in the National Civic Review, a publication distributed to more than 100,000 civic leaders.  The second article, A Tribute to Andrew Thomas, the 2022 Sander Award Winner, was published in January in the ABA's Dispute Resolution Magazine.  The ABA article is available as a pdf at this link, and on SSRN

The Bridge Initiative at Moritz

DCP’s Bridge Initiative provides a distinguished panel of experienced former US Department of Justice Community Relations Service leaders/conciliators, police chiefs, and mediators to assist local leaders to address an emergent crisis or plan for dealing with community unrest and its underlying causes.

National Project Leadership

The Project's national steering committee includes former CRS leadership (Grande Lum, Thomas Battles, Daphne Felten-Green, Becky Monroe, Ron Wakabayashi), law enforcement leadership (RaShall Brackney, Rick Myers), a former state Attorney General (Nancy Rogers), Dispute Resolution Faculty (Sarah Cole, Katrina Lee, Josh Stulberg), mediators of complex disputes (Susan Carpenter, Chris Carlson, Michael Lewis), community engagement experts (Sarah Rubin, Andrew Thomas), a social scientist studying dispute resolution (Craig McEwen), an expert on race and equity (Kyle Strickland), and an expert in transitional justice (Teri Murphy). 

Carl Smallwood is the Project's director. 

The photo was taken in January 2020 and includes Susan, Grande, Chris, Michael, Sarah, Becky, Bill Froehlich, Josh, Nancy, RaShall.